Jasper Fforde and the Fourth Bear

Posted on August 9, 2006

Jasper Fforde discusses his new book The Fourth Bear, the latest in his Nursery Crime series, with Rob Thomas of The Capital Times. In The Fourth Bear, detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary must solve the disappearance of Goldilocks and catch the notorious serial killer known as the Gingerbreadman.
He says he's pleased that fans of his Thursday series (four books, with a fifth coming next summer) seem to have taken to the new Nursery Crime series, of which "Fourth Bear" is the second.

"The diehard Thursday Next fans want of course nothing else but Thursday Next year after year," he says. "But there's a lot of people who say, 'We like this series very much, and we're looking forward to Thursday Next when she comes back next year.' And there are other people who have joined me on this series, because they had some sort of notion that Thursday Next was about the classics, and if you didn't have an English major you wouldn't get the jokes. Which is not true at all."

Fforde's books are very hard to classify. They have the broad contours of mysteries or thrillers, with identifiable crimes, villains and clues. But they're full of more gags, both highbrow literary in-jokes and lowbrow puns, than three books in the humor section.
We classify Jasper's books under "W" for Wildly Entertaining: in fact we're reading The Fourth Bear (Viking) right now and enjoying it enormously. You can read our interview with Jasper about his Thursday Next series, here.
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