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review 2018-09-21 03:12
A little too zany for me
Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde,Gabrielle Kruger,Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks

I didn't post about The Eyre Affair a couple of months ago when I listened to it, because I just didn't know what to say about it. I was hoping that a second book would help. I'm not sure it did.

 

Let's just start with the Publisher's Summary (because there's just no way I could do justice to this book):

 

The second installment in Jasper Fforde’s New York Times bestselling series follows literary detective Thursday Next on another adventure in her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England—from the author of Early Riser.

 

The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde’s magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next. When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction—the police force inside the BookWorld. She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe’s “The Raven.” What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications.

 

Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth. It’s another genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment for fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse.

 

There's simply too much going on. This is Douglas Adams (mostly the Dirk Gentley novels) meets Terry Pratchett meets Doctor Who meets . . . something else, but it's not just those elements -- it's those influences without restraint (not that any of those are known for their restraint). It's just too zany ,too strange, too unmoored from reality.

 

There's cloning to bring back extinct species, time travel, vampires, werewolves, interacting with fictional characters, rabid literary fans, characters walking into novels/other written materials to rewrite them, travel, or just to meet with someone else -- and that's just scratching the surface.

 

I realize that this is tantamount to complaining that there's too much of a good thing, and I recently talked about what a foolish complaint that is. But this is different, somehow. The sheer amount of ways that reality can be rewritten/rebooted/changed in this series is hard to contemplate, and seems like too easy for a writer to use to get out of whatever corner they paint themselves into. One of the best emotional moments of this book -- is ruined, simply ruined by time travel unmaking it just a few minutes later.

 

Emily Gray's narration is probably the saving grace of this audiobook -- I'm not sure I'd have rated this as high as I did without it. Her ability to sound sane when delivering this ridiculous text (I mean that as a compliment) makes it all seem plausible.

 

I enjoyed it -- but almost in spite of itself. I can't see me coming back for more. I do see why these books have a following -- sort of. But I've got to bail.

 

2018 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/09/20/lost-in-a-good-book-by-jasper-fforde-emily-gray-audiobook-a-little-too-zany-for-me
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review 2018-03-24 18:02
All Good Things by Emma Newman
All Good Things: The Split Worlds - Book Five - Emma Newman

Series: The Split Worlds #5

 

*Mild spoilers but nothing that isn't hinted at earlier in the series*

 

This was the last installment in the Split Worlds series and it was great! The Split Worlds is an urban fantasy series that features Cathy, a woman who grew up in the Nether (a kind of pocket dimension that divides our world, Mundanus, from the world of the Fae) under the patronage of the Fae. She wasn't keen on spending the rest of her days under the yoke of this ultra-conservative society (people don't age in the Nether, so the people in charge were born hundreds of years ago), so she arranges to go to university and then runs away.

 

The series starts off with her being dragged backed to her family kicking and screaming to be married off, and as the series progresses she tries to find avenues to be a force for change from within. This book starts off with her having run away from her husband and her learning more about sorcery (note: the sorcerers in this universe are pretty awesome but are also major dickwads) and then she finds herself in a position with the possibility of burning the whole thing down. Should she help merge the Fae reality with the mundane world and would this essentially mean condemning the people who have lived in the Nether with the expectation of living more or less indefinitely to death by eventual old age?

 

Well, read to find out. I definitely recommend this series. I shall have to pick up the last three books in audio so that I can enjoy them again on a reread.

 

I just keep picturing the final world having the possibilities of that episode of Doctor Who where time got broken.

(spoiler show)

 

Previous updates:

66 %

 

Review of fourth book

Review of third book

Review of second book audiobook

Review of first book audiobook

Review of second book

Review of first book

 

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text 2018-03-22 23:58
Reading progress update: I've read 66%.
All Good Things: The Split Worlds - Book Five - Emma Newman

I'm having quite a lot of fun with this one, so I thought I'd share some of the quotes I'd highlighted.

 

49%:

“I’ll look through the desk, you look for a safe.”
“The deeds won’t be in there,” Cathy said, heading over to the nearest painting of bleak moorland.
“I agree. I just want to see what he keeps in here.”

49%:

Catching a glimpse of the mundane clothing previously hidden by the large cloak, her uncle raised an eyebrow. “Catherine, dear, I assumed that all was not well in your marriage, considering your eagerness to expose your father-in-law’s crime, but…trousers? Are you quite well?”

53%:

“I would find that very difficult, my Lord. I feel most passionately about this.”
He seemed interested again. “How passionately?”
This was it, the thing she feared the most. The moment of self-sacrifice she had always known would come. “I would be willing to…to go to extraordinary lengths to earn your support for our freedom, my Lord.”
“Would you be willing to have your soul forged into a little diamond pin I could wear on my cravat?”

Oh, Lord Poppy.

 

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text 2018-03-09 09:21
Alf Widdershaine
Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde

His arrogant and confident manner had given way to a lonely desperation, and as his eyes met mine I saw tears spring up and his lips tremble. It was, to a committed Schitt-hater like myself, a joyous spectacle.

 

Was für ein herrlich abstruses Buch! Ich dachte beim Lesen unweigerlich an Dirk Gently (in Form der Serie, nicht des Buchs) und dass man hieraus eine ebenso bunte und verrückte Serie machen könnte. Tolle Vorstellung :D

 

Ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie viele Witze ich verpasst habe, aber es sind genug übrig geblieben um giggelnd in den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln zu sitzen und sich zu freuen. Dabei hatte ich aber nie den Eindruck, dass es erzwungene Komik war, die irgendwann ausgelutscht war. Der Plot an sich ist dabei noch nicht mal so spannend, oder vielleicht spielt er auch einfach nur eine untergeordnete Rolle (in meinem Kopf?), weil der Alltag an sich schon genug Spannung bereithält. Mir gefällt die Vorstellung dieser Parallelwelt, in der man in Büchern - im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes - ein und ausgehen kann.

 

Größte Begeisterung hier, die war nach dem ersten Buch der Serie nicht da :)

 

 

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review 2018-02-13 00:00
The Company Files: The Good Man (Book 1)
The Company Files: The Good Man (Book 1)... The Company Files: The Good Man (Book 1) - Gabriel Valjan World war 2 has ended and everyone's life is changing. Now a new conflict is starting to take shape as both the Russians and the United States are looking to recruit former Nazis in search of information. They aren't the only people looking for Nazis though, someone is hunting and killing them.

Jack Marshall and Walker served together during the war and now work in Vienna. Along with fellow spy Leslie they are taking on the task to find the killer and bring former Nazis to their side. The problem is that in this new post war world, no one is who they appear and everyone has something to hide.

The Company Files: The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan is an old fashion Noir spy thriller set in the early days of the cold war. The story is what you would expect from a spy novel, It's complex with twists, turns and surprises along the way. What really makes it a great read is how it gives you a history lesson by way of realistic characters that feel like they were really there. For example in the beginning you see the Russians as villains but as you get to know the characters you see that they are shades of grey and they don't trust Americans. any more than Americans trust them. We meet Russians that are doing what they need to do to keep the communist government off there backs. We have one fleeing from the government and another who just wants to live a normal life and not be involved in the cold war or politics. There are no real villains in this book, instead everyone is just doing what they need to do to survive. Right and wrong is in the eye of the reader.

As much as I loved the story in this book I loved the use of the time period and the character's backstories even more. You feel for Walker as he keeps having flashbacks of combat in World War 2, but you also hear of his life before the war and how he can't get over being in battle or what happened to him before that. We also hear about a character named Sheldon and how he survived being an officer in the concentration camps. We also learn that the female spy Lesile knows several different languages and infiltrated Hitler's inner circle.  Despite her accomplishments in the intelligence field she still doesn't get the respect she deserves because she's a woman. In one scene her fellow male spies comment that she may be a woman but she thinks like a man. This is an attitude that probably all women in this period had to face.

The Company Files: The Good Man is well researched and makes the time period come alive. At this point in history we had just gotten rid of one enemy and were getting a new one The atomic age had begun and the world was becoming a different place. This is a period of history that I didn't know a lot about but Gabriel Valjan made me feel like I was there. He gives you a good look at what's going on in his character's heads as you hear about their pasts, their regrets and their hopes for the future.. There were times when I was reading this that I couldn't help but hear the popular jazz of the day playing in my head. If you ever wanted to know what it's like to be transported to another place in another time then get this book.
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