Do you like Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse? Then, chances are you’ll like Thursday Next literary world.
Who is Thursday Next?
Thurday Next lives in a parallel universe, where England is a republic, with George Formby as its first president, elected following the success of Operation Sea Lion (the mooted Nazi invasion of Great Britain), occupation, and liberation. There is no United Kingdom, and Wales is the independent “Socialist Republic of Wales”. The Crimean War is still being waged in 1985, Russia still has a Czar, and the Whig Party still exists in the House of Commons.
In the world of Thursday Next, literature is a much more popular medium than in our world, and Thursday is a member of SO-27, the Literary Detectives or LiteraTecs. Her work is centered on Swindon and the world of fiction, where she battles the machinations of the insidious Goliath Corporation, members of the Hades family and other evils at every turn.
Thursday Next Books in Order:
The Thursday Next Series contains two long story arcs.
First Story Arc
The Eyre Affair — Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.
Lost in a Good Book — When the love of her life has been eradicated by Goliath, everyone’s favorite corrupt multinational, Thursday must retrieve a supposedly vanquished enemy from the pages of “The Raven” to rescue him. But Poe is off-limits to even the most seasoned literary interloper. Enter a professional: the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations. As her new apprentice, Thursday keeps her motives secret as she learns the ropes of Jurisfiction, where she moonlights as a Prose Resource Operative inside books.
The Well of Lost Plots — Resourceful BookWorld literary detective Thursday Next definitely needs some downtime. And what better place for a respite than in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books—like the one she has taken up residence in—are scrapped for salvage. To make matters worse, a murderer is stalking the personnel of Jurisfiction and it’s up to Thursday to save the day.
Something Rotten — Thursday Next returns to Swindon from the BookWorld accompanied by her son Friday and none other than the dithering Hamlet. But returning to SpecOps is no snap—as outlaw fictioner Yorrick Kaine plots for absolute power, the return of Swindon’s patron saint foretells doom, and, if that isn’t bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she vanquish Kaine and prevent the world from plunging into war? And will she ever find reliable child care?
Second Story Arc
First Among Sequels — Thursday Next is grappling with a host of problems in BookWorld: a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once—hilarious Thomas Hardy novels, to name just a few—all while captaining the ship Moral Dilemma and facing down her most vicious enemy yet: herself.
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing — At a time of great unrest in the BookWorld, Thursday Next has vanished. Now the written Thursday must answer the call, save the Bookworld, evade capture, and find the actual Thursday! With a clockwork Butler in tow, and Men in Plaid as well as her Designated Love Interest in pursuit, she must reluctantly agree to journey up the mysterious Metaphoric River for answers.
The Woman Who Died a Lot — When her former SpecOps division is reinstated, Thursday assumes she’s the obvious choice to lead the Literary Detectives. Instead, she’s put in charge of the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat-at-Fatso’s Drink Not Included Library. But where Thursday goes, trouble follows. As the new Chief Librarian faces one-hundred-percent budget cuts and the ever-evil Jack Schitt, the Next children face their own career hiccups—and possible nonexistence.