The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crimes, #1)

The Big Over EasyThe Big Over Easy
by Jasper Fforde
Rating: ★★★★½
Series: Nursery Crimes #1
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Pages: 398
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


This book…  I have so many random thoughts about this book.  In no particular order:

1.  Easily the most highly quotable book I’ve ever read.  Including books of quotes.
One of my favourites:
Mr. Pewter led them through to a library filled with thousands of antiquarian books.

‘Impressive, eh?’

‘Very,’ said Jack.  ‘How did you amass all these?’

‘Well,’ said Pewter, ‘you know the person who always borrows books and never gives them back?’


‘I’m that person.’

Don’t know why, but that cracked me up.

2.  I’m pretty sure Fforde had no intention of writing a satire (based on what I’ve found on the interwebs) about the sensationalism of the free press, but this is definitely a case of current events shaping a reader’s interpretation of the text.  I had a really hard time reading this and not drawing parallels.

3.  I’m equally sure he definitely meant to write a satirised murder mystery and this was easily the closest I’ve ever read to my blog’s namesake movie, Murder By Death, which in my totally biased opinion is the acme of mystery satire.  Which brings me to another quote:

Dog Walker’s Face Body-Finding Ban
Anyone who finds a corpse while walking their dog may be fined if proposed legislation is made law, it was disclosed yesterday.  The new measures, part of the Criminal Narrative Improvement Bill, have been drafted to avoid investigations looking clichéd…

Now this is legislation I can get behind.

4.  I wish I’d picked this book up directly after reading The Well of Lost Plots.  It makes no difference to someone new to Fforde’s books, but I think those that have read TN would feel a stronger connection to the characters here when The Well… was still fresh in the memory.

5.  Prometheus has an incredible monologue on pages 271-273.  A popular fiction novel that can weave serious philosophy into its narrative always earns huge bonus points with me.

6.  Oh, yeah – good mystery plot too!

Off to order the second one…

4 thoughts on “The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crimes, #1)”

    1. Have you not read this one yet? If not, it’s a definite must for gallows humor and a possible Noir satire. The opening chapter blurbs are almost the best parts of the book. I’m about halfway through and still throughly having fun.

        1. i have one more TN to read, but I’ve read both this one and the third bear – both series are good, but the Nurser Crimes books feel more consistent across books. Whereas TN is all over the shop.

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