I read this book entirely out of order, skipping from The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book all the way to the end of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series: One of Our Thursdays is Missing. I know, horrible of me, but you’ll have to blame it on the fact that the library had only one of Fforde’s books in an audio version and that would be OOTM.

That being said, I didn’t have much trouble picking up the storyline, which is spiffy-marvelous because there’s nothing worse than getting frustrated and aggravated over missing half the storyline. OOTM is fine as a standalone, but best taken with some knowledge of Thursday Next. I’d suggest The Eyre Affair be read before trying OOTM.

Synopsis, stolen from Fforde’s site:

It is a time of unrest in the Bookworld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the Peace Talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the Realworld or is this something more sinister?

But all is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of Speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, who is attempting to keep her own small four-book series both respectful to her illustrious namesake and far from the grim spectre of being remaindered.

Despite her desire to stay away from the spotlight, written Thursday is asked by Jurisfiction to investigate a novel that has suffered an in-read breakup and deposited a narrative debris-field halfway across the Bookworld. It’s not quite so straightforward: Someone has ground the ISBN numbers from the wreckage, and all of a sudden the mysterious Men in Plaid want her dead.

As the hunt for answers takes her from the Council of Genres to Fan-Fiction and from Comedy to Vanity publishing, written Thursday realises that Real Thursday had been investigating a plot fiendish enough to be killed for. But who is responsible? Only a trip up the Mighty Metaphoric river and a visit to the hideously frightening Realworld can provide the answers.

With her clockwork butler Sprockett and her Designated Love Interest Whitby Jett, Thursday has to get to grips with her inability to match up to her Namesake’s talent, and prove herself to the one person she respects more than anyone else: The real her…

I love the Bookworld. I really do. I love the technical side of it, from how they upgraded to a new version and how it works to every little detail of how each book is made. I love the steam-punk flavor to it and the constant stream of wise-cracks and subtle jokes that only a book lover would get. It was intriguing, quirky and definitely held my interest during my 37-1/2 minute commute each way. Definitely would listen to another Thursday book on audio, if only our library would own more…