Today I received this in my inbox:
Thursday Next: "First Among Sequels"
Yes, she's back! For those of you who might have dropped under the Fforde-New-Book-Radar, "First Among Sequels" is due to be published in the United States on July 24th. As the title of the novel suggests this is the first book of the second Thursday Next volume, and will be followed in due course by the remaining titles, interspersed with other Fforde absurdisms.
The latest Next adventure takes place fourteen years after "Something Rotten" ends, with Thursday running disbanded SpecOps divisions from behind the front of Swindon's Acme Carpets. Not only can you have Dickens, Werewolf and mammoth problems expertly dealt with, but you can also buy an exceptional woolen carpet at a discount price which includes underlay and fitting.
Despite the benefits of cut-price floor covering, jeopardy is never far away, and Thursday's life is complicated by a grunty teenager who needs to get out of bed to save the world from the End of Time, a series of dodo-nappers, a glut of reality TV shows and a government Stupidity Surplus that is threatening to destabilise the nation.
Not that things are much better in the Bookworld. The "Rogue Genre" of Racy Novel is once again threatening its neighbours, "Jude the Obscure" is still missing all the jokes and Sherlock Holmes has inexplicably died at the Rheinbach Falls.
On top of this Thursday has to contend with the shocking reality that she has herself appeared in print – and the books are a bit, well, bad. This might not be such a huge matter of concern were it not for the fact that the written Thursday wants to work for JurisFiction. With this on her mind, a shortage of pianos and someone at the Council of Genres eager to rewrite "Pride and Prejudice" into a reality bookshow with members of the Bennett household being evicted by popular vote, Thursday finds herself discredited and trapped in the real world.
Can she return in time to save Austen's masterpiece from being sacrificed on the altar of populism? Are the Goliath Corporation to be trusted? Will Pickwick's feathers ever grow back? And where exactly did Mycroft leave the recipe for unscrambled eggs?
Find out – if you dare – in the latest installment of the Thursday Next saga, "First Among Sequels", available from all good booksellers from July 24th 2007.
First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel
If you haven't read the previous four books in the series, I can't recommend them highly enough.