This is the 50th entry since I started this blog and I was going to attempt something significant. However I decided instead to highly commend Jasper Fforde’s latest book The Fourth Bear which I am currently reading as my non-academic feed.
Fforde comes in a long tradition of British humour that stretches from Swift and includes current authors such as Pratchett and Holt. His first series whose heroine is Thursday Next posits a future Britain in which Wales is a Stalinist state, cheese is contraband and the Crimean War is a recent event. If that were not enough Mrs Haversham from Great Expectations is a literary detective who likes driving fast cars. Oh and croquet is the national sport involving significant violence. In the latest novel the Gingerbreadman is a psychopath, sadist and convicted murderer loose on the streets of Reading. The Three Bears are the last witnesses to the murder and the key question is how could the bear’s porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?. The whole book (and those which came before) are intelligent, witty a real delight and any aliens probably belong in The Well of Lost Plots which is an insider joke for fellow fans of Fford.