Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

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Title: The Big Over Easy
Author: Jasper Fforde
Publisher: Penguin
Series: Nursery Crime, Book 1
Paperback: 383 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
In The Big Over Easy, Fforde takes a break from classic literature and tumbles into the seedy underbelly of nursery crime. Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He's investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.

Overall Rating: 4/5

I'm a huge fan of Fforde -- no matter what he tackles, he is always able to write unique, interesting stories that make me laugh. I get the impression that The Big Over Easy is a spin-off from the Thursday Next series, except a little ways into the future. She isn't mentioned, but another character is. In any case, Fforde has yet again written a brilliant novel. In The Big Over Easy, Humpty Dumpty has fallen off a wall, and it is up to Jack Spratt and his partner, Mary Mary to figure out what happened. But in a world where the importance of detective investigations are rated by their publication value, there are some strange obstacles and pitfalls the investigators need to be aware of.

I really like how Fforde isn't afraid to get a bit silly with the things he adds in -- when you're putting a nursery tale twist on crime, this is a definite plus. He has created an odd world where aliens, Greek gods, and nursery characters all exist (and even live together in the same town). I enjoyed the humor, and the crime story is actually decently good. Lots of twists and turns, false leads, and random evidence that actually ends up being pertinent. Add to that some irony and comedy, and that's pretty much what this novel offers. I loved it. This isn't as unputdownable as his other works, but I enjoyed it and had fun getting to know the characters.

This isn't as great as the Thursday Next series, but for those who are looking for a different twist on the crime genre, this is definitely for you.