Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Fourth Bear

I have a penchant for silly. I think it started back in 1978 when I read Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin. I loved the puns. I still giggle when I reread the books. So silly. 

After that I discovered The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The adventures of Arthur Dent are very, very silly.

With a love of silliness I guess it's not strange that I love Jasper Fforde books. I think Thursday Next is a great character. The Eyre Affair introduced me to her and the crazy world she lives in. I was hooked.

The Four Bear is the second book int he Nursery Crime series. Jack Spratt and his partner Mary Mary are looking for a reporter named Goldilocks. The trail leads through the woods to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bear (Baby is away at college) who have had a break in. It doesn't take long to figure out that the culprit is their missing reporter.

As secondary plot, prolific serial killer Gingerbread Man has escaped custody and gone on a "murderous rampage." Jack is suspended pending a psych evaluation but he keeps running into the fugitive while "unofficially" looking for Goldilocks.

Another subplot deals with PDRs (persons of dubious reality.) Punch & Judy are Jack's new next door neighbors. When he goes to confront them about the ongoing domestic disturbance the two combatants confront Jack with his horrible secret. He is a PDR. His "real" (second) wife doesn't know. What's it worth to Jack to keep his secret?

The idea of nursery rhymes coming to life and running amuck is silly. There were things that made me laugh out loud in this book. I can't wait to see where this series goes. As we all know, nursery rhymes are not all rainbows and puppy dogs. Take the domestic violence perpetrated by Punch and his wife Judy. There are so many places Fforde can go with Jack and his friends and I can't wait to read the next book.