Book Nook: "The Woman Who Died a Lot" by Jasper Fforde

Nov 5, 2012

Jasper Fforde is at it again. In "The Woman Who Died a Lot," the seventh book in his absurdist fantasy crime fiction series, we spend a week with Thursday Next, the leading enforcement officer from the Bookworld.

As the story opens Thursday is still recuperating from some of the injuries that she sustained in a previous book when she is offered the gig as chief librarian at the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat-at-Fatso's-Drink Not Included Library.

On the face of it this would seem to be a cushy job for Ms. Next. Little does she know that looming cutbacks will reduce the library budget by one hundred per cent. But then she's got other things on her mind. There's her third child, Jenny, who actually has never existed but a mindworm keeps making Thursday think that she does. The tattoo on the back of Thursday's hand reads "Jenny is a mindworm" to remind her of that fact but it doesn't seem to help very much.

Then there's the smiting. Thursday's daughter, the teen-aged genius Tuesday Next is rushing to try to create a device that might be able to prevent the smiting that a vengeful god has planned for Swindon. Swindon will be destroyed in the very near future unless they can redirect this impending blast from the sky.

As usual the Goliath Corporation is involved. And Thursday is dealing once again with her Goliath nemesis, a high ranking executive named Jack Schitt.

It's all good fun in a fantasy world where books come alive and librarians are fully empowered. In this interview Jasper Fforde explains how and why he does it.