it’s official. jasper fforde may well be my next favorite author. i finished reading ‘the fourth bear’, and absolutely love it. scroll down to check out the other authors that graced syigim’s best-read list.
one of the many funny snippets from the book :
“when did he escape?”
“97 minutes ago,” replied copperfield. “killed two male nurses and his doctor with his bare hands. the other three orderlies who accompanied him are critical in hospital.”
“yes; don’t like the food, beds uncomfortable, waiting lists too long – usual crap. other than that, they’re fine.”
~ pg. 55
what is it about?
the homicidal psychopath gingerbread man broke out from the mental hospital, and nursery crime detective jack spratt (yes, a detective who investigates crime that has nursery rhyme characters in them) is off to a chase. at the same time, investigating the disappearance of a journalist – blonde and fussy not-too-hot, not-too-cold – aka ‘goldilocks’, who was last seen at the home of ‘three bears’, and after successfully cracking the case on who pushed humpty dumpty – pun intended.
another funny bit about this books is that ‘porridge’ is like drugs to bears, so the NCD (nursery crime division), headed by jack spratt is trying to crack an illegal porridge-dealing-smuggling syndicate.
"how could the bears' porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?" ~ jasper fforde’s ‘the fourth bear’
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he’s been compared to terry pratchett, and i can see why. both uses this alternate reality of our world and change it to fit their wacky storyline. for example, terry pratchett’s stories are set in ‘the discworld’, a world like ours but with a police force that consists of few humans, a troll, a dwarf, a hot werewolf, and a recovering vampire who wants to quit drinking blood. funny stuff.
meanwhile, jasper fforde’s stories are set in a place called ‘berkshire’, where the police force consists of a special department called the NCD – nursery crime division. they investigate crimes that has a nursery rhyme theme to it – like ‘mr and mrs dish’s daughter who ran away with mr. spoon’ (get it?), and of course, ‘who killed humpty dumpty?’ as well as a stake-out to rescue ‘red riding hood from a certain wolf’.
so while pratchett puts in fantasy fiction characters in his book, fforde incorporates nursery rhymes characters in his.
to love jasper fforde’s work, you need to GET him, and when you do, his work is pretty hillarious. if you like a weirded-out whodunnit, with a bit of wacky thrown into the mix, you’d like ‘the fourth bear’.
i’m seriously getting his other books. man, looks like i need a bigger bookrack…
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the other awesome authors in ‘syigim’s favorite’ list :
- stephen king : master of horror. i love his ‘it’, ‘shawshank redemption, ‘stand by me’, ‘salem’s lot’ and ‘christine’. was involved in a serious car accident that almost took his life. lepas accident tu, buku-buku dia dah tak best sangat. i much prefer his earlier works.
- terry pratchett : fantasy-satire at its best. his best work that i love includes ‘the truth’ and ‘the moving picture’. he was recently diagnosed with alzheimer! sedih kan? mesti dia nak cuba tulis sebanyak buku yg boleh seblom dia nyanyuk…
- roald dahl : best work includes, urm – ALL his work! his favorite color is yellow – mine too!
- agatha christie : queen of crimes. ALL her work is mind-bogglingly fantastic!
- george orwell : ONLY for his ‘animal farm’, to me one of the best books ever written.
i also LOVE reading short stories; especially by jeffrey archer, edgar allan poe and h.g. wells. and of course, i am a HUGE fan of horror story books (no matter who wrote them), especially compilations of horror short stories.
hmm, now where’s that ikea catalogue? i need to look for a cheap bookrack…