Lost in a Good Book, Jasper Fforde’s sequel to The Eyre Affair, is a very silly book. Really very silly.
I was not that impressed with The Eyre Affair, frankly; it had some inspired bits, but I was never that involved in the story. For whatever reason, I enjoyed Lost in a Good Book far more. Maybe Thursday is a more interesting narrator to me when she starts out happy; maybe my expectations were more finely-tuned; maybe it’s just that I’m not recovering from taking the bar. Also, I was warned that it was not a fully self-contained story, so the ending didn’t bother me.
(I read the end yesterday, eating lunch outside on a beautiful sunny 80-degree day. Under those conditions, it would be hard to upset me anyway.)
Quite a lot of it doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny, but there are so many lovely little touches that I don’t really care. For instance, at a meeting of Jurisfiction, which polices literature from the inside, on the agenda is:
“Item three: Interloper in the Sherlock Holmes series by the name of Mycroft—turns up quite unexpectedly in The Greek Interpreter and claims to be his brother. Anyone know anything about this?”
I shrank lower, hoping that no one would have enough knowledge of my world to know we were related. Sly old Fox! So he had rebuilt the Prose Portal. I covered my mouth to hide a smile.
“No?” went on the Bellman. “Well, Sherlock seems to think he is his brother, and so far there is no harm done . . . “
Nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks Mycroft Holmes shows up out of nowhere.
And then there’s:
“Thursday, that’s not possible!”
“Anything is possible right now. We’re in the middle of an isolated high-coincidental localized entropic field decreasement.”
“We’re in a what?”
“We’re in a pseudoscientific technobabble.”
“Ah! One of those.”
As I said, it is a silly book. I look forward to the next one considerably more than I looked forward to this one.