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Lost In A Good Book (2004)

Lost in a Good Book (2004)

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4.13 of 5 Votes: 1
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0142004030 (ISBN13: 9780142004036)
penguin books

About book Lost In A Good Book (2004)

An antagonist named Mr. Schitt-Hause. A 108 year-old woman who can't die until she has discovered and read the ten most boring classics (and who debates about what they are--I was elated when she mentioned Spencer's Faerie Queen and indignant when she named Milton's Paradise Lost and Richardson's Pamela). A painting that is so minimalist that it's just a hook on a wall. Miss Havisham waiting until Pip leaves the room (and her scene ends) to put on trainers and begin teaching our protagonist, her Jurisfiction apprentice, to jump from book to book and ensure that their textual integrity is maintained. Neanderthals that aren't recognized as human but have conversatons about irony and Jackson Pollock. Sense and Sensibilities' Marianne Dashwood requesting AA batteries and nylon tights next time she's visited by someone from the real world. These and such details make Jasper Fforde's Lost in a Good Book, the second book in his Thursday Next series, delightful. Part wordplay, part sci-fi, part satire, part detective fiction, and part inside jokes for bibliophiles, Lost in a Good Book is pure entertainment, nerd style.Inside jokes are powerful devices. Not only are they funny, but they create a sense of pride in those who "get" them and feel like part of the priveleged few or elite. Fforde monopolizes on their appeal with his creative and witty Thursday Next series. (On a related note, he is one well-read author! Or very, very good at faking it. Reading his books makes me want to read more so I can get every reference.) In Lost in a Good Book, I particularly liked the discovery that grammasites, creatures that feed on grammar, had infested Tristram Shandy until it was "indigestible nouns and page numbers." I also loved the moment when Thursday was at a jurisfiction conference and a young boy approached her, asked her to draw him a sheep, and left, very happy, with his new picture.All elements of Lost in a Good Book come together to make it pretty much the equivalent of literary crack. The plot is fast moving, suspenseful, and full of the sort of eye-crossing twists that can only result from a skilled author, a seemingly infinite number of worlds for characters to inhabit, and crazy, crazy time travel. The characters, particularly Thursday, who is willful, courageous, and sarcastic, make the plot count. However, I must admit that the villain in the second novel is not nearly as good as the first's. I hope The Eyre Affair isn't the last time he appears.I've already started the third book. They're just so fun."Scientific thought, indeed, any mode of though whether it be religious or philosophical or anything else, is just like the fashions that we wear--only much longer lived. It's a little like a boy band.""It was delightfully odd--and dangerously self-destructive--quirk of humans that we were far more interested in pointless trivia than in genuine news stories.""Children rarely know their parents at all."

The second book in the Thursday Next series provides more literary fun for those who are into that kind of thing. Thursday's exploits in Jane Eyre have made her a bit of a celebrity, which means she has to make regular appearances on TV. Not everybody likes her, though; a mysterious foe keeps trying to kill her, her husband of one month has been eradicated from history and if that weren't bad enough, her time-travelling father tells her Armageddon is at hand. So not only does Thursday have to get her husband back from the depths of time, but she has to stay alive long enough to save the world. Fortunately, there is plenty of literary stuff going on to keep her from going mad. First she has to authenticate a newly found play by Shakespeare, which may well be a ploy in a political conspiracy; then she has to head back into fiction to become a literary detective inside the book world, apprenticed to none other than Miss Havisham. Along the way, she meets Neanderthals, mammoths, the Cheshire Cat and many others, learns many useful skills and ends up saving the planet. Naturally. Fforde's first sequel to The Eyre Affair isn't as tightly plotted as the original, but is equally delightful and inventive, and just as full of literary in-jokes. There are references to anything from Austen and Dickens to Kafka, not to mention lots of time travel and seriously evil baddies. In short, it's heaps of fun for those who take their literature seriously... and those who don't.

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La vita può diventare stressante se siete incinta e vi sradicano il marito, il mondo sta per trasformarsi in un ammasso di gelatina rosa e voi vi ritrovate di punto in bianco nel bel mezzo del Processo di Kafka a dovervi giustificare per aver cambiato il finale di Jane Eyre.Tra l'altro il vostro avvocato per il processo comunica con voi tramite note a piè di pagina, il che non è comodissimo!In situazioni del genere conviene sempre guardarsi le spalle e soprattutto controllare che il livello di entropia dove vi trovate sia sempre a livelli normali perchè quando si abbassa troppo, ovvero quando il numero di coincidenze che vi capitano diventa incredibilmente assurdo,potreste morire da un momento all'altro.La soluzione ai vostri problemi potrebbe però non essere così spiacevole: si tratta semplicemnte di perdersi in un buon libro! E' ciò che deve imparare a fare l'impavida Thursday Next in questo nuovo capitolo delle sue avventure, sotto la guida di una Miss Havisham molto più simpatica e molto meno acida di quanto non ce la ricordassimo in Grandi Speranze.Thursday diventa così una sorta di Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie, che in questo caso è il "paese dei libri" (ma il gatto del Cheshire c'è comunque), tra i quali, con un po' di pratica si può scorazzare a proprio piacimento, cercando di fare attenzione per non disturbare troppo personaggi e trama. Si ripete così la magia de Il caso Jane Eyre, ovvero quella bellissima sensazione per il lettore di essere trasportati insieme all'eroina in un mondo in cui letteratura e realtà si incorciano, si confondono fino a diventare un tuttuno. Le avventure di Thursday viaggiano a cavallo fra il thriller e il bizzarro, in un turbinio di personaggi letterari riportati in vita con impareggiabile destrezza e ironia da Jasper Fforde il quale, ancora una volta con il suo racconto dimostra non solo la sua sfrenata fantasia ma, soprattutto, comunicare il suo amore per la letteratura che viene trasmesso immediatamente al lettore. Se non avete ancora letto i libri attraversati da Thursday vi verrà voglia di impossessarvene immediatamente, se li avete già letti vorrete riimmergervi in essi seduta stante.Unica raccomandazione: assicuratevi di essere pratici prima di affrontare il salto nel libro o vi troverete incastrati nell'etichetta con le istruzioni di lavaggio dei vostri pantaloni. C'è da dire che l'omino dell'etichetta è molto gentile e ospitale!Un'osservazione sull'edizione Marco y marcos: la grafica è molto ben curata e diviene parte integrante del racconto, non si può dire lo stesso della traduzione che spesso fa pasticci con i giochi di parole dell'originale o peggio ancora traduce titoli dei libri in modo errato.

For some reason I accepted this more willingly than I did the Eyre Affair, perhaps because I had been primed for the silliness already. There were some really clever touches, like the footnotes, and The Trial, and the opening paragraphs of the chapter that went all Dracula-ish. Those managed to redeem it from the Xanth-like punning. At the same time, I keep feeling like the author has no filter. Everything is in here. Was the chapter where she moonlighted with Stoker necessary? How is it possible to throw mystery, police drama, alternate reality, time travel, and literary fiction together in one book? The sheer cleverness of some of the individual scenes is what it makes it work for me, even though at other times it feels like every genre and trope possible has been placed in the plot blender. The degree to which Fforde flouts the conventions of the genres he sends up bothers me at times. Every plot twist feels like a deus ex machina because he hasn't established any rules. Can you change the past through time travel? The future? Does it matter? Ah, well. It's all in good fun, I suppose.

This is one of those books that I wanted to like so much more than I did. Hell, it's one of those books that I feel like I should like more than I do. I mean, with the little literary cameos and the wry humor (and occasionally groan-inducing puns), with the jumping through books and really just the whole thing - it should be right up my alley. But it just doesn't work for me.Part of it is that I feel it has a little bit of the Un Lun Dun problem - it seems more a showcase for all the nifty ideas and wordplay that Fforde can throw in, but he seems less concerned with developing interesting and/or likable characters and an actual plot line with any sort of momentum.And part of it is that while I really like the idea of Jurisfiction and it seems like a really cool premise, I'm less enthralled with the execution. Parts of it just don't make sense. For instance, (view spoiler)[the characters in the books are limited to their lines and actions in the book, and, when someone is reading their book, they have to be there to say their lines'; however, these same characters often go gallivanting into other books and doing various business for Jurisfiction. So what happens when someone reads one of their books when they're not there?I mean, sometimes they have a character exchange program, but that seems to be for more long term things. For short term cases, it just seems like they aren't in their books. So who takes over if they're not there?And I'm unclear on whether the characters that come out of the book are for specific editions, or, since the library at Jurisfiction is sort of an place of archetypes - where the books are alive - if a character is removed from one edition, are they removed from all editions?And, if so, how come throwing Jack Schitt into the Raven only seemed to effect the version that Thursday was reading? Or was it all versions, and, if it was all versions, then why was no one mad at her for that when they were mad at her for 'changing' the ending of Jane Eyre? (hide spoiler)]
—colleen the fabulous fabulaphile

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