I got hooked on Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books several years ago on a trip to Montana. My literary agent had recommended I read the first book in the series, The Eyre Affair, as a crash course in world-building. I listened to it while I was driving from Seattle to Billings for a series of speaking and book events, and at every book store I visited, I talked up Fforde's ingenious premise, which is pretty much like crack for book nerds.
Thursday Next works for Jurisfiction, a British government agency in charge of literary crimes and capers. (In The Eyre Affair, Next pursues the villain through the Bronte landscape after the abduction of Jane Eyre.) Art imitates life in the recent installment, as all hell is breaking loose in BookWorld. No one will find this book more hilarious or more painful than writers. (And yes, my agent was spot on with her advice. The world-building is phenomenal. This is definitely one of those writers you read to become a better writer.)
Per the PR:
All-out Genre war is rumbling, and the BookWorld desperately needs a heroine like Thursday Next. But with the real Thursday apparently retired to the Realworld, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday.Tomorrow Jasper Fforde stops by to talk about the longevity of this wonderfully brainy and unique series, the art of world-building, and what's next for Next.
The Council wants her to pretend to be the real Thursday and travel as a peacekeeping emissary to the warring factions. A trip up the mighty Metaphoric River beckons-a trip that will reveal a fiendish plot that threatens the very fabric of the BookWorld itself.