Summary of "First Among Sequels"

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Summary of "First Among Sequels"

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jan 12, 2007, 3:04 pm

You can find the following summary linked to Jasper Fforde's website. ( Just click on the bus.

It is fourteen years since Thursday Next pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and her son Friday is now sixteen. As previous meetings with the young man might indicate, he should be thinking of entering the Academy of Time in order to fulfil his destiny at the ChronoGuard, but he has decided instead to pursue a career in music - and now leads a teenage rockband called 'Snot'. Exasperation at her son's time-career non-fulfillment is but one of Thursday's problems at present.

Meanwhile, Goliath have perfected their own 22-seater Prose Portal Luxury Coach, and plan on taking literary tourists on a maiden voyage to the works of Jane Austen. 'The future of books is interactivity', claims the upper management at the Council of Genres, 'and regulated book travel is far preferable to an unregulated tourism industry.' Thursday is naturally appalled at the prospect, but her objections fall on deaf ears, and Thursday herself is selected to accompany the 'Austen Rover' as it travels on its maiden voyage into Pride and Prejudice.

Of course, all is not what it seems and Thursday soon realises that Goliath is up to its old tricks again. With the future of the entire Bookworld in jeopardy and a mass erasure threatening the very fabric of fiction itself, Thursday must travel to the very outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to do battle with old foes and new adversaries...

Published on the 5th July in the UK and the 23rd July 2007 in the USA.

jan 29, 2007, 6:53 pm

Are there any readers of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books here who haven't read any of Jane Austen's books?

I myself have only read her Pride and Prejudice. (Three times, if you'd like to know.) I have the film from 2005. My plan is to read one of her books per month until I finish them, just to get more out of Jasper Fforde's next book once it comes out. I've also read The Jane Austen Book Club, which I just learned is supposed to become a film.

For anyone who wants to know the titles of Austen's works, I'll list them here:
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility

jan 30, 2007, 7:29 am

"Are there any readers of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books here who haven't read any of Jane Austen's books?"

Yep. ME. I hadn't read nay of the original books from any of the TN series. I did read Jane Eyre afterwards, but it didn't do anything for me. I've no particualr desire to read Pride either, though I have picked up a bit about the storyline, and I'm sure I'll infer the rest from fforde's book. Yes I'll miss a few puns/references, but then I'd miss a few anyway, cause there are so many.

I won't find out till the paperback version is published over here, could be at least a year. I'm still waiting for the fourth bear.

jan 30, 2007, 8:32 pm

I read Jane Eyre before The Eyre Affair, and it actually caused me to feel disappionted. I hadn't felt Fforde captured Charlotte Bronte's character, Mr. Rochester, right.

For me, getting the puns and references is sort of exciting. I get a kick out of them.

I've gone really far in the terms of reading. I was never a reader during my childhood because reading was difficult for me. At twelve, I was told that I had a partial learning disability. A year and a half later, I had major spinal surgery, and picked up some books while recuperating. My reading, spelling, grammar, etc. improved so much over the summer that they pulled me out of the resource class and put me in regular English. Reading classics became important to me. I was denied them with society's stamp of being 'stupid,' so that's why. I never thought I'd be able to understand all those literary jokes you hear about, and wanted to desperately, perhaps because I was basically told that I never could. Anyhow, I'm in college with English as my major now. I'm writing a book that hopefully, will set the record straight about learning disabilities. I'd like to make the public more knowledgable about the truth about them.

jan 31, 2007, 5:01 am

"For me, getting the puns and references is sort of exciting. I get a kick out of them. "

well yes, I do too. But I'm not prepared to wade through victorian melodrama in order to do so. I'll try and catch the other ones that are in there. I can certainly see why Fforde's writing appeals so much to you.

Well done - not that you need my approval - for sticking with the reading. I hope you get more enjoyment out of the "classics" than I do.

Another pun laden author you've probably already found is pratchett Just in case you haven't I'd recommend skipping the first couple colour of magic light fantastic unless you're well read in fantasy generally, and start with Equal rites.

Redigerat: jan 31, 2007, 6:35 pm

Thank you.

Actually, I've never read anything by Pratchett. I hadn't discovered that author yet. I'm okay with fantasy, but the closest I get to fantasy is reading books by JRR Tolkien, Charles de Lint, Patricia A. McKillip, Gregory Maguire, and Terri Windling.

I dont' consider myself well-read in fantasy. I would like to try something by this author, though. So Equal Rites would be the best starting point for me then? Is it a single book, a series, or part of a series? I can look into this myself, I've just always found asking people to be more helpful.

Redigerat: feb 1, 2007, 6:02 am

The DiscWorld is not quite a series - its a world in which all the books are set, as in ancient myth a flat disc stood on the backs of elephants carried through space on a giant turtle. This naturally distorts everything slightly!
(eg the visible spectrum has an eigth colour - octarine - the colour of magic)

The discworld books feature a few main characters each of which develops as a sort of series, so you should read the books featuring that character in order, but need not read books featuring the other characters until you've finished the previous ones. Unless you want to. If that makes sense. There are also some standalone titles.

the main character series' are:
the Witches: (Granny weatherwax, nanny Ogg)
the Wizards: (Rincewind, and the university)
Death: (and his niece Susan)
the Guards: (Sam Vines, detritus the troll and captain Carrot)
Gods: all and any of them.
Tiffany: this is nominally for "younger readers" but I find just as good as the rest.

I'm not going to touchstone all the works because at over 30 I'd be here forever. In my catalog they are listed in correct published order if you view by tags.

Terry has also written Good omens with Neil Gaiman which is set more or less in "the real world" its a standalone book, also deeply laden with reference, and also very very funny.

8thefirstalicat Första inlägget
feb 2, 2007, 7:31 pm

To be honest, I've read no Jane Austen novels; I only know her work through various films and a small pamphlet I have that reproduces a comic take on English history that she wrote, I think, around the age of 17 or so...I should obviously get more familiar with her!

feb 5, 2007, 9:42 am

thefirstalicat: once you start reading Jane Austen, you will be hooked...
I suggest you begin with Pride and Prejudice


feb 5, 2007, 4:22 pm

Maybe I shouldn't judge Austen's works as I've only read one of them, but I was told Pride and Prejudice was one of her top two books. The next of her books that I'm going to read is Mansfield Park.

feb 5, 2007, 4:24 pm

> 9

Aluvalibri, thanks for your recommendation that I introduce myself to Jane Austen's work with Pride and Prejudice. As it happens, I will soon be undergoing foot surgery that's going to keep me housebound for a month or more, so that may be a perfect time to begin reading her!

feb 6, 2007, 11:12 am

Best wishes to you, thefirstalicat!
I am sure you will greatly enjoy her book(s)


mar 7, 2007, 4:29 pm

Sadly, I have both Emma and Pride and Prejudice on my bookshelf and have yet to get around to reading either of them. I think I am going to have to read them both sometime this month.

mar 8, 2007, 2:19 pm

I bought Mansfield Park last month, took a look at its length, and choose to put it off till my spring break. I'm now in Sense and Sensibility, which for me, is a second attempt. (The first time was January of 2006, when I tried to read it while waiting for my sister in a dentist waiting room. Those places never seem to work well for reading!) I think I shouldn't have any trouble sticking to it this time.

Redigerat: mar 22, 2007, 11:38 pm


I was browsing B&N's website the other day, and found a summary from the publisher. It's slightly different in some places, while altogether new in others. Excluding information about the author, here it is:

It's been fourteen years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult sixteen year old. However, Thursday's got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Rheinback Falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes what's going on—there is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld. And that's not all—The Goliath Corporation is trying to deregulate book travel. Naturally, Thursday must travel to the outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds.

mar 26, 2007, 4:42 am

Sounds like its going ot be a lot of fun - and I already know the Sherlock holmes and Miss Marple Stories quite well, so I may actually get more of the puns this time!

mar 26, 2007, 2:23 pm

Unfortunately for me, I've read neither. What are the Miss Marple stories about?

mar 26, 2007, 6:21 pm

Miss Marple is a wonderful old lady, who lives in an English village and solves murders. The other very famous Agatha Christie's creation is Hercule Poirot, Belgian sleuth who, even though funny looking and extremely vain, is gifted with a first rate brain and knows how to use it!

Redigerat: mar 27, 2007, 4:21 am

#17 Miss marple is sort of in the style of Chesterton's Father Brown - having seen so much of the world they have a very good feel for the liklihood of people to do evil, even though they themselves are almost completely 'pure'. She knits and gardens and watches people around her very closely. Her small quintessential english village is the scene of an unbelivably high number of murders during the course of 40 odd stories. The early ones are set just post world warII with servants and garden parties and the like, they progress through to maybe as late as the late 60s? with MM getting old, supermarkets etc but no mobile phones. Joyous reading just for the period settings.

apr 26, 2007, 2:04 pm

I'm a very recent convert to Austen. I read Emma last year, but didn't think much of it, then I listened to an audio book of Northanger Abbey and LOVED it! I read Pride and Prejudice this month and I have Sense and Sensibility on my shelf, waiting to be picked up. I have plans to read Austen's entire back-catalogue.

next up, however, is Bronte's Jane Eyre - I want to read it before The Eyre Affair or I won't have a clue what any of the references are...

apr 26, 2007, 2:08 pm


I just finished Northanger Abbey yesterday. You've chosen to read the books in a good order, as I've heard Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are Austen's best. I've still to read Emma as well as Mansfield Park and Persuasion.

Redigerat: apr 26, 2007, 2:15 pm


The order was purely by chance - Emma was chosen for a reading circle last year. Northanger Abbey was recommended to me, but the fact that I got the audio book for free from was the clincher there. Then I embarked on the Classics Challenge and thought since I'd enjoyed Northanger Abbey so much, I might as well give Austen another chance. Lo and behold, I adored Pride and Prejudice! The reason I bought P&P as well as Sense and Sensibility was that they were only £1 each in the shop - what bookworm could resist, eh?

I watched the TV adaptations that were on a few weeks ago and definitely plan to read Mansfield Park and Persuasion very soon too - I've become a mad Austen fan!