The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

(9.6/10)

The Woman Who Died a Lot was first published in July 2012, author Jasper Fforde's seventh book in his Thursday Next series. A blend of alternate history and comic fantasy it is grand reading material, combining excellent writing and great inventiveness with more great jokes and groan-worthy puns than you could shake a stick at.

We find BookWorld's leading enforcement officer Thursday Next four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindon in order to recuperate but finds herself faced with an array of family problems - son Friday's lack of focus since his career in the Chronoguard was relegated to a might-have-been, daughter Tuesday's difficulty perfecting the Anti-Smote shield needed to thwart an angry Deity's promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth, and Jenny, who doesn't exist. And that's not all, with Goliath attempting to replace Thursday at every opportunity with synthetic Thursdays, the prediction that Friday's Destiny-Aware colleagues will die in mysterious circumstances, and a looming meteorite that could destroy all human life on earth, Thursday's retirement is going to be anything but easy...

This being my first Thursday Next book I had no previous knowledge of events in the series. Although I have always been aware of - and interested in - Jasper Fforde's work I just haven't had the chance to read anything by him. So when the opportunity arose to read his latest I just couldn't resist and I have to slap myself for not picking up his books earlier, they're downright wonderful!

This book was different from other fantasy books I have read. The storyline is very rich, humorous and immaculately written. Nothing is predictable and I often found myself rereading scenes, not because they they were put together in a bad way, on the contrary, they were just so brilliant that I just had to make sure that what I read them correctly.

Jokes and puns run amok and they really do enliven the story so much, as do they wonderful characters. Entering the series at the seventh book did not prove to be problematic but I have to make sure I read the first six books before reading the forthcoming book eight, which will be called Dark Reading Matter.

Massively recommended to fans of parallel worlds, alternate history and comic fantasy.

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A big thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for kindly providing me with a review copy.

Review by

Our interview with Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on Sterling banknotes, and is cousin of the author, Katie Ffor [...]

Read interview

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All reviews for Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series

The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of a new crime wave’s Mr B [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 1
Published: 2001

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

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Lost in a Good Book

by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed, is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of fou [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 2
Published: 2002

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

The Well of Lost Plots

by Jasper Fforde

Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent famil [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 3
Published: 2003

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Something Rotten

by Jasper Fforde

The resourceful literary detective Thursday Next returns to Swindon from the BookWorld accompanied by her son Friday and none other than the dithering Hamlet. But returning [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 4
Published: 2004

Score: 100

Our rating: 10.0 | positive reader reviews

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First Among Sequels

by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next is back. And this time it's personal… Officially, Literary Detective Thursday Next is off the case. Once a key figure in the BookWorld police force [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 5
Published: 2007

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | positive reader reviews

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One of our Thursdays is Missing

by Jasper Fforde

It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace t [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 6
Published: 2011

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Woman Who Died a Lot

by Jasper Fforde

The BookWorld's leading enforcement officer Thursday Next is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindo [...]

Series: Thursday Next: Book 7
Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | positive reader reviews

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More Jasper Fforde reviews

Shades of Grey

by Jasper Fforde

Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy [...]

Series: Shades of Grey Trilogy #1
Published: 2009

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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