BOOK REVIEW: The Woman Who Died A Lot

Posted on September 24, 2012


first published at

The Woman Who Died A Lot
Jasper Fforde
Thursday Next 7
Hodder & Staughton

Thursday Next is at a low point in her life: she is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following a near fatal assassination attempt. She is yet to walk without a stick, has double vision more often than she doesn’t, and has limited mobility in her left arm.

A time, then, for relaxation, recuperation, and rest. A time to spend with her beloved family, avoid stress, take it easy, meet old friends and do very little. If only life were that simple…


Why do I keep doing this to myself? I just love the Thursday Next novels but they are just so damned hard to write about.

The last instalment in the series, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, was almost exclusively set within BookWorld, the odd construct which lies behind the pages of literature. But this instalment is set entirely on Thursday’s own world. Not quite our world as we know it but identifiable as generally pretty similar to ours.

One of the fascinating things about Fforde’s Thursday Next novels is the way he takes the odd, the different, putting ti together in a quite believable sense. And this instalment is no different in that respect except that it is the loss of some that, to us, strangeness which propels the plot.

Thursday is not the woman she once was, still recovering from the terrible injuries suffered in One of Our Thursdays is Missing. But at the crunch, mentally she is as sharp as ever.

Yet again, Thursday finds herself up against the Goliath mega-corporation but with another twist which keeps it from going stale. And Fforde has once again managed to weave that interaction into a wider story.

When trying to describe what happens, I find myself in real difficulties. How can I do so without making it sound like absurd nonsense that is not worth your time in picking it up. But, while indeed delightfully absurd, Fforde’s genius is in making it all make a strange form of sense.

Funny. Multi-layered, Enjoyable. Just go and read the damned thing!

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