Adventures in Bookland: The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
It’s not easy being an egg – particularly one that’s nearly five foot tall, with arms, legs, a predilection for sitting on walls and a fondness for alcohol. So, it’s not so surprising when Humpty Dumpty has his great fall – case closed, you’d have thought, for Inspector Jack Spratt of Berkshire’s crack (because that’s about all the space they have) Nursery Crime Division. But Inspector Spratt – who definitely doesn’t eat any fat – smells something rotten, something eggy, and it’s not Humpty…
Quite wonderful. I’ve been reading Jasper Fforde since the first of his Thursday Next novels came out and find him, along with Philip Reeve, the most consistently enjoyable and inventive writer working today, but I think he outdoes himself with the Nursery Crime books. If there’s any criticism I have of the Thursday Next books it is that I find Thursday herself a slightly bland heroine, but the characterisation of Jack Spratt works really well here and, if anything, improves in the next book in the series.
So, if you haven’t already, visit Reading and spend some time with nursery rhymes.