British author Jasper Fforde has come up with quite the clever universe in his Thursday Next series of novels. I have only read the first two (found them in paperback at Costco) since the third just came out in paperback last month. I've been keeping an eye out for it before I break down & order it off Amazon, but I think that will be soon. The fourth just came out in hardback, but I'm not sure yet if this is a series I'm committing to purchasing in hardback, but it is darn fun to read...hmmm...
To give you a taste, here's the back cover summary of The Eyre Affair
"Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and Impressionists, and thousands of men are named John Milton, an homage to the real Milton and a very confusing situation for the police. Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that's just a prelude..."
Of course I had finished the first two books before ever going to the official site, which looks maintained by the author himself...I think he's been having fun with Photoshop with the mammoth migration through sleepy British villages, etc (don't worry - you'll understand after reading)...but I haven't poked around too much since I'm wary of spoilers for the 2 books I haven't read yet... :)
My mom's comment after reading the first one was "I don't think I'm smart enough for these books. I feel like I'm missing a lot, and I never read Jane Eyre." However, I just gave Kael The Eyre Affair for his birthday this week, and he is loving it already...I highly recommend the series to anyone fond of quirky sci-fi, Harry Potter fans, and anyone fond of puns, wordplay and literature.
P.S. Personally I couldn't get past the first 150 pages of Jane Eyre in highschool AP English Lit class, and Kael admits never having read it either, but I don't think that really matters...just in case that was scaring anyone off... :)