In one of his Thursday Next series of books, Jasper Fforde had a plot where all the oral story characters – from nursery rhymes and myths and so on – were campaigning for equal rights as characters within classical literature. The eventual solution? Create a book in which they could all live and interact together, that could basically serve as their home. The title of that book? The Big Over Easy. The punchline of this joke? That The Big Over Easy is also a real book, one that Fforde had already written prior to the first Thursday Next story seeing the light of day.
Not in the form we have it, of course. It was revised and changed in significant ways when he apparently dusted it off to publish it in the wake of his success with Thursday Next books. But the core concept – a procedural detective story taking place in a world where nursery rhyme characters live and breathe…and die…alongside “normal” people has stayed the same. Continue reading A Book Within a Book