A recommenndation

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A recommenndation

Postby BaldJean » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:55 am

If you look for authors who resemble TP without copying him try Jasper Fforde (yes, with two "F" at the beginning of his family name). He has four series of books; here is how they are being described by him on his website:

1: The Thursday Next series. Thursday Next is a detective who works for Jurisfiction, the policing agency that works inside fiction. The books are set in an odd alternative world, and blend SF, Fantasy, Literature, Horror, and a bit of romance.

2: The Nursery Crime series. DCI Jack Spratt and Sergeant Mary Mary work for the Nursery Crime Division in Reading, investigating crimes within the world of nursery rhymes. In the first, The Big Over Easy, they investigate the apparent suicide of Humpty Dumpty, and in the The Fourth Bear, they look at the events surrounding the mysterious death of Goldilocks. Both books are fundamentally whodunnits, but also manage to blend absurdity with satire, and have fun at the very tired genre from which they hail. (Two books so far, a third due probably 2014)

3: The Shades of Grey series. Set in the long distant future in a society dominated in every way by visual colour, Shades of Grey is the adventures of one Eddie Russett, an unambitious red who moves to East Carmine, a small village right on the edge of Red Zone West. The colour you can see dictates your social position, and the collection of scrap pigment to be refined into glorious 'univisual' shades seems to be the primary goal of the society. But perhaps there is more to the fixed and intransigent world in which Eddie finds himself, and when he meets Jane Grey, his worst suspicions are realised. Part comedy, part social satire (imagine Eton run by the Khmer Rouge) Shades is probably my most ambitious work to date. (One book so far; Book two due in 2013.)

4: The Last Dragonslayer series. Jennifer Strange is a 15-year-old foundling who has been sold into indentured servitude to Kazam, a House of Enchantment run by The Great Zambini. Trouble is, Zambini has vanished, leaving Jennifer to deal with the thirty-eight barely sane sorcerers at the creaky Zambini Towers. The death of a dragon is foretold, and a four hundred year old spell starts to unfold in front of her. Does the last dragon have to die? And whu has she been chosen to be the Last Dragonslayer? The series is aimed at young adults and is intended to be an antidote to the more serious books about wizards and trolls. In LDS, magic is very hit and miss, and the wizards who can do it are a motley bunch that need all Jennifer's skills to keep them focussed. in Series: The Last Dragonslayer, The Song of the Quarkbeast, The Return of Shandar (Early 2013).

Friede and I only read two of his books so far, the first two of the "Thursday Next" series ("The Eyre Affair" and "Lost in a Good Book") and laughed our asses off. To get all of the jokes you have to be very familiar with English literature though (for "The Eyre Affair" you should definitely have read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë, but being familiar with Dickens and Shakespeare definitely helps too. And knowing the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe well doesn't hurt either. For "Lost in a Good Book" you should again know Shakespeare and Dickens well and also the "Alice" books by Lewis Carroll. There are some very playful hidden jokes which allude to the "Alice" books in that book; to spot them it is not enough to have read the books once, you have to know them by heart almost. Characters from other books also appear in that one, but I won't spoil the fun of spotting them so I will stay quiet about them).
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Square12 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:08 am

I think I've read one of the Thursday next books if it is the book I'm thinking of I remember enjoying it and yeah spotting literary references were fun but I don't think essential to the understanding of the plot.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby BaldJean » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:41 am

Well, it depends. If you have for example not read "Jane Eyre" you will not know which version of the book is the right one in the first "Thursday Next" book. And the whole plot of the books is all about maintaining the desired content of certain books, so if you don't know them the plot is partially lost on you.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Sister Jennifer » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:57 am

I think I've read all Jasper Fforde's books. I really like him.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:13 am

Hey Jean! Good to see you again! :D And I love Jasper's books. I wasn't sure about Shades of Grey at the start, but loved it.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby chris.ph » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:40 am

ive got them all as well :D

try ben aaronovitch baldjean they are good reads as well
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:58 am

BaldJean wrote:Well, it depends. If you have for example not read "Jane Eyre" you will not know which version of the book is the right one in the first "Thursday Next" book. And the whole plot of the books is all about maintaining the desired content of certain books, so if you don't know them the plot is partially lost on you.

I hadn't read Jane Eyre when I read the Jasper Fforde book and had to ask a friend about the ending. But I have since read the book and it makes more sense now.

Incidentally, there was a TV series "My Life in Books" where the now grown up daughter of a religious fanatic was saying that her mother read Jane Eyre to her, but made up the ending so that Jane went and got married to the boring missionary guy. :lol:
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Bickaxe » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:40 am

They are all very good reads. My preference is for the Nursery Crimes and Shades of Grey so I hope he gets to publish both trilogy.

Fforde Ffiesta is at the end of August this year in Swindon. Jasper always attends and will be conducting the now traditional bus tour of Swindon. Lots of other stuff going on too, its very relaxed and intimate (about 100 people) and you get all sorts of sneak peeks at future stuff.
Tickets still available (I hope, not got round to getting mine yet)
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby michelanCello » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:38 am

I loved the Thursday Next books, although I thought Something Rotten ended so beautifully and perfect that I was so disappointed he wrote more sequels that I didn't read them :P
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby janet » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:48 am

I've read a few of Jasper's stories. Love the Thursday Next Chronicles. Didn't get into Shades of Grey (not to be confused with other books of a similar title :shifty: ) the first time round but it's on the pile to be tackled again soon.
The Fourth Bear is another good one. I ordered that one from Jasper's website and it came signed and dedicated to me. Nice :D
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:19 am

I have moved this thread here to the Non-Discworld Books Section.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby michelanCello » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:06 am

janet wrote:Didn't get into Shades of Grey (not to be confused with other books of a similar title :shifty: ) the first time round but it's on the pile to be tackled again soon.

Which reminds me: does anyone know if any other Shades of Grey books are coming soon? I loved the first one...
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:59 pm

There's a Shades of Grey prequel coming out in 2015. :)
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby BaldJean » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:57 pm

FForde announced that the second book of the "Shades of Grey" series is due to come out this year.
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Re: A recommenndation

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:06 pm

BaldJean wrote:FForde announced that the second book of the "Shades of Grey" series is due to come out this year.

Not according to his website Jean. :?

Edit to add

Although according to this bit of his website there's a book out this year:

Jasper Fforde.com wrote:The Shades of Grey series. Set in the long distant future in a society dominated in every way by visual colour, Shades of Grey is the adventures of one Eddie Russett, an unambitious red who moves to East Carmine, a small village right on the edge of Red Zone West. The colour you can see dictates your social position, and the collection of scrap pigment to be refined into glorious 'univisual' shades seems to be the primary goal of the society. But perhaps there is more to the fixed and intransigent world in which Eddie finds himself, and when he meets Jane Grey, his worst suspicions are realised. Part comedy, part social satire (imagine Eton run by the Khmer Rouge) Shades is probably my most ambitious work to date. (One book so far; Book two due in 2013.)

:think:
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