This book was wonderfully whimsical, no topic left untouched by the wholly irreverent distortions of Fforde’s world. As an English major, and life-long devourer of books, I was at least familiar with most of the works referenced in this story even if I hadn’t actually read them. I also had enough knowledge of history, philosophy, and British culture to tie it all together. I think that really helped me pick up on some of the jokes that might otherwise have been confusing. I was smiling, smirking, and sometimes outright laughing through almost the entire book.
That said, there were times when I had to roll my eyes because it was just trying too hard to be clever the whole time, and after a certain amount of that I had to say, “Enough already! Can’t we get through one conversation without having to dig every word out from under a mountain of puns and witty double entendres?”
The concept of the story is truly magical, especially from a bibliophile perspective. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of being able to step into the books we read? So, while the text was at times trite or cliched, I was able to overlook that in favor of the wonderfully imaginative universe Fforde created.