This blog is to allow conversation between a group of friends unable to meet for discussion.
As I was reading I was thinking that part of what Fford is doing is using the unreality of his creation to comment on real life governments and insitutions. His is satirizing and making fun of characters that are either composites or outrigh copies of people he sees.
I think this allows him to be able to say things he couldn't without much more care and research. It's a little like Jon Stewart - are we really watching the news? He says it's a comedy show.
Drats...just wrote a long post and somehow left the page without posting. I will try again. So, I've read the first few chapters and find Fford's perspective very interesting...like Diane, I am reminded of classic satire. What comes to mind first is Animal Farm, where the people are the analogs to historic characters. In Fford's world, this fluid feeling also applies to time. Set in the mid 1980's (I think), the feeling is futuristic. And historical events that should be long in the past (Crimean War) are 'current' and subject to 'revision'.As a result, I find my mind disoriented while reading this....am I here? Is it 'now'? Fford definitely upsets the notion of what is real and what is not. This book also seems very British in approach, with a protagonist who reminds me of Elizabeth George's female detective (I will think of her name eventually) and Eve Dallas (JD Robb). All are strong crime fighters who have issues with authority (especially male authority).
I too was struck by the lack of definited boundaries between reality and fantasy. I wonder how many people suffer from this lack of distinction in our video-driven world. The difference is that apparently in Ffords world, it is not just a metaphysical event, but also a physical event. Very interesting.
"He handed me a single by the Beatles. I didn't recognize the title."Didn't they split in '70?""Not always ....."I think this is an excellent clue into the game that Fforde is playing ... the 'what if' game. What if the dodo could exist because we have gene splicing kits? What if literature was valued above most things? What if we had a villain that was pure evil .. just kind of for fun (and of course he needs to be an academician)? I love the twists - in big ways - the extended Crimean - and in small ways - a heroine who isn't described and blonde and beautiful. Where to next my friends? What's our goal and by what date?
So, apparently, there is a whole series of Thursday Next novels. We have hooked Lawrence and now he wants to read all of them.