Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Talk - Jasper Fforde

I try to make the most of my travels to Birmingham, UK every year by attending as many events as I possibly can. It's a great way not only to experience the local culture, but also discover new individuals, arts, foods, and as was the case with this event, a new author.

Contrary to what some people may say, I have found Twitter to be a great way to pass time. It has been an instant information source, a place to meet new people and make new friends, and best of all win lots of prizes. In the almost two years I have been active on twitter I have been lucky to have made some amazing friends and win some cool stuff like hard to get event passes, an iPhone 4S, books, and DVDs. Since I blog it is also an important tool for me to promote my blogs.

In case you are wondering, I won the tickets to the Jasper Fforde event held on 12th July at Waterstones New Street on twitter as well. Honestly speaking, I had no clue who the author was when I participated. This was the first time I had heard of him, and it was only after I had won that I looked up his profile. I must also sheepishly accept that for about the first half an hour of looking at his profile I was under the impression that he had written the now infamous book, 50 Shades of Grey. It must be known that he has an almost similar book, in name not in context, called Shades of Grey.

At this point I must talk a little about Waterstones New Street. It is a bookshop that I visit frequently during my time in Birmingham. The books are housed in a beautiful building with a grand staircase right smack in the middle giving the entire space a beautiful look. The store has an amazing children's section (which I frequent to buy books for my four year old) and all round the staff is very helpful, courteous, and friendly. It was here at Waterstones New Street that I discovered Ben Elton some years ago, and then Ryu Murakami, and later Nick Hornby, all of whom are amongst my all time favourite authors. So if you are ever in Birmingham, visit the store, even if it is just to browse.  

Having read Jasper's bibliography I was excited about getting to know the author. His books sounded to have the kind of absurdity that has always fascinated me and I had my heart set on buying one of his early works, The Nursery Crime series, which is about murder and mayhem in the world of nursery rhymes.

Jasper proved to be quite the entertainer. Funny, enthusiastic, chatty, and forthcoming, he presented his latest work and talked about his life and the process of writing. His talk was a great insight into the life of an author and dedication required to churn out nearly two books a year. His most notable work remains to be the Thursday Next series with the latest, The Woman Who Died A Lot, having been released recently.

I always love to find out about new authors and Jasper Fforde seems to be one whose books are bound to keep me occupied for quite some time as I can't wait to immerse into my first book of his, which coincidently was also the first book he wrote called The Big Over Easy (initially called Who Killed Humpty Dumpty).

Thank you, Waterstones New Street, for introducing me to a brilliant author. 


  1. Thank you for your mention and warm praise of our shop and its lovely booksellers! It's great to hear about the authors that you've discovered, and your enjoyment of visiting our store - it certainly is quite a unique building! Once more, thank you from Waterstones Birmingham New Street! (I'm sure Jasper Fforde is also smiling at your enjoyment of the event! Our booksellers certainly enjoyed it!)

    1. Thank you very much for the tickets and a great event. See you soon!

  2. Hey Raghav!! Something similar happened with me... I was in Mumbai, waiting for someone at Taj Hotel. In order to kill time I went into event of Mr S V Divvaakar. To my surprise, the event was so interesting that I bought his novel called Beaten By Bhagath next day and I fell in love with his writings.

    1. Always nice to discover new books and authors unexpectedly ;-)