Early Riser
The new standalone novel from Number 1 bestselling author Jasper Fforde. Every Winter, the human population hibernates. During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, and devoid of human activity. Well, not quite. Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.When you get the dreams too, it's weird.When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.

Early Riser Details

TitleEarly Riser
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 2nd, 2018
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
ISBN-139781444763584
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Adult

Early Riser Review

  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this title on Netgalley as I am a massive fan of the authors works. Once again Jasper Fforde has created a world that initially seems insane but is written with such practical language and real characters that by the end of the book it's completely normal. The characters are really well written, I particularly liked the main character Charlie, and found the dialogue between them all was brilliant. The sense of peace and danger that the winter in this I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this title on Netgalley as I am a massive fan of the authors works. Once again Jasper Fforde has created a world that initially seems insane but is written with such practical language and real characters that by the end of the book it's completely normal. The characters are really well written, I particularly liked the main character Charlie, and found the dialogue between them all was brilliant. The sense of peace and danger that the winter in this world presents really comes across in the writing and my only criticism would be that the book wraps up a bit too quickly for my liking. Saying that, this was a great read for all Fforde fans and those who like their dystopian fiction a bit quirky with a lot of humour.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    *Edit 3/12/2018: Release date seems to be firm August 2nd, 2018? Hopefully?This is apparently really for real coming out in 2017, so time to get pumped.
  • Andover Library
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book was like re-connecting with an old friend. The characters might be different and the setting new but the style and humour were undeniably Fforde. As always Fforde makes you feel right at home in the most improbable of settings, this time on an AU Earth at the start of the Ice Age like winter that Humans need to hibernate through. We follow Charlie (or Wonky as he is known to his annoyance) as he stays awake for his first Winter joining a small band of hardened people who stay a Reading this book was like re-connecting with an old friend. The characters might be different and the setting new but the style and humour were undeniably Fforde. As always Fforde makes you feel right at home in the most improbable of settings, this time on an AU Earth at the start of the Ice Age like winter that Humans need to hibernate through. We follow Charlie (or Wonky as he is known to his annoyance) as he stays awake for his first Winter joining a small band of hardened people who stay awake to ensure that others are looked after while they sleep. Being his first winter, Charlie should be spending it somewhere nice and safe indoors filing and making tea but fate seems to have other ideas in store for him as he keeps hearing about a viral dream involving a Blue Buick and creepy hands. Of course Charlie can't just ignore something like that can he....Charlie was a likeable character from the start and only got more so as the book progressed. A nice guy who tried to do his best but somehow always ended up way over his head. There were some nice subtle nods to Fforde's back catalogue with mentions going to gingham fabric and Caravaggio (I'm sure there are others that I missed but these ones stood out. Sadly no Dodo's this time though! A hugely fun read that I thoroughly recommend.With thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Angela Groves
    January 1, 1970
    This was one brilliantly funny and bonkers book. It's been a while since I have read a book that has just been fun, even with the slightly disturbing thought of how vaunerable we are when we sleep. Set in an alternate universe Wales where mankind hibernate through the winter, the story follows the main character Charlie as he tries to adjust to life as winter law enforcement, trying to solve the mysteries of the viral dreams of sector 12, the decidedly dodgy HiberTech and the mysterious mythical This was one brilliantly funny and bonkers book. It's been a while since I have read a book that has just been fun, even with the slightly disturbing thought of how vaunerable we are when we sleep. Set in an alternate universe Wales where mankind hibernate through the winter, the story follows the main character Charlie as he tries to adjust to life as winter law enforcement, trying to solve the mysteries of the viral dreams of sector 12, the decidedly dodgy HiberTech and the mysterious mythical Wintervolk. A detective story with a difference. Highly recommended to anyone who wants something genre crossing and fun.
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  • Kath
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this book is part of my ongoing mission to diversify my reading away from my usual crime fiction comfort zone so you could say that I am relatively new to the genre. It's also my first Jasper Fforde book. Something that, after reading it, I am definitely going to rectify. I am not sure if this is the way he writes all his books but there were quite a few footnotes throughout the book which I did initially find a bit distracting, especially as I was also trying to get into the whole dystopi Well, this book is part of my ongoing mission to diversify my reading away from my usual crime fiction comfort zone so you could say that I am relatively new to the genre. It's also my first Jasper Fforde book. Something that, after reading it, I am definitely going to rectify. I am not sure if this is the way he writes all his books but there were quite a few footnotes throughout the book which I did initially find a bit distracting, especially as I was also trying to get into the whole dystopian thing. So, and I have to admit this cos it happened, I initially gave up on the book, not for good, just put it aside for a time when I had a clearer day, chores wise, and I could devote a bigger chunk of reading time to it so I could give myself a chance to get into what I was reading. That turned out to be a brilliant plan as it wasn't long before I really found myself immersed into this strange world that the author had created.I say it's a dystopian book, I could also pop it into my other favourite genre of book (oh I wish it was a genre) which is, of course, bonkers. It is deliciously so! And funny, very funny at times. Set in an alternative Wales, mankind now find themselves having to hibernate through the most wicked winters. Our hero of the piece, Charlie is just starting off his working life as an apprentice Winter Consul, staying away throughout to watch over things and make sure that the majority wake up intact when the season changes. There are some wicked perils than can befall those who slumber, Nightwalkers, thieves and other villains but when it is dreams that start killing people as they sleep then Charlie really has to earn his crust.I took to Charlie from the off, which really did help me as I started to explore his world. His backstory was interesting and he came across as a thoroughly likeable chap. Yes he did have strange reasons for wanting to do what he does but then he really did step up when the chips were down. It also helped that I really connected to the author's sense of humour, finding myself tittering and, on occasion, laughing out load - probably at times when really it might not have been appropriate - but I did find it rather infectious. The storyline was, for me anyway, quite unique and, once I finally got my head round what was going on, really intriguing. It did swing about a bit but that just added to the bizarre nature of the overall premise. I've already said that it took me a while to fully immerse myself into the world the author created but the familiar things that were interspersed throughout really did help me place myself.All in all I am glad I took a chance on something new and now I have another author to add to my already bulging back catalogue. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • Irifev
    January 1, 1970
    Nach einiger Zeit wieder ein neuer Roman von Jasper Fforde. Vergleichbar ist der Roman mit Grau bzw. Shades of Grey. Auch hier ist der Schauplatz eine dystopisch angehauchte Welt, wenngleich diesmal die Gefahr von der Kälte ausgeht. Wenn im Winter Temperaturen von -40 Grad normal sind, und man gegen den Klimawandel (die globale Abkühlung) kämpft, hat sich die Menschheit daran angepasst - und zieht sich in den Winterschlaf zurück. Nur wenige Personen sind während des Winters wach, darunter die Ha Nach einiger Zeit wieder ein neuer Roman von Jasper Fforde. Vergleichbar ist der Roman mit Grau bzw. Shades of Grey. Auch hier ist der Schauplatz eine dystopisch angehauchte Welt, wenngleich diesmal die Gefahr von der Kälte ausgeht. Wenn im Winter Temperaturen von -40 Grad normal sind, und man gegen den Klimawandel (die globale Abkühlung) kämpft, hat sich die Menschheit daran angepasst - und zieht sich in den Winterschlaf zurück. Nur wenige Personen sind während des Winters wach, darunter die Hauptperson, Charles Worthing. Die Hauptperson wirkt dabei leider wie Eddie Russett im Figurenaustauschprogramm. Zwar sind wieder enorm viele kreative und komische Gedanken dabei, die Klasse von Shades of Grey oder der anderen Romane von Jasper Fforde erreicht das Buch aber aus meiner Sicht nicht. Wobei das natürlich Kritik auf hohem Niveau ist. In Summe ist das Buch definitiv zu empfehlen!
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    Fabulously, fabulously Fford!
  • Helen White
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and all involved for the advance copy of this. For quite a while I bumbled along reading this - similar to Charles the main character not quite knowing what was going on. Then suddenly it clicked and it became brilliant. In an ice age Wales where most of the population hibernate the people who decide to stay awake during the winter face many struggles. For Charles taking a new job is perilous enough but suddenly finding yourself in the midst of dreaming, pl Thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and all involved for the advance copy of this. For quite a while I bumbled along reading this - similar to Charles the main character not quite knowing what was going on. Then suddenly it clicked and it became brilliant. In an ice age Wales where most of the population hibernate the people who decide to stay awake during the winter face many struggles. For Charles taking a new job is perilous enough but suddenly finding yourself in the midst of dreaming, plots, counter-plots and death threats is quite hard. Not to mention the mysterious Gronk which just takes people from the snow forever. As usual Fforde's style encapsulates fantasy, adventure and several twists on the world we know. When the Villains appeared I knew I was emersed in Fforde's world. If you want something a bit different or have read Fforde before then read this. Look out for Rick Astley.
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  • Neil de Carteret
    January 1, 1970
    It's brilliant. Fforde is such a great imaginer of weird world, yet he also makes those worlds feel homely and lived-in. The story tells us about things that are completely weird and alien to us, but by a few pages you're accepting them as absolutely normal; the world feels stable and complete in itself. Every line of dialogue is perfectly turned, every character is so well-characterised you feel like you've known them from childhood. And the plot just thunders along, but in a cosy and easy-to-r It's brilliant. Fforde is such a great imaginer of weird world, yet he also makes those worlds feel homely and lived-in. The story tells us about things that are completely weird and alien to us, but by a few pages you're accepting them as absolutely normal; the world feels stable and complete in itself. Every line of dialogue is perfectly turned, every character is so well-characterised you feel like you've known them from childhood. And the plot just thunders along, but in a cosy and easy-to-read way. I was sad that Jasper had spent so long away from my reading list, but if it gave him time to perfect this masterpiece, I'm all for it.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    I am a massive fan of Jasper Fforde, and had the pleasure of going to see him do a talk about this book in Manchester a few days ago. He was charming and funny and revealed a lot about his writing process. I was therefore very excited to start reading Early Riser. Initially, whilst I was really enjoying the world Fforde had created, a few of the references were lost on me a little- all of them references to in-world items and events that required a little extra thought to contextualise. Neverthe I am a massive fan of Jasper Fforde, and had the pleasure of going to see him do a talk about this book in Manchester a few days ago. He was charming and funny and revealed a lot about his writing process. I was therefore very excited to start reading Early Riser. Initially, whilst I was really enjoying the world Fforde had created, a few of the references were lost on me a little- all of them references to in-world items and events that required a little extra thought to contextualise. Nevertheless, I joyfully persevered and have just finished a wonderful book which did a fantastic job of character development for all of the main characters, and wove an intriguing and exciting narrative. It had the characteristic Fforde humour and I’m excited about the future projects he hinted about at his talk- I may even dip back into a few old favourites! It was strange to read about the intense cold in the in-universe Wales during the boiling summer were experiencing at the moment, but it was an absolute pleasure to read and a definite recommender!
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  • Chrys
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely amazing, so many clever and entertaining puns wrapped up in an adventure like no other. The line between reality and imagination is intelligently blurred with Mr Fforde's unique style. One of my favourite authors. I definitely recommend this, and his other books, highly.
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  • Micawbers Lolly Tonic
    January 1, 1970
    Holy! A new Fforde is finally here! I can't wait to get my hands on this.
  • Ashleigh
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come on my blog soon.
  • Liesl
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a massive Jasper Fforde fan since discovering "The Eyre Affair" a few years ago, so was thrilled to have the unexpected surprise of seeing he'd released a new book. In retrospect, coming to a book with such high expectations isn't necessarily the greatest idea. I have always been a bigger fan of Fforde's literary parodies and also found "Shades of Grey" a bit lackluster, so it is perhaps unsurprising that while I enjoyed "Early Riser", it's not one I foresee myself rereading for a wh I have been a massive Jasper Fforde fan since discovering "The Eyre Affair" a few years ago, so was thrilled to have the unexpected surprise of seeing he'd released a new book. In retrospect, coming to a book with such high expectations isn't necessarily the greatest idea. I have always been a bigger fan of Fforde's literary parodies and also found "Shades of Grey" a bit lackluster, so it is perhaps unsurprising that while I enjoyed "Early Riser", it's not one I foresee myself rereading for a while or recommending. The slightly surrealist humor and grim dystopian setting feels like a mismatch for me with the tone rapidly shifting depending on the situation. Although I will say that the zombies were equally grim and hilarious in a fantastic way.There's definitely a lot to enjoy in this book, however. The way dreams are used in the book are really cool and as per usual for Fforde's work, the kooky cast of characters provide plenty of light relief (special mention to Jonesy and Toccata). If you like Fforde's sense of humour, it's worth giving it a try.Thank you Netgalley for giving me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jennyh
    January 1, 1970
    Jasper Fforde hits the humour button as his ability to poke fun at serious matters and turn them into the ridiculous is unsurpassed.This time humans hibernate over winter – but not without the perils of Night Walkers, mortality and hallucinations.This is good, but Istill prefer the Thursday Next books.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this, as I love the rest of Jasper Fforde's books, but I struggled a bit. It has his usual clever cultural twists and references to familiar things out of context (Rick Astley makes an appearance here), but doesn't always explain them - for some reason children are brought up in a Pool, which is never properly explained, as if he forgot to go back to the explanation. Set in an alternative reality where people hibernate through Winter (which is much harsher), and take drugs to gi I wanted to love this, as I love the rest of Jasper Fforde's books, but I struggled a bit. It has his usual clever cultural twists and references to familiar things out of context (Rick Astley makes an appearance here), but doesn't always explain them - for some reason children are brought up in a Pool, which is never properly explained, as if he forgot to go back to the explanation. Set in an alternative reality where people hibernate through Winter (which is much harsher), and take drugs to give them dreamless sleep. Only a few people stay awake, including dangerous Villains, security, the shadowy pharmaceutical firm who manufacture the drugs and the Consuls, who make sure things run smoothly despite the hazards of the Wintervolk. Charlie joins the Consuls and finds himself involved in a viral dream, which has much more to it than it originally appears, plus looking after those who never fully wake up from hibernation. There's a good story in there, and the usual Fforde range of characters but it was a little drowned out by the world-building, just slightly too much information to digest to try and make sense of it all whilst still following the story, as if Fforde got a bit carried away.It's not that I wouldn't recommend reading it, but it's probably more for existing Fforde fans rather than bringing new ones in, and I can't help but wish he'd written a new Shades of Grey book instead.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from the publisher, Hachette, at no cost. It's out now; RRP $29.99. If you tried reading one of the Thursday Next books and you hated everything about the whimsy of Fforde's alternate world, just stop reading now: this book won't be for you.If you quite liked the early Next books and got a bit sad as they got sillier, keep reading.If you've never read a Fforde book, you can keep reading too.And if you're a hardcore Fforde fan who's been waiting... and waiting... and waiting I received this book from the publisher, Hachette, at no cost. It's out now; RRP $29.99. If you tried reading one of the Thursday Next books and you hated everything about the whimsy of Fforde's alternate world, just stop reading now: this book won't be for you.If you quite liked the early Next books and got a bit sad as they got sillier, keep reading.If you've never read a Fforde book, you can keep reading too.And if you're a hardcore Fforde fan who's been waiting... and waiting... and waiting for the sequel to Shades of Grey... well, this isn't it, but it does mark Fforde's return to writing after a hiatus of a few years, so: maybe it will arrive at some point? This book is immediately recognisable as part of Fforde's very particular way of constructing alternate worlds. There's just enough recognisable from our world - what else would a Welsh near-zombie play but a Tom Jones song - but with some completely and wildly different things thrown in. In the Thursday Next world, the Crimean War never ended, and genetic manipulation means people have dodos as pets. Here, humanity hibernates. The vast majority of the population packs on fat, grows a winter pelt, and sleeps away the winter. Except, in more modern times, for the Winter Consuls - and a few dangerously antisocial types. The Winter Consuls help to keep things running through the winter; like keeping the antisocial types under control. Charlie is the focal character - he's just joined the Winter Consuls and is, of course, discovering that everything is not as it seems (whatasurprise). Through Charlie as novice, the reader learns about the Winter and how to survive, as well as about Morphenox - the drug that helps with hibernation, preventing the previously hideous losses, although only if you can afford it - and the various criminal and/or mythical types who also stay awake through winter. Oh and this isn't just the winter of our world; this is the sort of winter that means mammoths are still alive and well. And global warming will mean something rather different. It's a very silly book in a lot of ways. There are silly/amusing jokes riffing off contemporary culture, and for some reason a massive painting of Clytemnestra. But at the same time, Fforde touches on all sorts of intriguing social ideas that might come about because of the hibernation - or simply from different ways of doing things. Like mandating childbearing, but providing the option to pass that responsibility off - to the willing or the desperate. Loss of population from hibernation means that society has developed coping mechanisms such as requiring every citizen to have at least general capabilities, and significant infrastructure to be commensurately accessible to those with those capabilities. Which does interesting things to notions of mastery, I think, although that's not a huge part of the story. There's clearly different things going on in terms of international politics, too, but it's barely touched on.I feel that Fforde is quite a divisive author. Readers are either willing to go along with his particular method of looking at the world and enjoy the ride, or the first couple of pages will make you angry or annoyed or bored. In general, I really enjoy his work. I think that milking too much out of one of his worlds leads to problems like the later Next books where things went beyond my tolerances - but that's true of a lot of sequels. Fforde is doing what the best SFF does: making tweaks to the world and showing the consequences, and making the reader think about how those things reflect the world in which we actually live. And if there are jokes about 'Winter cutlets' and Carmen Miranda along the way, I'm up for it. 
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  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    After releasing 13 novels in as many years I guess it was time for Fforde to have a rest but, 4 years from his last book and 6 since his last adult novel, it's good to have him back. I actually pre-ordered this on Amazon 3 years ago (and they honoured the £4.99 price, despite it having more than doubled since release day) and I'd pretty much given up on ever seeing it!Early Riser is typically barmy and wildly imaginative. It's set in another alternate world, where the winters are so bad that mos After releasing 13 novels in as many years I guess it was time for Fforde to have a rest but, 4 years from his last book and 6 since his last adult novel, it's good to have him back. I actually pre-ordered this on Amazon 3 years ago (and they honoured the £4.99 price, despite it having more than doubled since release day) and I'd pretty much given up on ever seeing it!Early Riser is typically barmy and wildly imaginative. It's set in another alternate world, where the winters are so bad that most of humanity goes into hibernation, desperately trying to fatten themselves up beforehand to ensure their survival. A drug has been created to help people sustain themselves through this sleep, Morphenox. However it has a couple of side effects, it stops you dreaming and, in a small minority of cases, turns you into a brain dead zombie. There are those who don't hibernate (The Winter Consuls and The Villains, the latter a bunch of posh Englishmen), as well as those who prefer 'real sleep'and choose to risk all to enjoy dreaming. We follow Charlie, who has joined the Consuls and finds himself amongst a haphazard bunch of double crossers, criminals and conspiracy theorists. After accidentally falling asleep for 2 months he experiences part of a viral dream which hints at nefarious doings amongst those in charge of Morphenox and he pledges to discover the truth.As it to be expected from one of Fforde's books, this is bursting with ideas, sometimes almost too many. I think the book could have benefited from a bit of tidying up, it gets a little messy, but it's still enormous fun. I didn't find myself laughing out loud as much as I have many of his earlier books but there are still chuckles to be had with his usual word play and irreverence. The characters are just about well defined enough that you never forget who's who, although few of them are fleshed out in any great depth. There's a delightfully silly lead character with a split personality, each hating the other and annoyed they never come into contact (for obvious reasons!) and most of them have their own quirks. As a story it did flounder a tad in the middle but everything comes together well with a couple of surprising twists. If you're a fan of Fforde and the crazy worlds he creates you're sure to have a good time with this one...if you're new to him I'd recommend going back and starting at the beginning with the Thursday Next books.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    Jasper Fforde has knocked it out of the park. A world gripped in the throes of an ice age rather than our own happy interglacial, where humans hibernate to make it through the terrible Winter, and climate change is threatening to bring the ice sheets further south. Our protagonist is a winter consul - one of those who stay awake and maintains order through the long season. The best way to describe how atmospheric Early Riser is is that whilst reading it I found myself eating huge piles of hot wi Jasper Fforde has knocked it out of the park. A world gripped in the throes of an ice age rather than our own happy interglacial, where humans hibernate to make it through the terrible Winter, and climate change is threatening to bring the ice sheets further south. Our protagonist is a winter consul - one of those who stay awake and maintains order through the long season. The best way to describe how atmospheric Early Riser is is that whilst reading it I found myself eating huge piles of hot winter food and huddling under the duvet during one of the hottest summers ever in the UK.Add in deadly upper class raiders, a well-managed zombie apocalypse and marauding folk tales and you have all the ingredients for a spectacular story. With Jasper Fforde's trademark "just believable enough" twisting of human society, science and biology to meet the circumstances he's dreamed up it goes beyond that. Finally, with our likeable and befuddled (not to mention sleepy) protagonist and the unique people they meet along the way it becomes a true great.Early Riser has easily become one of my favourite books of all time. Everyone should read it and then check out the rest of Jasper Fforde's work (especially Shades of Grey if you like Early Riser).
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  • Adri Joy
    January 1, 1970
    Early Riser is a constrained experience compared to Fforde's more expansive series, but still sparkles with trademark wit and weirdness.I am contractually obliged to begin all reviews of Jasper Fforde by thanking my mother, who got me in to his writing (and out of a period of teenage pretentiousness in which I thought I only wanted to read "the classics") by sending The Eyre Affair to the Eurasian continental pole of inaccessibility, where I was living at the time. The Thursday Next series, with Early Riser is a constrained experience compared to Fforde's more expansive series, but still sparkles with trademark wit and weirdness.I am contractually obliged to begin all reviews of Jasper Fforde by thanking my mother, who got me in to his writing (and out of a period of teenage pretentiousness in which I thought I only wanted to read "the classics") by sending The Eyre Affair to the Eurasian continental pole of inaccessibility, where I was living at the time. The Thursday Next series, with its blend of whimsical worldbuilding and little England nostalgia, turned out to be a much better prospect than endless rereads of War and Peace, and a combination of further shipments and lucky bookswap finds meant I got to enjoy the entire series at exactly the point where I was most susceptible to its charms. It's with that love for his work that I approach this new volume -- Fforde's first new book in four years -- so to say my expectations were high is something of an understatement.Fforde's novels are all set in alternate visions of England or Wales, in which a recognisable set of British cultural elements have been broken down, stirred around, reconstituted with a completely different logical framework and a more or less authoritarian atmosphere, and embedded into the overarching "what-if" propelling that particular story. In Early Riser, the skew comes from the fact that humans in this version of Earth, where climate apparently works completely differently, have evolved to hibernate through winter. This single biological change precipitates a massive shift in how human society has developed, with a significantly altered pattern of mortality and technology; yet somehow the path of development has still thrown up such recognisable fundamentals as Mini Rolls, Rick Astley, the class system, and the Welsh seaside village of Mumbles. A few crumbs of worldbuilding hint at how the world outside Wales copes with hibernation, what with weather and seasons still not being the same everywhere, but this isn't very fleshed out: Early Riser isn't a watertight worldbuilding experience, but it's a very fun one.Full Review: http://www.nerds-feather.com/2018/07/...
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  • Asher
    January 1, 1970
    If you loved Thursday Next and have been missing the whimsy and plotting of Fforde, you'll love this book. Surreal characters and scenarios? Check. Questionable mega-corporation? Check. Lines surrounding reality blurred? Check. Weird vision for what Wales might have been? Check check check.Most importantly, once again Fforde has created an alternate world full of the little sorts of details you get when you've really thought something through. In this world, humans hibernate because there's an i If you loved Thursday Next and have been missing the whimsy and plotting of Fforde, you'll love this book. Surreal characters and scenarios? Check. Questionable mega-corporation? Check. Lines surrounding reality blurred? Check. Weird vision for what Wales might have been? Check check check.Most importantly, once again Fforde has created an alternate world full of the little sorts of details you get when you've really thought something through. In this world, humans hibernate because there's an ice age, so the land bridge that used to connect the British Isles to continental Europe never sunk, so of course the political divisions are entirely different, and there's a Northern Federation. There's never a point where I didn't have the feeling that Fforde had built a complete world and I was just seeing a little sliver.Oh, also, the plotting is twisty without being contrived, the prose is compelling, and the dialogue is great fun. I read this in a day and a half, and that was only delayed by a full time job.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    It is good to see Jasper Fforde back after a break. This quirky dystopia is full of his trademark silliness and invention, and on a sentence and paragraph level it sparkles with wit and sharp ideas. Unfortunately it doesn't hold together so well as a sustained novel. The plot is somewhat sketchy, and Fforde tries to obfuscate this by having it swing and reverse and change directions every fifty pages or so, but it just ends up as a bit of a confusing and insubstantial mess. The pleasure of spend It is good to see Jasper Fforde back after a break. This quirky dystopia is full of his trademark silliness and invention, and on a sentence and paragraph level it sparkles with wit and sharp ideas. Unfortunately it doesn't hold together so well as a sustained novel. The plot is somewhat sketchy, and Fforde tries to obfuscate this by having it swing and reverse and change directions every fifty pages or so, but it just ends up as a bit of a confusing and insubstantial mess. The pleasure of spending time in his world just about outweighs this, but I wouldn't recommend this as the first Fforde you should read.
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  • Ruth Brookes
    January 1, 1970
    Speculative dystopian fiction in typical Fforde fashion, full of mind-bendingly surreal ideas, complex world building crammed with historical & cultural twists, Tunnocks teacakes, Rick Astley, epic snow storms, zombies (of the sleeping dead variety), snort-out-loud humour and a large twist of bizarre. With a slow-burn beginning, but cranked up to maximum action-packed oddness by the end, Early Riser is bonkers, great fun & quite simply unlike anything else!
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  • Jóhannes Birgir Jensson
    January 1, 1970
    Overall a very good book with interesting plots. I did have two issues, firstly the first chapters are heavy in world building and some of it seems very strangely set up and it is quite confusing. Once the story got on track things fell nicely into place so don't be discouraged if the start is rough.Secondly as an inhabitant of a cold (but nothing on the scale of the book) country some of the issues due to cold were strange but I guess not everyone already lives close to glaciers.
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  • Paul Grindrod
    January 1, 1970
    And he's back. After a break of several years, Jasper Fforde makes triumphant return with a tale of horror and suspense, told in his typical bonkers fashion. And excellent it was too.Welcome back. And never leave us again!
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a slow burn this one. Took me a while to adjust to the new world Fforde has created but then I was glad to discover the usual cast of colourful characters, cultural references and dry humour. Lots of fun.
  • J
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, cheerfully chaotic speculative fiction mystery thriller. Yeah! The point-of-view character was likeable and believably clueless. The world was intriguing and funny. No, scratch that. The world was actually (pleasingly) horrifying, though we skate over that with humour.
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  • Athene Wherrett
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could unread this book so I could have the pleasure of reading it again for the first time.
  • Hannah Bisley
    January 1, 1970
    A perfect Fforde book in every way. Have had 'Help Yourself' by Tom Jones stuck in my head ever since.
  • Michael Ritchie
    January 1, 1970
    As wonderfully bonkers as ever.
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