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The Big Over Easy (2005)

by Jasper Fforde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nursery Crime (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,5161791,559 (3.87)321
Detective Jack Spratt, recently unable to convict three wily pigs in he murder of a certain wolf, meets the challenge of a new case when Humpty Dumpty is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shady part of town.
  1. 80
    The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (FMRox)
    FMRox: This book includes the characters from The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde as a mild developing plot.
  2. 20
    Fables, Vol. 01: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (TomWaitsTables)
  3. 10
    The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper by Carlie St. George (Euryale)
  4. 10
    Last Tango in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce (LittleKnife)
    LittleKnife: Both mysteries with offbeat humour set around real places in the UK
  5. 21
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: It's difficult to explain this recommendation without giving spoilers to one or other of the books. There were certain plot elements to Rivers of London/Midnight Riots which made me think of The Big Over Easy. And both books have a well-developed sense of humour.… (more)
  6. 21
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (jonathankws)
  7. 00
    The Shootout Solution by Michael R. Underwood (amanda4242)
  8. 11
    Amberville by Tim Davys (wisemetis)
  9. 00
    The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke (Litrvixen)
  10. 00
    CUFFED: A Detective Goldie Locks Mystery by J. A. Kazimer (Litrvixen)
    Litrvixen: Detective Goldilocks has to solve the murder of who killed the giant from "Jack and the Beanstalk" and the main suspect is her ex Jack B.Nimble.
  11. 12
    Who's Afraid of Beowulf? by Tom Holt (Dr.Science)
    Dr.Science: The English author Tom Holt is relatively unknown in America, but very popular in England. If you enjoy Jasper Fforde or Christopher Moore you will most certainly enjoy Tom Holt's wry sense of English humor and the absurd. He has written a number of excellent books including Expecting Someone Taller, and Flying Dutch, but they may be difficult to find at your library or bookstore.… (more)
  12. 01
    The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin (meggyweg)

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» See also 321 mentions

English (178)  Dutch (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
This book... I have so many random thoughts about this book. In no particular order:

1. Easily the most highly quotable book I've ever read. Including books of quotes.
One of my favourites:

Mr. Pewter led them through to a library filled with thousands of antiquarian books.
'Impressive, eh?'
'Very,' said Jack. 'How did you amass all these?'
'Well,' said Pewter, 'you know the person who always borrows books and never gives them back?'
'I'm that person.'

Don't know why, but that cracked me up.

2. I'm pretty sure Fforde had no intention of writing a satire (based on what I've found on the interwebs) about the sensationalism of the free press, but this is definitely a case of current events shaping a reader's interpretation of the text. I had a really hard time reading this and not drawing parallels.

3. I'm equally sure he definitely meant to write a satirised murder mystery and this was easily the closest I've ever read to my blog's namesake movie, Murder By Death, which in my totally biased opinion is the acme of mystery satire. Which brings me to another quote:

Dog Walker's Face Body-Finding Ban

Anyone who finds a corpse while walking their dog may be fined if proposed legislation is made law, it was disclosed yesterday. The new measures, part of the Criminal Narrative Improvement Bill, have been drafted to avoid investigations looking clichéd...

Now this is legislation I can get behind.

4. I wish I'd picked this book up directly after reading The Well of Lost Plots. It makes no difference to someone new to Fforde's books, but I think those that have read TN would feel a stronger connection to the characters here when The Well... was still fresh in the memory.

5. Prometheus has an incredible monologue on pages 271-273. A popular fiction novel that can weave serious philosophy into its narrative always earns huge bonus points with me.

6. Oh, yeah - good mystery plot too!

Off to order the second one... ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 18, 2022 |
I had forgotten that these are in the same Thursday Next universe. I chuckled and finished it but it didn't sweep me along. The ultimate cause of death in the whodunnit was very good. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Humpty Dumpty is murdered and Jack Spratt and Mary Mary solve the case
  ritaer | Jul 17, 2021 |
Really, really funny and clever. Takes you back to all the nursery rhymes you knew as a child.

So intelligent. So funny. It weaves the speculative in with the real world of detectives in such clever ways. ( )
  CarolBurrows | Jun 7, 2021 |
Absolutely bloody fantastic. Best thing I've read this year. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
[W]hile Thursday Next was a detective and Jack Spratt is a detective, the feel and the tone of this particular, new homage is totally different, new, and a lot of fun.
added by Katya0133 | editFantasy & Science Fiction, Michelle West (Feb 1, 2006)
The wildly imaginative Fforde delights in satirizing the clichés of detective fiction.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Michael Adams (Nov 15, 2005)
His self-styled "daft novels" are not for the lazy brained but for the actively engaged reader, one who knows the secret pleasures of a word puzzle and can draw on a lifetime of literature.
added by Katya0133 | editUSA Today, Anita Sama (Jul 28, 2005)
Outrageous satirical agility is his stock in trade: Mr. Fforde has made that clear in a string of literary parodies that pry well-known characters loose from their native novels and plays.
added by Katya0133 | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Jul 22, 2005)
Full of allusions and puns on detective fiction and nursery rhymes, Fforde's fifth novel and first in a new series is good fun for all fiction collections. Highly recommended.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Devon Thomas (Jul 1, 2005)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fforde, Jasperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gauld, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses
And all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
For my brother Mathew,
whose love of the absurd—
and the profound—
enlightened my childhood
First words
It was the week following Easter in Reading, and no one could remember the last sunny day.
And she was from Basingstoke, which is nothing to be ashamed of.
If it weren't for greed, intolerance, hate, passion and murder, you would have no works of art, no great buildings, no medical science, no Mozart, no Van Gough, no Muppets and no Louis Armstrong.
Mr. Pewter led them through to a library, filled with thousands of antiquarian books.
'Impressive, eh?'
'Very,' said Jack. 'How did you amass all these?'
'Well,' said Pewter, 'You know the person who always borrows books and never gives them back?'
'I'm that person.
Try to be pleasant to one another, get plenty of fresh air, read a good book now and then, depose your government when it suspends the free press, try to use the mechanism of the state to adjudicate fairly and employ diplomatic means wherever possible to avoid armed conflict.
Father liked word games. He was fourteen times world Scrabble champion. When he died, we buried him at Queenzieburn to make use of the triple word score
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Detective Jack Spratt, recently unable to convict three wily pigs in he murder of a certain wolf, meets the challenge of a new case when Humpty Dumpty is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shady part of town.

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