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First Among Sequels : The fastest message board... ever.
For chat about the latest Thursday Next book - TN5 - WARNING - SPOILERS POSSIBLE 
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Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 05, 2007 12:48PM

Well, I just finshed this last night (have an ARC copy) and I must say that I felt a little flat reading it. I think that Jasper tried a little to hard to fit too much into this. I think either it could have been a bit longer, or dropped some of the sub plots. But overall it was a good read, laughed put loud a few times and I could not out it down, and even skipped out of work ever now and then to read it.

I can safely say that there will definately be another book!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2007 08:45PM by Grammasite.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: IHazon303 (
Date: July 05, 2007 02:11PM

You know, I'm about 100 pages in and I'd agree it doesn't feel as sharp as the first three books. Something Rotten lacked a little verve too, I though. Damn clever so far, though, that Fforde certainly knows how to progress an idea...

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: delacuesta (
Date: July 05, 2007 10:55PM

I agree with Grammasite that there appear or seem to be (too) many subplots, some of which are frustratingly open-ended. E.g. the death of Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach falls, even though linked to the serial killing subplot later on. And Landen's plot-device. I was really expecting Landen to rewrite the Empty House adventure (improbable but Jasper would have managed). Indeed there may be enough in the book for another sequel.

Let me be clear though that I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.


Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: RookeeAlding (
Date: July 08, 2007 05:04AM

At first I felt as though it were too wordy...and you are right lot's of sub-plots...I'm glad he took care of a bunch, but the other ones bother me still...

especially the one about one of the children. ( I'll try not to go into much detail since, It only gets figured out near the middle to end of the book,) I Knew something was going on, When he finally tells you what I got really miffed and wanted it solved...maybe another book then.


by the way...I've been convicted of Gramatical Homicide, and charged 18 years to life, so don't bother telling me about all the spelling mistakes. It's already on my record.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 08, 2007 10:58AM

I've just finished reading it and I too was a bit disappointed.
Not only the unresolved sub-plot issues, but such a huge amount of repetition from the previous books.
I realize that some repetition is necessary for those who might be picking up an TN book for the first time, but .......

I also found it irritating that the phonefooternotes weren't in my book!
There was blank space at the bottom of the page, but no footer text.
I'm wondering if that was a publishing error or done intentionally?


ah, just found the answer to my questionon the notes.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2007 11:01AM by cas29.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: RookeeAlding (
Date: July 08, 2007 06:10PM

There are about 4 unsloved subplots (I think, can't list them right now with all the people who haven't read it yet)with at least one or two of them that could turn into main plots.

I understand that because of this books name you might have to have all that reintroduction to all the characters and all, but I already knew these characters, and I found myself talking to my book saying things like " I already knew that!" and "tell me something I don't know"

It's still a great read once you get over your familiarity issues, and it really really makes you want to read the next one.

*spoiler/question*(I'll try to mask the good bits)

they take about how a particular series cannot be read into, but didn't a particular relative of Thursdays get stuck in that series earlier and that Thursday had to rescue that particular relative? How? if it can't be read into and the device used to get around that was gone...How did Thursday manage it?


by the way...I've been convicted of Gramatical Homicide, and charged 18 years to life, so don't bother telling me about all the spelling mistakes. It's already on my record.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Lycanthra Pod (
Date: July 08, 2007 11:49PM

I've just started it but who cares about subplots not being tied up, my home town of Chippenham (that's 20 miles from Swindon) finally gets a mention :-)

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: xmorpheus (193.95.170.---)
Date: July 09, 2007 09:03AM

Well I enjoyed it. Still some rabbits pulled out of the hat which I'll probably discuss in other threads with large spoiler warnings on them! :)

Maybe the one you guys read was being reworked and you got understudies....? ;)

Seriously though, I think it's very much the case that when you've been waiting and anticipating someing for a while, it's never going to quite live up to your hopes. And the new book never quite has the same "frisson" as the first time you read the very first one in the series.

The only thing I found slightly disconcerting was Thursday's age. Mainly because she was my age when I left her last and so I now have a slight feeling that I've just aged 15 years without noticing. I'm sure I'll shake it off with some coffee! :p

I really like the special guest appearance - I have to wonder if that's going to be developed in the next one. A crossover of that kind would be definitely well worth a read!

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 09, 2007 02:12PM

I also feel there was lots of repetition as well, understand it may be for those who have picked up the book for the book for the first time but also think when you get to the 5th book in a series you should be allowed for them to perhaps not explain everything fully!

What was the point of the whole Jenny story line? It also felt a little like it was all about setting things up for the next book with the serial killer/speedreader plots?

I much prefer the nursery crime series now, loved the first 3, found something rotten a bit flat and I'm afraid things haven't picked up.

Don't get me wrong, love Thursday and think Jasper is amazing and the ideas he has come up with rule. As such I guess I have very high hopes and expectations.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 11, 2007 10:03AM

Yeah... I finished reading it about 30 seconds ago, and I feel a bit flat too. For a start I didn't think it was as clever as the first four, and despite having too many subplots it was quite predictable and linear, unlike any of the others. Immensely funny though, as the people on buses and trains around me have discovered recently.

Nice book, but not as overwhelmingly brilliant as any of his other books.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: IHazon303 (
Date: July 13, 2007 01:29PM

So then, having finished the book I'm going to retract my worms. I thought this book was excellent and one fo the best in the series. Definitely in my top five.

But seriously, at first I thought it was a bot long-winded with the constant explanations of Things I Already Knew, but then you get that in sequels don't you? After that the story kicked in and it was just great. With such a cliff-hanger ending it must be the first of a two-parter, especially with so many parts of the plot left unresolved.

Maybe we get to vote on what happens in the next book? I hope so.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: xmorpheus (193.95.170.---)
Date: July 13, 2007 01:40PM

Hmm given JFs aversion to reality TV, I suspect that readers voting on what happens next is probably on my top 5 list of things that WON'T happen!!!! :p :p :p

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: LeonardQuirm (
Date: July 13, 2007 03:27PM

I found the first part - especially the entire Bookworld sequence the first time she enters - a bit slow and expositional, but after that I loved it. A few excellent twists, some excellent tie-ins - especially to the orignial book - and a few good laughs. My only real problem other than the slow opening (although at least most of the things found there were picked up on) was the huge number of open-ended plot lines at the end. I went to listen to Jasper talk on publication and he was saying his writing style throughout is to leave little things to be picked up on in future books if he gets around to it (e.g. the things picked up on linking it back to the first book), but here he just begins a lot of threads and leaves them. It's a trend that's becoming quite big in films recently as well, and it annoys me somewhat there.

I don't think all of them will be being finished in the next book, either - apparently this book, which he considers the first book in Omnibus 2 - is the first of four for this set. So expect some full overaching storylines for the entire lot.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: July 14, 2007 06:51AM

I didn't find the book flat at all; in fact, I found myself yelling and screaming at Thursday even more so than in the previous books. It was certainly the most engaging book I've read in a long time--probably since Thud! came out. I'm glad that I managed to figure out a lot of things before they were revealed, but Jasper still managed to pull the wool over my eyes plenty.

I tend to prefer books that are mostly self-contained, so having so many loose ends unresolved was a bit frustrating, but I'm quite willing to read through the next three books before they're tied up. I do like the fact that he tied up nearly all loose ends in Something Rotten, so if he follows that pattern for TN5-8 I'll be quite happy!

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: MilesHawke (217.169.42.---)
Date: July 16, 2007 06:31PM

Like most of the readers on this thread I found this book pretty flat and, despite laughing out loud several times, my least favourite of the five so far.

Whilst I agree with a lot of the comments above (too much exposition etc.) I think the real reason that the book failed to deliver was its inability to deliver great 'set pieces'.

In the Bookworld we had far too much about the Council of Genres and far too little of Thursday working or living inside books. That's wher the fun comes in - Thursday being tried inside Kafka, Thursday nearly being murdered inside Shadow the Sheepdog or on assignment in Great Expectations. It is from the subversion of these great books that the humour comes.

Externally, whilst we did have the mandatory Spike and Thursday chapter this time it felt like Jasper had run out of ideas. Unlike previous instances it was neither scary nor funny.

On the new ideas side in this book I found the stupidity index just a bit too stupid an idea. The Nextian World has gone from semiplausability to unbelivability. Yes its good satire but it's been done at the expense of all the other stuff like plot and character. I was also disappointed that the Chronoguard end up ceasing to exist because I thought they were pretty cool and I was looking forward to Friday kicking some bad time into shape.

Of the previous four books I thought they were generally of a similar standard with favourite bits in each. This was just not up to that standard. I hope Jasper hasn't run out of steam and also that he knows when to stop...


World is crazier and more of it than we think

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 17, 2007 01:13AM

The issue I had with the book seems to also be Jasper's - he put off writing TN5 and wrote The Fourth Bear instead, wondering how to reinvent and reinvigorate the series. As such, Sequels has to reintroduce the old characters and themes whilst bringing in lots of new ideas and plot elements. What this results in is an initial 200 pages of long exposition that don't necessarily pay off in this novel but will later on in the series. Once Thursday gets into the Austin Rover the book fair chugged along happily for a brilliant hundred pages or more, then stopped again only for the new ideas to not really be concluded. Good for setting up further novels, frustrating in terms of a single novel.

Whilst I've found First Among Sequels ultimately disappointing, I have so with the prospect of a reinvigorated series ahead. I truly hope that further novels don't need the same long exposition and get back to the bouncy action and clever plot that were at the end of this one. Please sir - more sojourns into stories and less examining of paperwork.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: SLIGHTCAP (
Date: July 17, 2007 04:15AM

Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I didn;t know how much I missed Thursday until I read this book. I will agree that the story took awhile to get going, but I actually liked that. I didn;t feel rushed in reading it, and i could take the time to read it and enjoy it. I don;t really care about the loose ends, as I know he'll tie them up. Gives me something to look forward to.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: mr puniverse (
Date: September 06, 2007 05:46PM

I finished. Unlike the first three, particularly the first two, i'm not feeling the sweats and panic of the awaiting arrival of the next.
After i finished the Eyre Affair i raced thru the city on my break from work to get to the book shop and get the next one, Get Lost In A Good Book.
Despite this,Sequels kept me interested throughout, i didn't mind some of the loose threads, cos we always get them covered in the books that follow.

I really liked the concept of the Moral Dilemma and i twigged to the fact of what she was caught up in as an oratory. I have done that exercise or similar type one, I liked that idea and chapter very much.

While i'm waiting for the next NEXT enstallment,I'm going to attempt to read all of the books of the series in order from first to last and if my brain doesnt implode be ready for the book that follows hopefully titled Paragraph Lost

I need help i have a FForde Ffixation

Despite all,the book was great and I do agree that Something Rotten wasn't quite as good.
First Amoung Sequels brings us back to nearly what the other books provided.
I want more of the nethandals and some of the other minor characters of the first two to reappear I loved them.

A Kit Kat is a Biscuit

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: October 07, 2007 04:49AM

I reread the first four books as I anticipated "First Among Sequels" to hit the shelf, Now, I can say that I'm happy to have just read it, but sad to finish it since I will have to wait for the next TN book to hit the shelf. What will I do? Thanks to Mr. Ffforde, I have a renewed interest in the classics. I'll be interested to see what Pride and Prejudice looks like with a fresh coat of paint and refreshed costumes. Thank goodness, the Bennett family is spared from wearing bee costumes.

Re: Have just finished it!
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: October 09, 2007 04:13AM

Have you read the Nursery Crime books yet? If not, they'll definitely help hold you over until Jasper's next book. Also, the Nextian Chat section of the forum has at least one thread of recommended books. You should come on over and introduce yourself!

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