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The International Writers Magazine
: Book Review

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Review by Michelle Cochraine

The Well of Lost Plots is the third in the series of a number of adventures taken on by the unforgettable Thursday Next. It is a little confusing at first unless you have read the previous two novels but once you have met and understood where the story is taking you, the book involves you in a number of exciting and imaginative adventures. Not only does Fforde take you through an original concept of entering a number of mysteries, secrets and delights but the joy of it is that you are reminded of all the books that you read as a child. Mentions of Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights spring to mind. However, Fforde makes it easy for every reader and it is not mandatory in any way that you recognise any of his clever and manipulative references.

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The book’s opening is perhaps a little slow but still keeps the reader intrigued by his play on words as Thursday enters ‘jurisfiction’ after her brief introduction as a time travelling character from the "real world". An element that hilariously and ironically enough the other characters are infatuated by. As she meets several of the vast and individual characters, you can’t help but find yourself entangled in the plot especially with the delightful Harris Tweed and the loveable Ibb and Obb who are both infuriating and helpful both at the same time. The book even seems to serve an educational purpose through the character as she learns more about how the creation of books have evolved. In other words, it is a lot more age friendly than first appearances.

After leaving Swindon and entering the book world of Caversham Heights (an alternative to our well loved Wuthering Heights), Thursday Next pursues her fate as a fictional character and waits to see how the novel will unravel. In an attempt to escape the real world, Thursday finds herself closer to it then she ever thought or imagined possible, which forces the reader to have a sympathy towards her. She alone must discover who it is that wishes to play with her mind and we wonder whether or not she can really escape the truth of her husband only existing in her mind. I would tell you but that would spoil it for you.

Even if the illusive world created by Fforde is not your normal cup of tea, you will still be lost in hilarious and sometimes disturbing adventures that arise within the pages of within the pages.

If I have any criticisms it would be that the book may appear a little confusing at first unless you have read the first two. However, stick with it and it is assured that you will experience one of the most amusing journeys that you have ever taken. Fforde has done well to create a novel that can be read to all ages whether it be a bedtime story or simply an afterwork read. However, be warned, as I found when reading, once you have passed the slow start and are entered into the world of Caversham Heights, you won’t be able to leave until you have got to the end of your adventure.

© Michelle Cochraine March 2004

*Michelle is the new student editor of Hackwriters and if you have books or films or shows that need reviewing please contact her at
Read an extract of the book here

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