The Well of Lost Plots

The Well of Lost Plots
by Jasper Fforde
Fiction. 373 pp.
Penguin. 2004.

the back copy:

Protecting the world's greatest literature—not to mention keeping up with Miss Havisham—is tiring work for an expectant mother. And Thursday can definitely use a respite. So what better hideaway than inside the unread and unreadable Caversham Heights, a cliché-ridden pulp mystery in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well itself is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books—like Caversham Heights—are scrapped for salvage. To top it off, a murderer is stalking Jurisfiction personnel and nobody is safe—least of all Thursday.

I think this may be my favorite Thursday Next book at this point. It's in this one where the world Fforde has created gets truly ingenious. I really love his characters, and Next really becomes likable at this point as she's not out creating her own problems (necessarily, anyway).

Of course, more than anything, I like Fforde's creation of Generics. These are the characters before they actually become a character. Some will only become stock characters, but some become leading ladies and dastardly villains. It provided me so much enjoyment as I later evaluated a manuscript for a local publishing company wherein the characters were so poorly developed, I couldn't help but be reminded of Lost Plots.

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