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Book Review: 'One of our Thursdays is Missing'

By Matthew Seamons

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 16 2011 2:16 p.m. MDT

"ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING," by Jasper Fforde, Viking, 362 pages, $29.95 (f)

What stands out most about Jasper Fforde’s "One of our Thursdays is Missing" is the world that it’s set in. Most of the characters live in BookWorld, a place where the laws of physics are replaced by the laws of literature. Nobody is really born as people understand it, they’re written. And if people in the RealWorld are reading their book, the cast members had better be there to act out the story or there are serious consequences.

Thursday Next is a literary detective that can travel freely between the BookWorld and the RealWorld. She’s very famous and very competent, so of course there are books about her. When the real Thursday goes missing, the only one who has what it takes to find her is the one who plays her in books. The problem is that there are people in the BookWorld who don’t want Thursday to be found. So the written Thursday, along with her clockwork butler, are thrown in to a world of intrigue. They struggle to uncover the truth while trying to stay ahead of the Men in Plaid, a secret agency loosely based on the CIA.

"One of our Thursdays is Missing" can be a challenge for readers who aren’t familiar with Fforde’s work. As cool as BookWorld can be, the book is part of a series. Even though the author explains a lot, new readers may find themselves scratching their heads from time to time.

On the upside, Fiction Island, where most of the action takes place, is a nearly endless source of humor that Fforde takes full advantage of. And even though the workings of BookWorld can be confusing, the characters and plot are great and they take center stage.

"One of our Thursdays is Missing" is a good read. It stands on its own, but readers may consider tackling earlier books in the series like "The Eyre Affair." If you do decide to start at the newest book, "One of our Thursdays is Missing" is definitely worth your time and your dime.

Residing in Ogden, Utah, Matthew Seamons is passionate about the stories that make our lives.

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