As in the rest of the series, the latest volume in the Thursday Next oeuvre is fast moving, hysterically funny, and amazingly clever, but this time it’s also surprisingly moving. The fictional Thursday Next from the previous sequel is the lead, and in her struggles to save the intrepid real world Thursday Next by trying to figure out what her real world self would do, the fictional Thursday Next is oddly more sympathetic than her living, breathing counterpart. One of Our Thursdays is Missing is set almost completely in Book World—the place where all the books we read are acted out, where Jane Eyre can cavort with Harry Potter or Hamlet or geologist Charles Lyell, where Rubik’s Cubes cannot be scrambled, where fan fiction versions of popular characters walk around as thin as paper, and where Mediocre Gatsby, Rupert Bond, and Tracy Capulet resent their more famous siblings. It’s a ridiculously fun alternate reality for book lovers.All of the Thursday Next books are real treats, and so densely ingenious that I never want to read more than a chapter at a time. That means they spend a long time on my night stand, and now that this one is finished I feel bereft. The Thursday Next series is my favorite of Fforde’s books. Shades of Grey with its thoroughly imagined culture based on color perception was enticing enough to keep me reading, and the Nursery Crimes series is almost as clever and funny as Thursday Next, but in both cases I missed the literary illusions and of course the quick-witted, resourceful character of the fictional and real world Thursday Next.