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Thursday, September 7, 2006

Chapter One Hundred Forty-Two, in which your Bibliothecary reaches the End

Well, it has finally happened. After much diligent browsing (and some pointless surfing), we have at last clicked ourselves to The End of the Internet. The Internet, by the way, had more pages than even Proust's novel! Of course, you have probably seen this bit of humor before. What we like about this particular page is the final command to go read a book.

A while back Ella came out of her Box to answer a few reader questions. She indicated the possibility that this life might not be all that it seems: "...you and I are fictional characters living in a fictional work a la Jasper Fforde." We certainly needed to find out more about this Fforde character. And we discovered he is a writer, and his first novel features characters who can move back and forth across the boundary that separates life and literature. Characters from Dickens novels cross over into our world, and "real people" cross over into Dickens novels. We ordered this book, and when it recently arrived, we began reading it.

We have mentioned before our way of reading several books at one time. This is a good example: we are already into the second volume of Proust; we have a non-fiction book about creativity going; earlier we had been reading a few of H.G. Wells' stories; and when the Fforde arrives, we immediately begin reading that. The reading does not take place simultaneously, which means for a short time, Fforde takes precedence over Proust--because the Fforde is a simple intermission which can be consumed quickly, and then Proust may be resumed. Proust is presently the main course, if you will, and Fforde is like a piece of bread one might eat between helpings, and the non-fiction is like the wine one might imbibe at intervals to wash it all down.

A whiler back a book called The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers was previewed in the Bibliophile Bullpen. The brief synopsis sounded so intriguing and entertaining, we decided to order it. And when it arrived last weekend, it shot immediately to the top of the reading pile. So now on hold are Proust, the non-fiction, and Fforde, while we explore Bookholm and all its eccentricities. We have been through the first sixty pages, and we will give you a word of warning: this is a fun book, with lots of invention, and subjects and themes (as they are so far) which appeal to book-fanciers, readers and writers. Don't be surprised if all three of you, our Dear Readers, are ordering it very soon.

So, having reached the end of this explosive chapter, and the end of the internet, we now push ourself away from the computer and go read a book.


  1. The Moers book looks like a lot of fun. I enjoyed the Fforde books, hope you are enjoying them. Love the end of the internet!

  2. I keep moving Fforde farther back in the stacks. I won't whine with the common refrain -- too much to read, not enough time -- for longer than a day or so.

    Thanks for the nudge. Your post will get me around to it sooner than later.

    And, of course, I'll be adding the Moers book to the list. Thanks a heck of a lot!

  3. I found Fforde very entertaining but sometimes he gets carried away with his own cleverness. His ideas are brilliant; his writing isn't quite up to the same level. Anyway, I'll be interested to hear how you like him.