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The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-03-17 14:57
Subject: #123 Jasper Fforde: The Fourth Bear
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Jasper Fforde: The Fourth Bear

Paperback: 383 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (6 Jul 2006)
ISBN-10: 0340835729
ISBN-13: 978-0340835722
Category(ies): Comic Fantasy

I worry that Fforde is turning into the new Tom Holt.

Both writers write comic fantasy, based in a here-and-now Britain. But the complaint against Holt for a long time has been that his works are always the same - there is a formulaic centre to his work that never really progresses. In fact, that's a little unfair, since Holt has done work outside his normal area.

With this novel, the followup to The Big Over Easy, Jack Spratt has to cope with the escape of the GTingerbread Man, the most terrifying serial killer in history. Meanwhile, Goldilocks has been found dead at the house of the Three Bears. Yes, it's chaos in Reading again (that's Reading the Berkshire town, not Reading the activity). There's plenty of invention, but for me, somehow, it just all fell rather flat. Disappointing.
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BB
User: isihac
Date: 2007-03-17 15:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I found it fun, but it seemed rushed at the end as if someone poked him and said 'You've only got pages left in this book - wrap it up now!'.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-03-17 17:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's the hardest thing for me to explain about a book like this - why it didn't quite work. Sometimes, it's where and when I'm reading it. But this one - meh, all I can say is it just didn't work, whereas the previous one did. It's as well written, there's plenty going one, etc. etc. Perhaps I need to go on a criticism course or two, to see if there's an objectively visible structural fault I can point at.

But I suspect it's subjective. All I can say is this one just didn't work for me.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2007-03-17 21:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I didn't read the previous one because the premise was just the same as one of Robert Rankin's books, nursery crimes and all that.

The ones about Tuesday Next (or whatever her name was) were a bit hardgoing, but OK in the end. Some of the middle books didn't seem to come from or go to anywhere.

Tom Holt I stopped reading for a while until the recent ones about the portable door, but the third one was less enjoyable because he was tying up all the threads and it was epic hero stuff again (yawn).
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