Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jasper Fforde

I was sent this interview with Jasper Fforde in Newsweek asking him about his favorite books:

#1 "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll. At the age of 7 or 8, I was swept away by Alice's madcap escapades and respectful irreverence of established nursery characters and situations.

#2"Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome. Fresh and joyous self-deprecating humor of lazy Victorian gentlemen going for a cruise on the Thames in the late 19th century.

Not mentioned but a heavy influence in his books are Edward Lear's nonsense poems, but not his most famous, The Owl and the Pussycat which only gets an fun sidebar.

It also asks him:
A classic that, on rereading, disappointed: "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë. I had thought it was deep and full of painful unrequited love, but on rereading I think it's a bunch of very drippy people who accept being bullied for no very good reason.

Fforde's delightful books savage Wuthering Heights even as they are reletively affectionate when they satirize everything from Barbara Cartland to Kafka. The only other books he is cruel to are Ulysses by James Joyce and Spencer's Fairy Queene, Joyce for pretension and Spencer actually kills a character through boredom. Wuthering Heights comes in as a punching bag for a whole subplot in Well of Lost Plots from therapy sessions to assassination attempts to a Hollywood style awards show, the scorn heaped on Heights is palpable and hilarious.

I eagerly await Fforde's next book, First Among Sequels.

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