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The Big Over Easy

Nursery Crime Adventures 1

By Jasper Fforde

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Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Other Information: b/w line illustrations
Published In: United Kingdom, 08 June 2006
It's Easter in Reading - a bad time for eggs - and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.Following the pathologist's careful reconstruction of Humpty's shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody. As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack's Lime Green Austin Allegro, the clues pile up, but Jack has his own problems to deal with.And on top of everything else, the Jellyman is coming to town...

Promotional Information

A Sunday Times bestseller in hardback, THE BIG OVER EASY heralds the start of an ingenious new series from the creator of the international phenomenon Thursday Next.

About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and sucking the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.

Reviews

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, and, well, you know the rest. But was Humpty's fall an accident, or was it murder? It's up to giant killer Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crime Division to get to the bottom of it. Humpty was quite a ladies' man, but a few people thought him a bad egg. Jack has a number of suspects, a new partner to break in and gloryhound/antagonist Detective Inspector Chimes to deal with. Prebble's sonorous British voice is ideally suited to narrating this whimsical, fractured fairy tale; his tone and pacing match Fforde's prose perfectly, and his subtle vocal acrobatics enable him to amusingly bring to life the novel's wildly divergent cast of characters. Despite its many virtues, this is probably Fforde's weakest novel, lacking the literary sophistication of the Thursday Next books. But Prebble's performance easily makes this Fforde's best audiobook to date. Prebble's vibrant, all-star narration more than makes up for them. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, June 6). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'Consistently clever' -- Publishers Weekly 'A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb' -- Daily Mail 'Now humour is notoriously subjective so what I've just described might just sound plain daft to you. But I love it. THE BIG OVER EASY is great not just because it's very funny but also because it works properly as a whodunnit. Comic genius.' -- Observer,Peter Guttridge 'The combination of fantasy and a (more or less) classic murder ... makes a wild and enjoyable change' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Fforde offers a cascade of puns, plays on words, surrealism, satire and verbal virtuosity based on children's rhymes and stories. Astonishingly, he stays funny for 400 pages ... Even more amazingly, there's a real plot there, a proper mystery with a surprise solution' -- The Times 'Fforde's books are more than an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich detail of a Dickens or Pratchett ... A summertime treat' -- The Independent 20050817 'A triumphant lampoon of the whodunnit genre ... Fforde manages to cram in more jokes per page than before, and the relish with which he takes to his subject is infectious' -- Herald 20050813 'The first of best-selling Fforde's hilarious, absurd and utterly compelling new series' -- Mirror 20050722 'A book that should be more accessible to newcomers ... Fforde may be an acquired taste, but it's worth acquiring' -- SFX 20050901 'Continuing to ransack British fiction, Jasper Fforde here mixes nursery rhymes with golden age detective fiction to produce something very accomplished indeed' -- Guardian 20050901 'Fforde is a master entertainer, and a wordsmith of dexterous genius.' -- Scotsman 20050901 'I love it. THE BIG OVER EASY is great not just because it's very funny...but also because it works properly as a whodunit...Comic genius.' -- Observer 'A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb' -- Daily Mail 'More twists and turns than Christie ... embellished with the rich details of a Dickens or Pratchett. A real treat.' -- Independent 'Very accomplished indeed.' -- Guardian 'This is the first of best-selling Fforde's hilarious, absurd and utterly compelling new series' -- Daily Mirror 'Fforde offers a cascade of puns, plays on words, surrealism, satire and verbal virtuosity...Astonishing, he is funny for 400 pages' -- The Times 'The combination of fantasy and a (more or less) classic murder ... makes a wild and enjoyable change' -- Sunday Telegraph

It's tough being a detective in the unglamorous world of nursery rhyme crimes, especially when your power-hungry rival hogs the limelight, your commanding officer is looking to eliminate your division, and you have a nasty reputation for killing giants. Detective Inspector Jack Spratt is investigating the violent death of Humpty Dumpty, disreputable philanthropist and business mastermind, who may have been shot by his ex-wife. As Spratt and his ambitious assistant Mary Mary delve into the crime, they uncover several suspects and a sinister plot involving money laundering, woodcutters, and podiatry. Like Fforde's "Tuesday Next" series, The Big Over Easy is set in an alternative world where fiction is real-a place where Georgy Porgy is a crime boss, the Three Little Pigs are prosecuted for killing the Wolf, and Wee Willy Winkie has been diagnosed with narcolepsy. Full of allusions and puns on detective fiction and nursery rhymes, Fforde's fifth novel and first in a new series is good fun for all fiction collections. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/05.]-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780340897102
ISBN: 0340897104
Publisher: Hodder Paperback
Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 2.6 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
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1
1
emily on
 
very clever ending and a very funny writer. Everyone knows the story but you make up your own mind whether humpty dumpty was a good guy or bad guy. Great read.
Susan on
 
You'll never think about nursery rhymes the same way again. Detective Inspector Jack Spratt, Detective Sargent Mary Mary and a cast of other familiar nursery rhyme characters will keep you guessing with this very clever who-dunnit. Humpty Dumpty is found dead - was he pushed? was it suicide? You'll have fun delving into this mystery. A great read for those looking for intelligent humour.

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