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Oct 12, 2007, 5:03:35 PM10/12/07
to Readers Anonymous
Does anybody else get the feeling that Tibbit is up to something? I
found it odd that he was sitting in Jack's desk and then that he
missed the bullet cartridge. It could be that theyr'e trying to say
that he is a fool, but I think there is more to him than meets the

Anybody else notice anything else with Tibbit (ha ha, I spelled his
name backwards).

Oct 15, 2007, 12:05:26 PM10/15/07
to Readers Anonymous
you're funny...

i think a lot of people are suspect. tibbit is a good suspect b/c
little is said about him, and he's a "forgotten" employee who "doesnt
mind" working in the lowest office possible. why would that be?

why do you think mary is allowed to be followed by our 3rd person
narrator? this makes her both suspect and protagonist, and i'm not
sure i like that position for this book. i'm already assuming that she
writes up a great case story for spratt and the ncd becomes reputible
(hence the other books in the series...). because of this, i dont
think she should have been pulled in as a voice until the 2nd book.

Oct 15, 2007, 5:20:57 PM10/15/07
to Readers Anonymous
That's an interesting point too... from the rules that are set up by
this book it seems that Mary Mary is a poor OS. Technically, they
should be following the book from the first person perspective of Mary
Mary but Fforde wanted to work in elements of her corruption into the
story and the life of Jack (honestly, it would've been wicked awesome
if they would've worked in more of the Sidekick thing from the
superhero perspective. I just finished reading Dark Victory which was
Jeph Loeb (one of the writers for Hero's and Tim Sale (the jones that
does the art for Hero's) introduction of Robin to the Dark Knight. It
would've been awesome to have worked an undermining sidekick's
perspective into this).

Where was I?

I think he is doing what he is doing throughout the whole book and
loosely following the rules but not breaking them. It's interesting,
hopefully the other books in the series work a little bit better.

Oh, and they still have to work in the whole bean stalk.

rhett butler

Oct 18, 2007, 3:42:29 PM10/18/07
to, Readers Anonymous
I finished the book a few days ago.  Not to give anything away, but my favorite part of the book was the conflict Mary had between Chymes and Jack.  I especially liked the somewhat subtle desperation of chymes throughout his interactions with her.  It's clear he's desperate to maintain his popularity is based on a sham and he's willing to go to great lengths to perpetuate it.  In fact, he was my leading candidate for the murder.

The end of the book did keep me interested (maybe it was because I was packed onto a claustrophobic plane?), but I'm not particularly interested in reading another Jack Spratt book.

- Leonardo Da Vinci


Oct 20, 2007, 10:46:44 PM10/20/07
to Readers Anonymous
Ok I am not to page 206 yet, but I am close. I have to agree with
Rhett that Chymes is my leading suspect, especially seeing the
rediculous complexity of some of the crimes they investigate. I am
not finding the book very drawing (ie it doesn't make me want to read
it) but it's okay.

So is Mary Mary quite contrary? And will Jack go up the beanstaulk?
These question remain to be answered...

Oct 22, 2007, 11:14:01 AM10/22/07
to Readers Anonymous
ok, so i'm a bit of a geek here, but i seem to have forgotten a lot of
the nursery rhymes from my past! so, i went to a few websites and
checked them out. it was a lot of fun re-reading them and learning
about their history (if there was any).

did anyone else do this? has anyone seen the disney program where they
went through "london bridges," and "mary mary"?

rhett butler

Oct 22, 2007, 4:55:44 PM10/22/07
to, Readers Anonymous
My favorite allusion was when they asked Vavoom "didn't you used to be a big movie star?"
the reference was to the gal featured in Sunset Boulevard (can't remember her name) and she famously replied, "I *am* big, it's the movies that got small."

"To the ambitious for whom neither the bounty of life nor the beauty of the world suffice to content, it comes as penance that life with them is squandered and that they posses neither the benefits nor the beauty of the world.  And if they are unable to perceive what is divine in Nature which is all around them, how will they be able to see their own divinity, which is sometimes hidden."

- Leonardo Da Vinci


Oct 23, 2007, 9:56:34 PM10/23/07
to Readers Anonymous
I do have to admit I liked the 'nail soup' bit. Those are the things
that make me laugh.

Oct 24, 2007, 11:01:40 AM10/24/07
to Readers Anonymous
Yeah, the little touches that are nice. 10 I think you're the only
one that hasn't finished reading but this won't really spoil anything
for you. The irony of this novel is that it wanted to turn into a
farce the usual plot twists that come from late 19th to early 20th
century murder mysteries. But in the end it ended up emphasizing
them; Fford would most likely say that this was both an attempt to
satirize as well as honor this realm of fiction. I don't buy it
though. Along with most of the nursery rhymes having been boosted the
actual plot line seemed similar to teh outcome from Agatha Christie's
'Murder on the Orient Express', a story where everybody ended up
leading to the victims death.

This is a book that devotes too much space to cutsey nursery rhymes at
the expense of actual story; by Fford forcing himself into a corner
with the characters he's selected he's not augmenting the story but in
fact trying to make a puzzle out of all circular pieces. It simply
doesn't work and is too much of a distraction from the narrative.

It isn't the worst book I've read and the concept is interesting
but... it missed for me.

Oct 24, 2007, 4:10:32 PM10/24/07
to Readers Anonymous
yeah, it missed for me too. i am not a fan of the "bait-and-switch"
technique that was used for the end of this story. we were given some
information to speculate on, but all of that was traded in for a grand
finale of mish-mash tales all squished together. i would have found it
more interesting if he would have stuck closer to a couple of tales
instead of the bajillion he used.

ironically, it was a quick read, but it just didnt go very fast. i can
see how Fford is an appealing writer, and i wont force my opinion
about this book onto his other works, but i find serial writing to be
a difficult thing to accomplish successfully. this is going to be the
final season of scrubs (if you didnt already know that - you can cry
w/ the rest of us). i think this is a good thing. scrubs is a great
show, and has a lot of great characters that are pliable enough to
keep plot twists interesting. unfortunately, how many times can elliot
and JD get together? it's the whole rachel/ross syndrome of
repetition. you can only goad the audience so many times before we
start screaming "move on already!!!" to the screen. plus, they are
getting out of the endearing 20-something quasi-ignorant stage of
life. we're moving toward the "gray's anatomy" side, and frankly, i'm
just not into that show. :o) so to keep it fresh and unique as the
show always has been, the writers are ending it this year. good for

i drifted from my point about serial novels... there aren't many out
there that can stay fresh and unique through the whole series. that's
it. that's my point. i'm done now.

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