It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
Has there ever been a more aptly titled novel? Fforde, in the third novel following protagonist,Thursday Next, has created an extraordinary place, the BookWorld, where all books are created and all their characters exist, from the humblest generic pizza delivery boy to the greatest Troubled Romantic Leads. Part of this amazing feat of imagination, which has been thought out very carefully and in impressive detail, is the Well of Lost Plots, where new books are manufactured and unpublished works exist.
The reader is given a thorough tour of Fforde's creation and this is where the aptness of the title comes in - for during our explorations, coherent narrative drive is, well, lost. All sorts of things are happening but they all seem to be related to a collection of sub-plots rather than one over-all plot. Retrospectively, one can see that many of the incidents are important to a crisis that develops late on but at the time it just seems like a bunch of things Next is conveniently around to witness. This makes the first 3/4 or more feel weak to me - and while this is happening, Fforde is making subtle digs at the cliches and convnetions of various genres. He may just be doing this for humour, of which there is plenty, but when writers do this it makes me scrutinise what they are doing very closely: I feel that if one is to attack other writers, even in general, in one's book, one has to not be open to similar criticism oneself. China Mieville fell up this problem in Unlundun and here Fforde is doing it too - because not only is there no real plot coherence until very near the denouement, but said denouement goes really well until a hideous (and predictable) Deus Ex Machina is perpetrated on the reader.
The book is far from being all bad; the absurdist humour is strong and abundant and the subtext about the dangers of moving completely away from print publishing is an analysis I wholely agree with but I feel as if this book is, despite being more what I expected from this series than the first book, The Eyre Affair, actually weaker, structurally.