Thursday Next, Jasper Fforde’s brilliant literary detective, arrested at Verbotomy

In an unexpected, real-world plot twist, a copy — or perhaps a clone — of Thursday Next, Jasper Fforde‘s brilliant literary detective, has been arrested at Verbotomy. At this time the charges remain unclear, but it is apparent that Thursday, the genre-crossing heroine, has an addiction to wordplay and a habit of breaking the standard grammatical protocols that rule most fiction. In the past, she has also been seen in the company of many made-up words, or verboticisms, as they are called at Verbotomy. However, possession of these type of words would not normally result in charges, especially at Verbotomy where the recreational use of invented words is not only tolerated, but is strongly encouraged.

To test your creative wits and see how Verbotomy is played go to:

Jasper Fforde at

An alternative reading of the situation, may suggest that this is indeed as a hostage taking. There are no real charges (the game is free). And it appears that Thursday’s story is being offered up as a prize. The spokesperson for Verbotomy, artist and writer James Gang, vehemently denies this suggestion, saying that conditions for the release of Ms. Next, (see official stuff and contest rules below) are “fair and reasonable bail conditions, and should not in any way be considered to be a ransom note.” Mr. Gang has also denied any connection with the “Goliath Corporation“, and stated that the rumors circulating about potential destruction of the Ms. Next’s first book (The Eyre Affair) are completely false.”We would never knowingly destroy a book. Of course, because we are also an eco-friendly organization, we would never let a tree go to waste either. So if a book is going to be left unread, we will be obliged to put it into our recycling systems, so that it can be transformed into something useful — like paper towels.”

Author Jasper Fforde seems unperturbed by these literary threats. Perhaps he assumes that it is just hyperbole, and that the kidnapping of one his characters is really just the act of a desperate imagination. After all, in The Eyre Affair he wrote, “Literary detection and firearms don’t really go hand in hand.”

To play Verbotomy, and win a change to free Thursday Next, go to: and invent a word to fit today’s challenge.

About the book: “Eyre Affair”

In Jasper Fforde’s Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Bronte’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde’s ingenious fantasy-enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel–unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.

Reviews: “Eyre Affair”
“Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, The Eyre Affair combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but its quirky charm is all its own.” –The Wall Street Journal

“Jasper Fforde’s first novel, The Eyre Affair, is a spirited sendup of genre fiction-it’s part hardboiled mystery, part time-machine caper-that features a sassy, well-read ‘Special Operative in literary detection’ named Thursday Next, who will put you more in mind of Bridget Jones than Miss Marple. Fforde delivers almost every sentence with a sly wink, and he’s got an easy way with wordplay, trivia, and inside jokes…. Fforde’s verve is rarely less than infectious.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Fforde is endlessly inventive: his heroine’s utter unconcern about the strangeness of the world she inhabits keeps the reader perpetually double-taking as minor certainties of history, literature and cuisine go soggy in the corner of our eye. The audacity of the premise and its working out provides sudden leaps of understanding, many of them accompanied by wild fits of the giggles.”

Free Thursday Next! Win a copy of The Eyre Affair at Verbotomy
Yes, you can help free Thursday Next. Play Verbotomy. The top player of the week starting on September 21, 2009, will win a copy of the book!

Official Stuff:

Prize: The Eyre Affair (Paperback) by Jasper Fforde (Approximate Retail Value:  $15.00 US.)

Contest Start Date: September 21, 2009 at 12:01:00 am EDT
Contest End Date: September 27, 2009 at 11:59:00 pm EDT

For the Jasper Fforde: Eyre Affair weekly author ranking see: See:

For complete contest rules and regulations please see our Verbotomy Contest Rules and Regulations.

Be creative,