Hey, Read This: something’s missing


When has a series run its course? When has a novelist who made his name satirizing literature gone too far? Unfortunately for author Jasper Fforde, the time seems to be now after his latest release, One of Our Thursdays is Missing. 
Ill preface this by saying I love his first book in the Thursday Next mythology. It is wonderful, balanced and just clever enough.
But lets delve into the newest title. The whole thing takes place in Book World, which is Ffordes representation of how books are written for digestion in the Real World. Every genre has its own island, each with its own commentary from the author. Turns out that the real version of Thursday Next has gone missing, and it is up to the written version to find her. Thats about as meta as it gets.
Written Thursday is chased by Men in Plaid, a protective agency in Book World, meets a robot friend Sprockett and gets blasted into the Real World.
Confused yet?
Can Thursdays murder be solved before something goes wrong at the peace talks? Will the white-bread version of Thursday be able to muster the rough-and-tumble, sex-having, mystery-solving lifestyle of her real version? You can find out, but I doubt youll want to.
The plot and characters were overwhelmed with Ffordes attempt at pithy cleverness. The first third of the book was barely readable. 
Thursday needs an understudy, so she brings in Scarlett. Honestly, it just doesnt fit. But it does fall in line with my larger theory that this novel was more about nerding out over Book World than it was concerned with telling a well-thought-out story.
We all know that you can do it, Fforde. Eyre Affair is one of my favorite novels. You gave us an exciting, well-thought-out plot. In Thursday, you gave us a dynamic and flawed hero. And you introduced just enough satire of the literary world to make it interesting. Sadly, none of those positives carry over to One of Our Thursdays is Missing.