Why do I keep reading the Jasper Fforde books when I really, really don't care about the main character?
Because of all the other stuff. And I'm going to warn you right now, these books are so amazingly book-geeky that I'm almost embarrassed to admit to reading them.
In the third installment (and I will warn you right now—DO NOT try to read these books out of order) of the Thursday Next series, Thursday is hiding out in The Well of Lost Plots, due to events in the previous book. To add to this difficult situation, she is pregnant, her husband no longer exists, no one even remembers that he DID exist except for her, the book that she's hiding in is scheduled for demolition, and someone may be trying to kill her.
Like I said, though—I couldn't care less about Thursday Next. (Although, I will admit, she's growing on me). The fun thing about these books is that all of the people she works with are fictional characters. Her mentor in Jurisfiction is Great Expectation's Miss Havisham (who has a few on-going feuds—one with the Red Queen (they have a great fight in the second book over a rare edition), and one with Mr. Toad, who, like Miss Havisham, has a major need for speed).
Even if I had hated the rest of the book, the chapter dealing with Miss Havisham having to run an anger-management session with the characters from Wuthering Heights would have made it all worthwhile:
"The Council of Genres has decreed that you will attend the sessions, Heathcliff," said Havisham coldly. "If this book is to survive, we have to control the emotions within it; as it is, the novel is three times more barbaric than when first penned—left to its own devices it won't be long before murder and mayhem start to take over completely—remember what happened to that once gentle comedy of manners Titus Andronicus? It's now the daftest, most cannibalistic blood fest in the whole of Shakespeare. Heights will go the same way unless you can all somehow contain your anger and resentment!"
"I don't want to be made into a pie!" moaned Linton.
There's also a chapter about Thursday having to patch up some problems in an Enid Blyton novel. (I can't stand Enid Blyton books, and it was perfect. Perfect). I laughed so hard that I snorted, and then Josh asked me what was going on. I explained, and he said, "Well. That is a nerdy book, isn't it?"
So anyway. I refuse to give this series my wholehearted seal of approval, because I still don't think that Fforde's original creations are that great. But, the books are really clever. If you're a huge book-nerd, you'd probably get a kick out of them. And then you'll be addicted. Like me.