The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel

BOOK: The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel
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Jasper Fforde

 

The Woman Who Died

a Lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also by Jasper Fforde

The Thursday Next Series

FIRST AMONG SEQUELS

SOMETHING ROTTEN

LOST IN A GOOD BOOK

THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS

THE EYRE AFFAIR

THE GREAT SAMUEL PEPYS FIASCO

ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING

The Nursery Crimes Series

THE BIG OVER EASY

THE FOURTH BEAR

The Last Dragonslayer Series

THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER

THE SONG OF THE QUARKBEAST

 

SHADES OF GREY

 

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. Find out more at www.jasperfforde.com

 

 

Author’s Note:

 

This book has been bundled with
Special Features
including:
The Making of
. . . wordamentary, deleted scenes, alternative endings and much more.
To access all these free bonus features, log on to:
www.jasperfforde.com/features.html
and follow the onscreen instructions.

 

 

THE WOMAN WHO DIED A LOT

 

Jasper Fforde

 

 

www.hodder.co.uk

First published in Great Britain in 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton

An Hachette UK company

Copyright © Jasper Fforde 2012

The right of Jasper Fforde to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library

Ebook ISBN 978 1 444 70933 9

Hardback ISBN 978 0 340 96311 1

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

338 Euston Road

London NW1 3BH

www.hodder.co.uk

 

 

To all the librarians

that have ever been

ever will be

are now

this book is respectfully dedicated

 

Contents

1.
Monday: Swindon

2.
Monday: Phoebe Smalls

3.
Monday: SpecOps

4.
Monday: Shrink to Fit

5.
Monday: Braxton Hicks

6.
Monday: TJ-Maxx

7.
Monday: Tuesday

8.
Monday: Friday

9.
Monday: The Madeupion

10.
Monday: The Wingco

11.
Monday: Evening

12.
Tuesday: Library

13.
Tuesday: Next Thursday

14.
Tuesday: I’m Back

15.
Tuesday: The Finis

16.
Tuesday: Tuesday

17.
Tuesday: The Sisterhood

18.
Tuesday: Smalls

19.
Tuesday: Home

20.
Tuesday: The Destiny Aware

21.
Wednesday: Library

22.
Wednesday: Goliath

23.
Wednesday: Adelphi

24.
Wednesday: Blyton

25.
Wednesday: Smite Solutions

26.
Wednesday: Wroughton

27.
Wednesday: Kemble Timepark

28.
Wednesday: The Manchild

29.
Wednesday: Dodo Buffer

30.
Thursday: Budget

31.
Thursday: Finisterre

32.
Thursday: MadCon2004

33.
Thursday: Gavin Watkins

34.
Thursday: Evening

35.
Thursday: Aornis

36.
Friday: Morning

37.
Friday: The Righteous Man

38.
Friday: The Smiting

39.
Friday: Destiny

40.
Monday: End

Acknowledgments

1.

Monday: Swindon

The Special Operations Network was formed in 1928 to handle policing duties considered too specialized to be tackled by the regular force. Despite considerable success in the many varied areas of expertise in which SpecOps operated, all but three of the thirty-six divisions were disbanded in the winter of 1991–92, allegedly due to budgetary cutbacks. By 2004 it was realized that this had been a bad move, and plans were drawn up to re-form the service.
Millon de Floss,
A Short History of SpecOps

 

E
verything comes to an end. A good bottle of wine, a summer’s day, a long-running sitcom, one’s life, and eventually our species. The question for many of us is not that everything
will
come to an end but
when
. And can we do anything vaguely useful until it does?

In the case of a good bottle of wine, probably not much— although the very act of consumption might make one believe otherwise. A well-lazed summer’s day should not expect too much of itself either, and sitcoms never die. They simply move to a zombielike existence in rerun heaven. Of the remaining two—the end of one’s life and that of our species—regular subscribers to my exploits will recall that I had seen myself die a few years back, and, given my past record, it would be probable that much useful work would be done between then and now. As to the end of our species, the possibility of annihilation was quite real, well documented, and went by the unimaginative title of Asteroid HR-6984. Whether the human race managed to figure out a worthwhile function for itself in the thirty-seven years until possible collision was dependent upon one’s level of optimism.

But it wasn’t all bad news. In fact, due to a foible of human nature that denies us the ability to focus on more than one threat at a time, the asteroid was barely news at all. HR-6984’s convenient lack of urgency and its current likelihood of hitting the earth at only around 34 percent had relegated it well past such front-page news as the stupidity surplus and the current round of fiery cleansings by an angry deity. Instead the hurtling lump of space debris was consigned to pop-culture damnation on page twelve: Sandwiched somewhere between guinea-pig accessorizing and the apparently relevant eating habits of noncelebrities.

BOOK: The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel
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