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Download The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime Audiobook, by Jasper Fforde Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,410 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jasper Fforde Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Nursery Crime Series Release Date: July 2005 ISBN: 9780786554270
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Jasper Fforde's bestselling Thursday Next series has delighted readers of every genre with its literary derring-do and brilliant flights of fancy. In The Big Over Easy, Fforde takes a break from classic literature and tumbles into the seedy underbelly of nursery crime. Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He's investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.
Read Jasper Fforde's posts in the Penguin Blog Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A wonderfully readable riot . . . [A] cleverly plotted, magically overstuffed yet amazingly digestible book . . . This summer's perfect beach read for eggheads. The Wall Street Journal

    "As if the Marx brothers were let loose in the children's section of a strange bookstore.

  • Pythonesque . . . Like the Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket books, this one is abundantly playful without being truly geared for children. Anyone who has ever been read a nursery rhyme . . . can appreciate Mr. Fforde's outlandish joking. Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie H. | 2/20/2014

    " You will never look at the Ginger Bread Man or, possibly, a ginger bread cookie the same way. Irreverent fun for nursery rhyme and/or vintage hard-boiled detective fiction fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lavonne | 2/17/2014

    " It's hard not to love Jasper Fforde. He's so amazingly clever. I found myself grinning stupidly while reading, just from the witty word play. I love the Thursday Next series, but this series is great fun, too. Maybe because the references are about something that we all grew up with, it is easy to "get it" quickly. Looking forward to picking up "The Fourth Bear". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriella | 2/16/2014

    " My husband loves his books, so I really tried to love this one too- I felt it was mediocre. This is a Nursery Crime Series, and Jack Spratt is trying to resolve the murder of Humpty Dumpty- a lot of the characters did take me back to when I was young- I loved reading nursery rhymes, but it just took me awhile to finish... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katy | 2/16/2014

    " I really loved the parody of this book. This author put in the research to make this a great book to read. And a wonderful twist ending! It was totally funny and addicting to read. I am now on the hunt for his next book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 melydia | 2/2/2014

    " Detective Jack Spratt heads the somewhat failing Nursery Crimes Division of the Reading Police Department. Shortly after being assigned Mary Mary as his new partner, Spratt and his team are faced with solving the suspicious death of one Humperdink "Humpty" Dumpty. In a world where police departments get much of their funding from royalties earned publishing the gripping tales of their cases in Amazing Crimes magazine, Friedland Chymes is king, and he wants the Humpty case. Spratt's boss gives him until the budgetary committee meeting to solve the case, so it's a race against time and the laughs are nonstop. This is, quite simply, one of the funniest novels I've ever read. I listened to it on audio, read by the immensely talented Simon Prebble, and on many occasions I laughed out loud or even repeated some of the funnier lines. They come at you from all sides, from hilarious takes on famous nursery rhyme characters to witty business names (my favorite newspaper name was The Daily Eyestrain) to truly bizarre plot twists. Highly recommended, but you might want to brush up on your nursery rhymes first so you can catch more of the jokes. Trust me, you'll enjoy it just that much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri | 1/25/2014

    " Three plus, really. The plus is for cleverness and humor. And stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 1/19/2014

    " "The Big Over Easy" is first and foremost a mystery novel, or at least a sendup of one. Most mysteries now-days have a "hook" - horse racing, mysteriously prescient cats, and catering, just to name a few - and "Over Easy's" is - as the series name implies - Nursery Rhymes. As in the author's "Thursday Next" series, the attempt is to create a world in which literature, with all its tropes and memes and plot devices, is literally true. The action takes place in a modern English town (Reading, to be specific) which has somehow become populated by a mix of ordinary human beings and PDR's - Persons of Dubious Reality; in other words, fairy tale characters such as the title victim, one Humperdink Van Dumpty, "Humpty" for short. The characters take this entirely for granted, but it doesn't bear taking to its logical conclusion or even examining too closely (Where do the fairy tale characters come from? How do they function in modern life? How can a 4 1/2 ft egg be an effective womanizer anyway? Etc.) Nevertheless, the author does pull off the story in an entertaining and engaging manner, with myriad amusing puns and "inside jokes" referencing various fairy tales and nursery rhymes. (Example: The investigating detective is Jack Spratt who has a pathological distaste for fat and who's first wife died of the opposite condition.) My own personal opinion is that the book isn't quite as laugh-out-loud funny as the premise implies, but it grew on me as the mystery - a suitably complex one with several twists only some of which I anticipated - was played out. Worth a read by lovers of literature, puns, or mysteries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 1/19/2014

    " A very enjoyable and amusing blend of two worlds you wouldn't ever think to put together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonna Hardy | 1/17/2014

    " I love,love,LOVE this book. Jasper puts me into the best mood everytime I read one of his books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Chudyk | 12/10/2013

    " Interesting take on nursery rhymes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pollyor | 12/1/2013

    " What an author! This guy has a crazy imagination! Can't wait to read the next book in the Nursery Crime series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirstin | 11/18/2013

    " I loved that Hump hatched. This book kept me entertained, but I like the Jane Eyre series better. I plan on reading The Fourth Bear, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 6/28/2013

    " Listening to the audiobook. So far, two thumbs up. Delightfully wacky. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 6/21/2013

    " I love these books! Jasper Fforde is really smart. This book is even better than the others I've read, because it's about Humpty Dumpty. Who wouldn't love it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angel | 12/5/2012

    " super fun, quick read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 9/13/2012

    " I'm not sure why I picked up this book. Maybe it was the author's whimsical name. The cutesy setting of the Nursery Crimes Division overshadowed this mystery. It had moments of fun but I don't need to read any more of Fforde's series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne - The Book Squirrel | 5/4/2012

    " I loved this book, very funny with the various nursery rhymes mentioned along the way. Lots of twists and turns too. It's the first in the series so will be reading the second one soon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 4/30/2012

    " As, crime novels go, I thought this one was dry and a little boring. I thought that with an intriguing premise it would be a fun read, but it didn't live up to my expectations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 4/18/2012

    " This was a typical Jasper Fforde book- delightfully quirky! I did not like this quite as much as the "Eyre Affair" series, but it was still enjoyable and definitely held my interest. I would recommend this if you're in the mood for something playful and different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa Isaacs-bailey | 3/16/2012

    " SO clever and full of literary puns, etc. I found it delightful and look forward to reading the next one as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Glynis | 12/2/2011

    " I really enjoy the Thursday Next novels, but I just couldn't make myself keep reading this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rochelle | 10/1/2011

    " Another great book from Jasper Fforde this is a spin off from the Thursday Next series. I really enjoyed this book but didn't love it as much as I love the Thursday books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 5/22/2011

    " Lacks the cleverness of the Thursday Next series and seems a little slow and a lot obvious in the beginning but definitely picks up with an excellent ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 5/15/2011

    " This was fun! But Mary wasn't contrary. Not a word about a garden. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 5/13/2011

    " I have trouble following Jasper Fforde's books sometimes but I love listening to them on CD. They are very entertaining. This book was really funny and had great subtle sly puns and humor. Its the kind of book that every time you read it you would find see more and different jokes and puns, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T&C | 5/12/2011

    " Ever wonder if Jack Spratt was a detective? Or if Mary Mary Quite Contrary could successfully dump a boyfriend?
    Were you ever suspicious of what REALLY happened to Humpty Dumpty.

    Even if you weren't, this book is fantastic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maya | 5/3/2011

    " This is such a great book. A little dystopian and unbelievable at times, the quirky plot line and lovably strange characters hook you in and keep you there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 4/29/2011

    " Interesting and a bit wacky. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ora | 4/27/2011

    " Jasper Fforde has a great, quirky sense of humor, which he uses to deliver some real messages. I like the characters and look forward to reading his latest NCD entry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 4/26/2011

    " While I liked the Thursday Next series better, I will definately read the rest in this series too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 4/20/2011

    " I'd read this book before, but thoroughly enjoyed Simon Prebble's reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/20/2011

    " I just couldn't get into this series. I think it's just too cutesy. It's clever as all Jasper Fforde's book are, and all well-written. It's just not my thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merritt | 4/14/2011

    " I was recommended to read Jasper Fford years ago by someone I was working with at the time. She, like me, was an avid reader and thought I would find his work clever. I did! He writes some very clever things and this one is no exception. It is silly but clever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tonya | 4/10/2011

    " I like Fforde's Thursday Next series better, but I still really enjoyed this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 4/9/2011

    " I love Jasper Fforde's Tuesday Next series and thought I'd love this as well, but it just didn't grab me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 3/31/2011

    " better than other by far "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Saralyn | 3/29/2011

    " Some of the allusions were really funny! Enjoyed the many nursery rhymes that got squashed in. "

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About the Author
Author Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out the window and arranging words on a page. He is the author of the Nursery Crime and Thursday Next series.

About the Narrator

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received thirty-seven Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.