In an alternate version of 1980s Britain where literature is taken so seriously that thousands of men are named John Milton and there are gang fights between the Impressionists and the Surrealists, villain Acheron Hades steals an original manuscript of a book and finds a way inside… killing a minor character and altering every subsequent copy of that book forever. He threatens to do the same to Jane Eyre unless his demands are met. Can literary detective Thursday Next stop him before it’s too late?
Thursday Next is a time-traveling, world-saving, butt-kicking war veteran who isn’t afraid to tackle all forms of evil, including the supernatural. But even she’s surprised when her adventures take her inside books. Fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett will love this alternate-timeline series for its absurdist British humor, and fans of literature will love the myriad literary allusions and and clever plays on formatting (such as folks in books communicating by footnotes).
During the events of The Eyre Affair, Thursday stranded sinister Goliath agent Jack Schitt in a copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, and now they want him back. In order to ensure her cooperation, they use time travel to erase Landen from history. Meanwhile, she must help her renegade ChronoGuard father stop another one of Mycroft’s inventions from ending the world.
In book 3 of the series, Thursday Next is hiding out in an unfinished clichéd detective novel in the Well of Lost Plots. But her vacation is cut short by Yorrick Kaine — a fictional character who’s escaped to the real world — attempting to get a worrying invention released that he claims will “fix literature,” and the fact that Thursday’s hideout is about to be dismantled for parts.
In Thursday’s fourth adventure, she returns from Bookworld to raise her son and get Landen un-eradicated. The bad news is, Yorrick Kaine is still out there, now working with the Goliath Corporation, and his ambitions towards being Prime Minister threaten to bring about a nuclear war. But the good news is, Thursday’s brought Hamlet, Prince of Denmark with her.
Thursday’s fifth book is actually the first part of a new four-book story arc. Fourteen years after the last installment, SpecOps has been disbanded and Thursday’s working for a carpet company (when she’s not smuggling cheese on the side). A world that once loved books so much that it cloned Shakespeare multiple times is now obsessed with reality TV shows like “Celebrity Trainee Pathologist” and “Sell Your Granny.” And if Thursday’s slacker teenage son doesn’t join the ChronoGuard soon, he may not be able to save the world 756 times as he’s meant to.
In the sixth volume of Fforde’s series tension is brewing between the different genres in Bookworld, and in the midst of sensitive negotiations, Thursday Next goes missing. JurisFiction approaches “written Thursday” (the fictional character version of her that exists in “The Eyre Affair” and her other books) to pretend to be “real Thursday” in the hope of finding her, and preventing all-out war.
Now in her 50s, Thursday begins her seventh book forced into semi-retirement in Swindon following an assassination attempt, but her recovery is anything but restful. Among worrying about her children’s careers (and whether or not they will successfully save the world as prophesied), the nation’s Stupidity Surplus, and a continuing battle with the Goliath corporation, Thursday’s real biggest fear is that her best days might actually be behind her.