Bronte-Lite News: New Thursday Next Novel?
There isn't a whole lot on the wire this weekend, I'm afraid. And thus, 'Bronte-Lite.' Last week Bronteana reader Pennyforyourdreams informed us that Jasper Fforde has a fifth book in his Thursday Next series planned! So far there is no further information on the book other than that it is entitled The War of the Words. Mr. Fforde's website contains no mention of it, however, according to wikipedia the book is listed in the back of his recently published book The Fourth Bear. Now, those of us who read his books know too well how fond he is of textual practical jokes but I think this would be too cruel. I have hopes that we'll soon be hearing more about it. The book is also listed as being proposed for a July 2007 release. The first book in the series was the best-seller The Eyre Affair in which a literary detective enters the novel to repair the damage when Jane is abducted abruptly by a crazed English professor/evil genius. Mr. Rochester also features in one of the other novels, as do the entire cast of characters in Wuthering Heights (and we have a very interesting explaination for where Heathcliff has been for all those years. My professor wasn't impressed, but you can never know...). The Bronte references run through all of the books, if only in scenes like this from Lost in a Good Book:
'Hi!' squeaked the girl, 'I'm Adie. So pleased to meet you!' She grasped my hand and told me repeatedly what a fantastic honour it was.
'I don't want to bug you or anything,' she said shyly, 'but was Edward Rochester really drop-dead gorgeous to die for?'
'Not handsome,' I answered as I watched Flakk slink off down the corridor, 'but certainly attractive. Tall, deep voice and glowering looks, if you know the type.'
Adie turned a deep shade of pink.
But I think my personal favourite- besides the scenes where the actual characters run amok, would have to be when Thursday is trying to explain to her befuddled partner that she had gone inside Jane Eyre and met Mr Rochester, remarking off-handedly that she has his coat at home (and she discovers that her partner never read Jane Eyre- he had opting for Villette instead). There's even a Gondal reference if you look sharply!ETA: From the FAQs of Mr. Fforde's website, thanks to Pennyforyourdreams (again):
What is your next published book?
The fifth in the Thursday Next series. Yes, she's back. Facing possibly the greatest danger to the bookworld since the abolition of the Net Book Agreement. And a few grammersites. And the replacement Miss Havisham. And Friday. And Jane Austen. And the end of the world (again). Thursday Next: First Among Sequels will hit the bookshops in July 2007.
Is that really going to be the title of the next Next?
No. We ran it past marketing and they said it might put people off who were new to the series. So I'm calling it War of the Words instead. At least, that's what we've put in the back of The Fourth Bear, so it's semi-official.
Will we see a new Jasper Fforde book published every year?
Indeed you shall. When I was first published I personally committed myself to a new book every year for ten years, and -publishers willing- this shall be so. If I'm still here in ten years, we'll see if I can't commit myself to another ten in another ten.