Review: The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde & Giveaway

29th October 2012

Via Goodreads

*I received this book from the publisher Viking in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday Next lives in a world…slightly different than ours. Librarians are highly respected and well paid. The punishment for overdue library books is a bit stiffer than a quarter-per-day fine, and then there’s Bookworld, where the characters and places in books actually exist. After being injured in the line of duty as a literary detective, Thursday Next is recuperating. But that doesn’t mean the world is perfect. A mindworm has left her with memories of a daughter she doesn’t have and a tattoo on her wrist as a reminder. The Global Standard Deity is planning a smiting, and Thursday’s genius daughter, Tuesday, hasn’t quite figured out an anti-smiting technology. Thursday’s son, Friday, has problems of his own. The time engines have shut down, and the career he would have had has been replaced. Now he’s slated to murder someone in less than a week, and he feels powerless to stop it. Thursday has been instated as Chief Librarian, but she comes up against her enemy, Goliath and faces a 100% budget cut.

If that sounds like a lot, it is. In fact, it had been long enough since I read a Fforde, that, in the beginning, I felt like I was reading a very fun but very different language. Partly, though, that’s because Thursday and her family are confused. One day she wakes up with cuts and bruises and doesn’t know how she got them. Then, the mindworm with the memory of Jenny, the fake daughter, switches to Thursday’s husband. Her children wake up with signs of fights but can’t recall how they got them, either. What’s going on?

The Woman Who Died A Lot is so enjoyable. In many ways, Fforde’s writing feels much older than it is and in fact reminded me of a book I read when I was young, Rivets and Sprockets (though I don’t remember much about it). The sci-fi feel along with the humor and a touch of mystery is perfect, and I can’t wait to go back and re-read The Eyre Affair and pick up the other books in the series.

Courtesy of Viking, you get a chance to join in the fun. Just leave me a comment, and I’ll pick a winner by next Sunday at midnight (CST).

Check out other reviews or add this to your shelf on Goodreads.

**Congrats to Rebecca at Love at First Book who won a copy of The Woman Who Died A Lot!

  • Stephanie

    I’ve never read a book by Jasper Fforde, but a literary detective seems pretty interesting.

    • It is interesting, but honestly, it’s more quirky than anything else. Great fun to read.

  • This is a series that I can go back to time and time again and always pick up on new things in each reread, be they puns that I missed or references that I learned about in the meantime and now recognize. I bet it’s a much different experience to read his books as a British person too because sometimes if I change to a British pronunciation in my head, the words fit together differently and usually in a funnier way!
    (And yes, I still need a copy of this one. I have an ARC but I need a pretty hardcover to complete my set!)

    • Yes, and I could see re-reading this one too after I got the hang of it. I’m just so glad I have all these other books to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have yet to read anything by Jasper Fforde, but this sounds really good. Count me in for the giveaway!

    • Awesome! Will do.

  • Charlie

    This sounds absolutely amazing, aside from it being a lot, the complexity and all the subplots sounds really good. I like how the world has books as it base but a lot of other things included too, and the name of the heroine is fun!

    • It’s a tough book to describe, but a fun one to read. I’m planning on looking for the others in the series at my library this weekend.

  • Jennifer Waggoner Hartling

    I love bookish books like this..and the title of this one is awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰ Count me in for the giveaway!

    • I know! The humor even in the title…so funny.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    Oh Thursday! It has been so long since I went on a caper with her! I know Fforde’s books aren’t for everyone, but I just find him so witty and charming and his books are always a delight (well, except for The Big OverEasy… that one I did not care for at all!). Obviously I have no address as the moment, so no need to include me in the giveaway, just wanted to say that although I am a book or two behind in this series, it sounds like it hasn’t lost any of its steam and I can’t wait to get back to it after our traveling days are done. Isn’t it crazy how creative Fforde is? I assume I have absolutely no mind for plots and stories of my own because some people got more than their fare share! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I thought the same thing when I read- what a mind! Where did he come up with this stuff?

      I’ve heard the one before this one wasn’t all that great, but those same people were really pleased with this book. I plan on catching up as soon as possible.

  • heidenkind

    That sounds really really complicated. What is going on?!

    • WHAT IS GOING ON?!

  • BookNymphoBlog

    Ooh, another Jasper Fforde book! I didn’t know he had a new one and this one sounds so unique and fascinating!

    • He does indeed. In fact, he’s on a book tour in the States at the moment.

  • This book sounds a little confusing, but very interesting! I would love to read it myself to try to figure out this puzzle!

    • Once you get into it, it really isn’t confusing. It’s just another world you have to let yourself fall into. So fun!

  • Yvette

    Oh, oh, oh, Jenn – I must have this book!!! I didn’t even know there was a new Thursday Next coming up. Where have I been? I’ve read them all and love them to bits. Jasper Fforde is the kind of wonderful loony toon the world needs more of. If I don’t win this, it will go on my Christmas list for sure!

    • Well, I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, that imagination is killer!

  • I love love love the Thursday Next books, but it’s been ages since I read the last one. I worry I won’t be able to just pick this up and remember and I loathe re-reading books (there are too many more to read!) Oh, the stress!

    • Honestly, I’ve only read one, and that was at LEAST 8 years ago. At least. And I was fine. Took me a few pages to get back into it, but it was awesome fun.

  • This books sounds like so much fun — confusing bizarro fun, which is the best kind, in my book!