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The Fourth Bear


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'Comic genius' (The Observer) and the second Nursery Crime detective novel by the bestselling Jasper Fforde.

About the Author

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


The psychopathic Gingerbreadman is leaving bodies in his wake, but Jack Spratt and Mary Mary can't investigate. They have to track down reporter Henrietta "Goldy" Hatchett, last seen alive by the Three Bears (but was there a fourth?). With a ten-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'What makes Fforde a star is not his ebullient cleverness, but the elusive sympathy factor. However ridiculous his themes seem, his characters have a compelling immediacy.' -- Independent 'It would be hard not to be won over by Fforde's undeniable energy and the sheer, unrelenting number of gags' -- Daily Mail 'Fforde is inventive and hugely funny.' -- The Times 'THE FOURTH BEAR is a great choice as it has everything - humour, intrigue and cucumbers as a matter of national security ... will have you wondering how you haven't discovered Fforde before.' -- Anys Scoular, Observer 'THE FOURTH BEAR sees one of our funniest and most inventive authors at the height of his powers. The jokes come so fast that it is clear the author simply let his imagination off the leash and had a great time while writing it. You will have a great time reading it too.' -- Daily Express 'With its witty literary allusions, social satire and blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, it's all completely mad, very funny ... It also adds to Fforde's growing reputation as one of Britain's most inventive novelists and the thriller element keeps you guessing too.' -- Word Praise for Jasper Fforde's new crime series -- : '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 20050619 'A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb' -- Daily Mail 20050619 'This is the first of best-selling Fforde's hilarious, absurd and utterly compelling new series of nursery crimes for adults.' -- Daily Mirror 20050619 'Fforde's dexterously tailored nonsense has an underlying thread of shrewd satire, and the author's own wry, dry narration helps to compensate for the omission in this abridgement of so many of his gloriously surreal jokes.' -- The Times 20050619 'This novel is a wonderful combination of silliness and cleverness, and a delightful holiday from reality. It's got such a good comic premise that it would work even if played straight, but virtually every page is adorned with puns, gags, tongue-twisters or comic setpieces, keeping the reader in a perpetual state of amusement.' -- Independent on Sunday 20050619 'This book, energetic, entertaining and packed with gags, is unlike anything you'll ever read.' -- Telegraph 20050619

Like The Big Over Easy (2005), Fforde's first Nursery Crime novel, this sequel offers literary allusions, confusions and gentle satire, though, again like its predecessor, it lacks the snap of the author's Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair, etc.). Jack Spratt, DCI of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department, is also a PDR (Person of Dubious Reality), as are most of the characters Jack deals with, including the Gingerbreadman, a notorious killer, and Punch and Judy, a violence prone couple who are also marriage counselors. An alien policeman named Ashley, talking bears, a devoted group of cucumber-growing enthusiasts and an immensely powerful company, Quang Tech, add spice. All are grist for Fforde, whose word play runs the gamut from puns to shaggy dog stories. The Gingerbreadman's on the loose, Goldilocks is missing and Jack's once again persona non grata at headquarters. As Jack and his associates "bring justice to the nursery world," they also cast a Swiftian eye on corporate hubris, race relations, the drug trade and myriad other targets. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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