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The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
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The Woman Who Died a Lot (edition 2012)

by Jasper Fforde (Author), Jaya Miceli (Cover designer), Thomas Allen (Cover artist), Phillip Colling-Blackman (Illustrator), Dylan Meconis (Illustrator)1 more, Bill Mudron (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,067757,843 (4.03)1 / 104
Member:norabelle414
Title:The Woman Who Died a Lot
Authors:Jasper Fforde (Author)
Other authors:Jaya Miceli (Cover designer), Thomas Allen (Cover artist), Phillip Colling-Blackman (Illustrator), Dylan Meconis (Illustrator), Bill Mudron (Illustrator)
Info:Viking
Collections:Your library, Read
Rating:*****
Tags:2010s, alternate history, books about books, bought, fantasy, fiction, hardcover, humor, libraries, science fiction, Thursday Next, time travel, read, read 2012, memory

Work details

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

  1. 00
    Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Confession by Kurt Busiek (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: "The Nearness of You" in Confession & "Jenny" in The Woman Who Died A Lot.
  2. 01
    The Bear Went Over the Mountain: A Novel (Owl Book) by William Kotzwinkle (4leschats)
    4leschats: This book is the closest that I have read to the metafictional aspects of Fforde's work. Kotzwinkle uses a bear to underscore the absurdities within the publishing industry.
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English (74)  Swedish (1)  English (75)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Sometimes I enjoy the idea of a Thursday Next book more than the reading thereof. I suspect it's because there is SO MUCH to set up each time. Once that's done, things move along zippily, in this case with both humor and pathos. Yeah, I didn't expect it to be bittersweet, either. I really like Thursday as she ages, dealing with her family, and work, just like a real person.

Library copy. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
It always takes me a while to get into a Thursday Next novel because the setting is so odd. It’s a world, well, a couple of different, overlapping worlds actually, in which the line between fiction and reality is much blurrier than it is in our mundane world. If you wish to know more about these, read the earlier Thursday Next books. Now, on with our review.

This book is set in Fforde’s alternate England. It is not as strange as the book world setting, but even here fiction affects reality in a very, well, real way. Opinion and belief can change what happens and even what exists. For example, in this book, belief that an asteroid will impact Earth and cause human extinction changes the probability that it will occur. The more people that think it will happen, the more likely it is that it really will. When children create imaginary friends, those friends actually have a separate existence. When people believe in a vengeful god, it reveals itself and begins smiting.

This happens in our world too, of course. Fiction can change reality here, but it does so far more subtly. In Fforde’s alternate version, the effects are direct, obvious, and calculable.

The unique settings of Fforde’s books especially appeal to me. It makes them different. It takes a little more mental gymnastics to bend my mind around a Thursday Next story than it does with most others, and a good mental stretch always feels great.

As with the previous Thursday Next novels, this one includes literary references, some of which I’m sure I missed. These are like special gifts to the bibliophiles who read his books, and from what I’ve seen in other reviews, they are duly appreciative.

As for the plot, well, it sort of has one. It’s about Thursday and what she does Next (sorry - lame pun). Actually, this book is more of a series of threads. There is the mystery of the alternate Thursdays (Not every other Thursday — fake Thursdays that sometimes replace her.) There is the underlying question of the Dark Reading Matter and what it is. There is the lingering mind worm that makes Thursday believe she has daughter she doesn’t actually have. There is the suspense surrounding a scheduled God smiting and the question of whether or not Thursday’s daughter can get the smite shield working in time. There is the thread about the evil Goliath Corporation and its intentions. And then there is the human story of Thursday getting old and feeble and her kids growing up and leading their own lives. I suspect the story takes this form because it is intended primarily as a way of setting up the next Next novel. It hangs together well enough on it’s own, though.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable read. If you are a Thursday Next fan, this one is a must. It ties up some loose ends, sets up some new characters, and foreshadows yet another odd setting — The Dark Reading Matter.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
It's on, all right. When He announced the smiting to a State Registered Meek in a lonely petrol station in the small hours, He had the Meek write it down so he wouldn't forget, and then went and told another Meek, just in case.

I read this on a cruise holiday this summer, as it was one of the few books in the cruise ship library that appealed to me. I have read the first 5 Thursday Next books already, and not having read book 6 didn't spoil my enjoyment of The Woman Who Died a Lot. God has taken to smiting towns and cities around the world, and Swindon is next on the list because God doesn't approve of the religion set up by Thursday's brother Joffrey. Along with a new job for Thursdy, clones, mindworms and the non-existence of the Chronoguards everyone is kept busy. Loved it.

'This is where we relax,' said Duffy as we toured the luxurious staff recreation room, complete with ping-pong table, a Zen meditation room for chilling out and a Michelin-starred chef to make lunch.
'Nice recreation room,' I said with a nod. 'The only thing missing is a string quartet.'
'They're here on Monday mornings, to ease in the work week. Let me show you to your office.'
( )
  isabelx | Oct 7, 2016 |
Enjoyable, but while the story itself was stand alone, I felt I would have got more from it if I had read books 2-6 before this. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Enjoyable, but while the story itself was stand alone, I felt I would have got more from it if I had read books 2-6 before this. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allen, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colling-Blackman, PhillipIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meconis, DylanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miceli, JayaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudron, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, MaggyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, StuartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To all the librarians
that have ever been,
ever will be,
are now,
this book is respectfully dedicated.
First words
Everything comes to an end.
Quotations
"A drawn elephant has a desire to exist?"

"Certainly. All of existence came into being simply because it wanted to be. The big bang wasn't so much a big bang as a hasty dash toward an opportunity to trade nothingness for somethingness. The main contributory factor to the entire universe was a momentary effect in need of a cause. And in that split second, everything that wanted to have existence -- which is everything -- came racing through in one huge hot mass. They've been trying to sort themselves out ever since."
Budget meetings have never been interesting, ever, despite numerous attempts over the years to try to josh them up a bit. Notable uplifting techniques involved the use of fire-eaters and performing elephants, but they didn't work. The dry proceedings are well known to bring on a form of lethargy that can stay with attendees for the rest of the week, and Budget Therapy was used with great success in the treatment of patients suffering an excess of good-natured perkiness.
"Working in fiction does give one a somewhat tenuous hold on reality, but it's not the hold that's tenuous -- it's the reality: Which reality? Whose reality? Does it matter anyway? And will there be cake?"
"What a beautifully described morning!"
"Do I have to talk to insane people?"

"You're a librarian now. I'm afraid it's mandatory."   Chap. 22
Last words
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002502X, Hardcover)

The newest tour de force starring Thursday Next in the New York Times bestselling series

The Bookworld’s leading enforcement officer, Thursday Next, has been forced into a semiretirement following an assassination attempt, returning home to Swindon and her family to recuperate.

But Thursday’s children have problems that demand she become a mother of invention: Friday’s career struggles in the Chronoguard, where he is relegated to a might-have-been; Tuesday’s trouble perfecting the Anti-Smote shield, needed in time to thwart an angry Deity’s promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth; and the issue of Thursday’s third child, Jenny, who doesn’t exist except as a confusing and disturbing memory.

With Goliath attempting to replace Thursday at every opportunity with synthetic Thursdays, and a call from the Bookworld to hunt down Pagerunners who have jumped into the Realworld, Thursday’s convalescence is going to be anything but restful as the week ahead promises to be one of the Next family’s oddest.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The Bookworld's leading enforcement officer, Thursday Next, has been forced into a semiretirement following an assassination attempt, returning home to Swindon and her family to recuperate. But Thursday's children have problems that demand she become a mother of invention: Friday's career struggles in the Chronoguard, where he is relegated to a might-have-been; Tuesday's trouble perfecting the Anti-Smote shield, needed in time to thwart an angry Deity's promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth; and the issue of Thursday's third child, Jenny, who doesn't exist except as a confusing and disturbing memory. With Goliath attempting to replace Thursday at every opportunity with synthetic Thursdays, and a call from the Bookworld to hunt down Pagerunners who have jumped into the Realworld, Thursday's convalescence is going to be anything but restful as the week ahead promises to be one of the Next family's oddest.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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