Sunday, February 07, 2010

Book 42: The Well of Lost Plots

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

I feel like I have been having problems staying focused in the last week or two, or really getting into any books. I'm not sure if I just keep picking up the wrong books, meaning books that aren't really that good, or if I just keep starting ones that I'm not really in the right mood for at the moment. This one in particular I also was taking to the gym with me because I thought it would make it easier to stay on the elliptical/stairmaster longer but I think it might have made me focus less on the novel.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the first of this series, I feel like both the sequels have not been anywhere near as good. This one actually seemed rather boring for the most part. There were definitely some very amusing and clever bits, but it wasn't one of those books that I couldn't put down, or even really looked forward to picking it back up.

The basic story is that Thursday has way too many troubles going on in the outside world so she decides to spend the duration of her pregnancy hiding in Bookworld, and chooses an unpublished novel to reside in. The novel is so bad that it's probably going to be foreclosed soon and the plot points sold off. One of the side stories is Thursday's attempt to help the novel become more interesting, and therefore, publishable.

Meanwhile, she is also learning the ropes as an apprentice at Jurisfiction under Miss Havisham, and going on various missions. The rest of Bookworld is excited about the upcoming Book Awards where Heathcliff is up to win "Most Troubled Romantic Lead" for the 78th year running, and a new version of books is set to be released soon that is supposed to improve the reading experience.

The novel was more than halfway over when mysterious deaths started occurring in the narrative, accidents that seem a little too well-timed. The other major plot point is Thursday's memory loss since an enemy from her last novel left an imprint on her mind, and is now trying to make her forget her husband that has already been eradicated by the Chronoguard in the last novel.

The Aornis Hades plotline was honestly kind of boring and I could have done without. Once again, I didn't feel like there was that much tension in the novel because the big mystery per se doesn't really start happening until much later in the novel, and before that, Fforde focuses on familiarizing Thursday and the readers with Thursday's new surroundings while dropping hints for the things that will play a role later. It is an odd case of too much going on and not enough, if that makes any sense at all.

However, some parts were rather entertaining, especially the Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights stuff (I haven't read Wuthering Heights since high school and didn't enjoy it then either, but I still enjoyed the descriptions) - everybody in the novel hates him and has to attend rage counseling sessions while Heathcliff thinks he has outgrown the novel and wants to move on to bigger and better things. Honestly, I think I would enjoy the novel more if the main character was Miss Havisham and the novel followed her adventures at this point.

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