Sunday, 3 April 2011

Book review: The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

The Fourth Bear (Nursery Crime, #2)The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

I'd read one of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, but I didn't realise he'd written a collection of books based around nursery rhymes. I picked this up in a charity shop, not knowing it was the second in the series. But it didn't matter, the characters were introduced well and although I'd not read the previous one, there were several references to Red Riding Hood, which I'm guessing is the previous case.

Fforde's universe is amazing, bears and aliens and PDR's (basically nursery rhyme characters) live alongside humans and it's all totally believable. I also love the added section of the Berkshire Bumper Book of Records at the beginning of every chapter.

The story itself is brilliant if a little confusing. This book focuses on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but puts a spin on it that brings it up to modern day. Intertwined in this is the psychopathic Gingerbreadman, possibly one of the best ideas ever! As well as bears breaking their porridge quotas, a new theme park known as Sommeworld and a global company known as QuangTech.

The reason why I didn't give this five stars is because it took me a while to get into it. I probably read the last half of the book within two days, but the first half took me about a month. I'd say the reason for this is because there are a lot of different elements you have to keep in your brain, such as cucumbers exploding, the Gingerbreadman and Spratt and Mary busting a bear with a van full of oats. Only later does it all so cleverly slot together.

Overall four strars for the great characters, clever plot and fantastic world that Fforde has created. I will most certainly be getting the others!

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