Sunday, July 29, 2007

Philistines Workpack

There is a lovely interview with Ruth, among a lot of lovely, detailed and interesting information about Philistines, in the National Theatre Workpack for the play. That is where the above lovely photo comes from.

Click here to open or download (it's a pdf document): Philistines Workpack.

Monday, July 16, 2007

First Among Sequels

I ought to be writing the short play for my writing assignment, but I can't think of anything to write, or a theme, or any decent characters, or a plot that is anything other than half baked. So I've been reading instead. I should be writing, it's due in less that two weeks....

I've been reading the new Jasper Fforde, First Among Sequels, aka the further adventures of Thursday Next. In this book, Thursday is now a 52 year old mum, still gallivanting around the Bookworld and engaging in furtive SpecOps work, all the while trying to get her recalcitrant and supine son to join the Chronoguard. Add into this, illegal cheese smuggling, a devil in disguise, two fictional Thursdays, the ghost of Mycroft and the added burden of carpet laying and you've got an enjoyable story.

I won't spoiler the book as not everyone is trying to avoid doing work like I am and has already read it. There is no Rochester in this one, apart from a few fleeting mentions, but there is a little bit of Pride and Prejudice, but Fforde wisely doesn't introduce Darcy into the narrative. The Bennet sisters attempts at Mother control however raise quite a chuckle.

While the book is enjoyable, it's not as good as the previous books. There doesn't appear to be a solid central plot, in fact the book almost seems like it's made up of sub plots, some of which are criminally unresolved by the end of the book. Which is both good as there will be more Thursday, but also bad, because I'll now have to wait two years for the resolution. Dagnamit. And my footnoterphone dialogue is missing due to a printer's mishap. Grrggh.

A few highlights of the book were: the unfortunate piano mishap in Emma (there are apparently only 15 pianos in the whole of the Book World and only one elephant) and towards the end the way in which Fforde depicts the Big Nothing is really quite audacious and satisfying. That last sentence will have made no sense unless you've read the book, but it's is one of my highlights.

I missed Mrs. Bradshaw and Thursday's father in this book, and I really wanted Thursday to go booksploring for a way into Sherlock Holmes (because he died falling off Reichenbach Falls!) instead of her more moribund cadet training. Oh well.

If you've never read any Thursday Next novels, start at the beginning with the Eyre Affair (Jane Eyre get's kidnapped and plenty of Rochester) and work your way towards this one, take your time, you've got two years.

Now back to gazing at a blank screen wondering what to write....