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A few years ago, I was looking for something different to read. While I tend to enjoy suspense/thrillers, I also like some fantasy and literary fiction…

Okay, I really pretty much read everything. Anyway, I spotted a book called The Eyre Affair and just had to pick it up.

Thus began my love for author Jasper Fforde. Let’s take a look at some of his titles available in an audiobook format.

The Thursday Next Series:

The Eyre Affair (narrated by Susan Duerdan) This is the first book in the series featuring Thursday Next, a literary detective in an alternative universe. Don’t panic. I read very little sci-fi and I was able to deal with it. In the UK, around 1985, in this alternate universe, time travel and cloning are the norm and literature is extremely important.

Thursday Next, as a literary detective finds herself embroiled in a plot to change the course of Jane Eyre in all existing copies by tampering with the original. It sounds bizarre, and it is. But it is also immensely entertaining.

Audio Book Author Jasper Fforde

Author Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book (read by Elizabeth Sastre), The Well of Lost Plots(read by Elizabeth Sastre), Something Rotten (read by Emily Gray), and First Among Sequels (read by Emily Gray) also feature Thursday Next as she continues to enter literature, fight her archenemies, and protect Pickwick, her pet dodo.

The Nursery Crime Series:

Fforde chose to move into crimes committed in nursery rhymes with the investigations of DCI Jack Spratt. The Big Over Easy (read by Simon Prebble) is a close look at the apparent murder of celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III. Jack Spratt and his assistant, Mary Mary, must deal with the Reading Police Department, who are still feeling the heat after The Three Pigs were acquitted in the murder of Mr. Wolff.

The other title in this series, The Fourth Bear (read by Simon Vance), finds The Gingerbreadman, a psychopathic genius killer on the loose. Jack Spratt and Mary Mary are busy looking into the disappearance of “Goldy” Hatchett, a reporter. The last ones to see her alive were, of course, The Three Bears.

Latest Release:

Fforde released Shades of Grey in December 2009. It appears to be the first in a new series in which society is ruled by a Colortocracy. A person’s social standing is determined by the limitation of his or her color perception. I know I promised not to get any newer books out of the library and to read the ones on my shelf, but I might not be able to resist Fforde’s amazing, satirical wit. Really. It may just be beyond my abilities.

Looking for a new, hilarious author? Try Jasper Fforde.


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