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Monday, February 8th, 2021

The Woman who Died a Lot

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340963135

© Amazon.fr

Still recovering from her wounds, Thursday is offered the job of director of the city library (with a huge budget and command over the Special Library Service commandos). For quite a while already, Goliath Corporation has tried to replace her with a synthetic version of herself in order to induce her family into revealing information about the Bookworld that the corporation wants desperately to invade. This time, the synthetic is near perfect and also operates a transfer of her mind, so she does not immediately notice that she is not in her own body anymore, but she learns that the bodies degrade quickly after 24 hours. Thursday soon discovers that the man responsible for the transfers is a former high-ranking Goliath employee who wants to help her prevent Jack Schitt from finding a way into the Bookworld's Dark Reading Matter (where the stories go when all copies of a book are destroyed). In the meanwhile Thursday's son Friday (who should have been the head of the Chronoguard had its creation not been cancelled by the failure to invent time travel) receives a letter telling what he could have been and also telling that he will murder someone by the end of the week and spend the rest of his life in jail, without a hint of why he would do that. In the meanwhile, the Creator who had previously unequivocally revealed its existence, has been smiting several places in England with a pillar of fire. As Swindon is due to get smitten by the end of the week, Thursday's genius daughter Tuesday is trying to develop a shield, but she's facing difficulties. Goliath comes to the rescue with a plan (invoiced 100 million pounds) where they gather twenty of the worst criminals to attract the smiting away from the city. Thursday attempts to bring a righteous man near the criminals to prevent their murder by Goliath through the Creator's actions, but it is her refusal to kill the man when learning that he is not righteous enough to have any effect that eventually redirects the pillar of fire towards Jack Schitt. And in the meanwhile, the probability that an asteroid will hit the Earth forty years later increases as people's belief in the inevitability of the event increases (due to some wacky probability theory). In the end, Friday discovers who he is supposed to kill: it's a man who is meant to kill people whose existence would reduce the probability of the asteroid hitting the Earth. Friday only wounds the man, does only a few years of jail, and foils Goliath's plan to colonize the Dark Reading Matter in order to sell rich people a place where to be safe from the asteroid catastrophe. Also, Thursday gets rid of her mindworm and kills Aornis who has secretly been living in her house for the past two years.

[ Posted on February 8th, 2021 at 20:36 | no comment | ]

Friday, December 25th, 2020

One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340963098

© Amazon.fr

In the BookWorld, the written Thursday struggles to keep the few readers of her books interested, after the remake of the BookWorld where the Great Library setting is replaced with an hollow planet setting where different genres are regions of islands, and books are organised geographically along streets in cities. Thursday also works for Jurisfiction's Accident Investigation Department and is asked to investigate the crash of a self-published book that was flown on its way to be destroyed after the last copy in the real word has been destroyed. She meets a strange character who tells her that ‘one of our Thursdays is missing’ and slips the real Thursday's Jurisfiction badge in her pocket before being arrested by the Men in Plaid, an independent militia obeying directly the Council of Genres. During her investigation, Thursday saves a mechanical man who becomes her butler and helps her discover that the accident may not have been an accident. Moreover, the real Thursday has not been seen for a long while and the written one starts to suspect that the disappearance is linked to the accident. Thursday decides to report that the accident was just an accident, but continues investigating on her own time. With Bradshaw's complicity, Thursday briefly visits the real world and meets Landen who confirms that the real Thursday has been missing for over a week. Upon her return she tries to find the taxi whose rear axle was found on the crash site and the taxi's driver, during which she survives multiple murder attempts by the Men in Plaid and the fact that the real Thursday was working with a geologist who got killed just before he could give any useful explanation. Thursday is then ordered by senator Jobsbworth to pose as the real one during the peace talks that are planned to take place a few days later in the North, in an attempt to prevent a war between Racy Novels and its two neighbours Women's Fiction and Dogma. A delegation travels up the Metaphoric River and discovers that there has been a terrible battle at the resupply station between a battalion of clowns from Comedy and an unknown opponent. During the remainder of the journey, Thursday discovers that Red Herring, her boss from JAID has been replaced by a double during the journey and has planted a bomb on the boat. She eventually figures out that Red Herring has learned that there is a large deposit of raw metaphor (a very valuable substance in the BookWorld) under Racy Novel and had manipulated the Daphne Farquitt genre to start a war, invade Racy Novel and take control of that deposit. Thursday then realises that the real Thursday may have survived the crash and be hiding somewhere in Psychological Thriller; she indeed finds her severely wounded but alive. In the end Thursday becomes a Jurisfiction agent and gets permission to change her books' story to mention the BookWorld and make them more interesting to the readers.

[ Posted on December 25th, 2020 at 16:53 | no comment | ]

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

First Among Sequels

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340752029

© Amazon.fr

Fourteen years after Something Rotten Thursday is working for ACME carpets, which is a front for the now-defunct SpecOps 13 and 27; most of the members of the service are still working, funded by Thursday's operations on the cheese black market. But her work at the unofficial SpecOps is itself a front for her work at Jurisfiction. Over the past years, five books telling Thursday' adventures have been written. The first four have lots of sex and gratuitous violence, perpetrated by Thursday1-4. The fifth one is Thursday's attempt to take control and represent herself as she imagines herself, and Thursday5 is a soppy new-age fan. Thursday's current assignment is to train and evaluate Thursday1-4 and Thursday5 to become new Jurisfiction agents. The former is however too volatile to be trustworthy, and the second is too soft to make a good agent. In the meanwhile, Thursday also tries to convince her teenage son Friday to join the ChronoGuard, as he is supposed to become in the future the head of the organisation, but the boy is not interested at all. This is the source of tention, as the potential future Friday, head of ChronoGuard, explains that if the principle of the time machine is not invented within the next few days, time travel will not exist and all the work made by the ChronoGuard until now will be cancelled and some very influential members of ChronoGuard who have invested a lot of money with their knowledge of the future are really pushing to prevent this from happening. Thursday discovers, thanks to the phantom of her uncle Mycroft the inventor, that he had hidden the principle of time travel in a poem years ago, when he was hiding in the BookWorld, so it should be safe. In the meanwhile, the perspective of having no time left is causing people to lose interest in books and prefer reality television and the Council of Genres is planing to turn Jane Eyre into an interactive book that would change its story for good. Friday reveals that he is not the lazy teenager he has been pretending to be, but that it was just an act to prevent the discovery of time travel. Soon after Thursday is attacked in the real world by Thursday1-4 and loses the TravelGuide and therefore her ability to go to the BookWorld and veto the CoG's plans. Aware that the Goliath Corporation as an almost ready means of travel to the BookWorld, she makes a deal with them, but she is betrayed and stranded, while the Goliath agent attempts to travel to the poem and recover Mycroft's invention. The agent is however killed and Thursday destroys the invention. She is attacked by DanverClones and saved in the nick of time by Thursday5 disguised as Thursday1-4. Thursday rushes to the CoG to confront Thursday1-4 who has been pretending to be the real Thursday and approved all the stupid decisions from the CoG, but she eventually defeats Thursday1-4 while she was locked in Thursday5's book by destroying the said book.

[ Posted on December 13th, 2020 at 22:40 | 1 comment | ]

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Something Rotten

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340825952

© Amazon.fr

After two years spent in the BookWorld as Jurisfiction's Bellman, Thursday returns to the real world, accompanied with her son Friday and Shakespeare's Hamlet. She discovers that the Whig party leader Yorrick Kayne (who has already caused some trouble earlier) is campaigning to become dictator of England (a fact confirmed by Thursday's time-travelling father who warns her that if the Swindon croquet team does not win the finals, Kayne will eventually cause a nuclear holocaust; the 13th century St Zvlkx, who has made remarkably accurate predictions in the past however predicts that Swindon will win the game). Kayne is very successfully misdirecting the population's attention to hating the Danes, who are accused to be the source of all of England's problems, ordering all Danish books to be destroyed. Equally surprising is the fact that the Goliath Corporation is transforming from a company into a faith organisation where customers would become followers; as part of the process they offer to repair all the damages they have caused in the past, allowing Thursday to ask Goliath to un-eradicate her husband Landen (which eventually happens, after a few cycles of him appearing and disappearing). In parallel, Thursday gets her job back at SpecOps (despite having been AWOL for two years) and promises she would find a way to hide several truckloads of books in Wales. The solution arises when she discovers that in order for Swindon to win the croquet game after Goliath, supporting Kayne, has scared off its best players, she needs the help of the genetically re-engineered neanderthals (who play croquet very well but are not at all interested in competition). The neanderthals, who cannot make children, accept on the condition that she helps them find their species' blueprints from the lab at the Welsh border where they had been created decades ago. The trip to Wales allows her to hide the books and secure the cooperation of the neanderthals for the croquet game. Thursday then confronts Kayne, and while she has failed to recover the self-published novel by a Danish author from which Kayne has escaped, the latter is transformed into a human during a duel with the Cheshire Cat and loses his inhuman ability of persuasion (which was amplified by the ovinator, an invention by Thursday's uncle Mycroft). The ovinator is destroyed by Hamlet just before the croquet game, which Swindon wins by a hair. Just at the end, Thursday is mortally wounded by the Minotaur who had escaped from the BookWorld two years ago under the action of an accomplice of Kayne's, but as she enters the Underworld, the assassin who had been paid by Kayne to kill her and had been mortally wounded in an accident decides to take her place. When she wakes up from her coma a few weeks later, she learns that St Zvlkx was a time traveller who had been placing bets on future events with England's oldest betting shop before reappearing in the present and dying in a road accident. The betting shop now must pay several billions of pounds in gains; being indirectly owned by Goliath, it forces the corporation to sell half of its shares to Zvlkx's sponsor.

[ Posted on October 12th, 2020 at 16:36 | 1 comment | ]

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

The Well of Lost Plots

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340825938

© Amazon.fr

Thursday hides from Aornis in a never published story stored in the Well of Lost Plots, the counterpart of the fiction world's library (where published books are stored) which preserves unpublished books. She discovers that books are actually created in the Well and the stories are simply sent to the mind of real-world authors whose role is only to write them down. The Well is filled with generic characters, plot devices, various imaginary creatures, as well as misspelling vyrus, grammasites and other creatures who affect the text, sometimes to the point where it becomes useless. Unpublished books are preserved for a limited time, before they are taken apart and their components reused in other books. As Aornis exists in Thursday's mind in the form of a mindworm, trying to destroy her personality one memory at a time, Thursday quickly forgets about her husband Landen; thankfully her Gran helps her fight the mindworm and recover her memories. At the same time, Thursday completes her training as a Jurisfiction agent with Mrs. Havisham and becomes a fully qualified junior agent. She investigates the suspicious deaths of two of her Jurisfiction colleagues and some time later of Mrs. Havisham herself. All had been investigating BOOK version 9 (a.k.a. UltraWord), the new operating system allowing the Well to produce stories, send them to authors, let the readers actually read the book. UltraWord is created and promoted by Text Grand Central, and Thursday eventually discovers that UltraWord will not only severely limit stories to a very bland form of description and narration, rendering most of the jobs in the Well redundant, but it also allows the technicians of Text Grand Central to rewrite at will any text without anyone noticing. She makes those revelations during the Annual BookWorld awards, where a majority of the BookWorld population is asked to vote for or against the use of UltraWord. Only the apparition of the Great Panjandrum, summoned by Thursday using the emergency button of her Jurisfiction TravelGuide allows for the vote to take place without interference from Text Grand Central. The Great Panjandrum also names Thursday to be the next Bellman, superintendent of Jurisfiction.

[ Posted on October 3rd, 2020 at 15:16 | 1 comment | ]

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

Lost in a Good Book

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340733578

© Amazon.fr

Following her success in The Eyre Affair, Thursday is forced to do PR for SpecOps, but she is prohibited to tell the truth about the role of Jack Schitt, the Goliath Corporation agent. She investigates the sudden discovery of a lost Shakespeare play that falls into the hands of the leader of the Whig party who uses it to increase his chances of becoming Prime Minister. Thursday's father also tells her that the World is going to end very soon, being entirely covered with an unknown pink substance. Over the course of several weeks, Thursday finds herself repeatedly in situations where an impossibly large number of coincidences almost succeed in getting her killed, while her hierarchy is trying to find an excuse to arrest her. Then one day she discovers that her husband Landen has been erased out of her history by corrupt chonoguards working for Schitt's half-brother Schitt-Hawse. The latter blackmails Thursday into freeing Schitt from the poem where he's kept prisoner. In the absence of her uncle who had invented the Prose Portal, the only way she knows to enter a story is Mrs Nakajima whom she had met in Jane Eyre. Thursday looks for her in Okinawa where she finds Nakajima's travel book, allowing her to travel on her own into a story. There she is chosen to become a member on Jurisfiction, an organization that ensures the stability of worlds of literary fiction. Thursday becomes an apprentice to Great Expectations' Mrs Havisham, one of the best Jurisfiction agents. After a failed attempt by her father to prevent Landen's death as a child, Thursday fetches Schitt and is kidnapped by Schitt-Hawse, but is rescued by Mrs Havisham. They then prove that the Shakespeare play was taken from Jurisfiction's library of lost books, and that the Whig politician is actually a fictional character, who is arrested too. She then discovers that the coincidences that almost got her killed have been provoked by Hades' sister Aornis who wants revenge for her brother's death, by putting Thursday in a situation where she would prevent the end of the world (by being covered in out-of-control, self-replicating Dream Topping, invented by her cousin) if she commits suicide. Thursday is saved in the nick of time by an old version of her father who takes the self-replicating stuff to the down of time, where it becomes the beginning of life on Earth. Thursday then goes into hiding into a book from the library of lost books.

[ Posted on March 15th, 2020 at 13:01 | 2 comments | ]

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

The Eyre Affair

Categories: [ Books/Thursday Next ]

ISBN: 9780340733561

© Amazon.fr

In a parallel universe where England and Russia still fight in the Crimean war, Thursday Next is a LiteraTec investigator whose job is to fight crimes against literary art. Soon after the original manuscript for Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit is stolen in London without the thieve having left any clue (not even on video-surveillance), Thursday is transferred to SpecOps 5 to advise an agent about Acheron Hades, a master criminal with the power to control minds and look like anyone. Having discovered that Hades has stolen the manuscript, she attempts to arrest Hades, but she is wounded and her colleagues are killed in the operation. After an investigation by SpecOps 1 who claims that Hades has died in a car accident, she sees her future self telling her to take the LiteraTec job in Swindon, her hometown. Upon her arrival she meets her family an especially her uncle Mycroft who shows her his new invention the Prose Portal, a device based on book worms that allow people to enter into literary works. Besides her new colleagues, she also meets Jack Schitt, a representative of the all-powerful Goliath corporation who recently promised a new plasma rifle that would end the Crimean war. Some time later, the manuscript for Jane Eyre is stolen by Hades, and Mortimer and his invention disappear. Hades demonstrates his power by removing a minor character from Martin Chuzzlewit, which causes all copies of the story get instantly modified. Thursday and her colleague travel to Haworth to investigate, but are delayed by a time distortion on the motorway which allows Thursday to talk to her past self. Thursday and her colleagues manage to track some of Goliath's associates, and they get a clue that the criminal is hiding in the People's Republic of Wales. Soon after, Hades kidnaps Jane Eyre and threatens to kill her unless he's paid a ransom. Schitt attempts to swindle the criminal who escapes again, and they track him to his hideout in Wales. There Thursday understands that Schitt wants to buy the Prose Portal from Hades to be able to get plasma rifles from a promotion book about plasma rifles, as in reality Goliath has been unable to develop the weapon. Convinced by Thursday to return Jane to her story, Hades goes into hiding in the story, quickly followed by Thursday, who spends there several months with Rochester, searching for Hades. They eventually find him and kill him, changing in the process the end of the story (that most people don't like) to turn it into the happily-ever-after version that exists in our universe.

[ Posted on February 4th, 2020 at 20:29 | no comment | ]