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Publisher's Summary

Jasper Fforde's first stand-alone novel - full of the imagination, wit and intelligence that has made Fforde a number one best seller.

Every Winter, the human population hibernates. 

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing, and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense - nothing more than a quirky artefact born of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can be satisfied only by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine. 

©2018 Jasper Fforde (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about Early Riser

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Great

Jasper Fforde never disappoints. This standalone is just as weird and wonderful as the worlds of Thursday Next and Shades of Grey.

1 person found this helpful

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Really enjoyed this one

A great story that seemed a bit slow at first but then, before I realised, the hooks were in and I couldn't stop listening. Thouroughly enjoyable.

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Loved it! The best accents ever!

Took a chapter or two to get into the groove, but was gripping for the rest of the book. I loved the excellent Welsh accents - definitely added to the experience. The story is brilliant and full of Fforde's classic twists and turns, many things happened that I didn't expect and all ends were tied neatly at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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An absorbing dystopian adventure

I have read several Jasper Fforde novels & was particularly taken by “Shades of Grey”. I have been looking for another story with a similarly well constructed alternate (if dystopian) society & world view since. Jasper has delivered. I loved the premise of this story. I also found his main character charmingly likeable with a believable amount of grit below the surface! In fact, all the characters inhabiting this novel were wonderful in their own ways. The story was by turns entertaining and gripping & the ending was ultimately satisfying. In my view, the narrator served this story well & was just the right choice to voice this narrative. Didn’t want this to end. More like this please Jasper Fforde!

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I tried to love it but it just didn't capture me.

Great narrator though. For me this book tried to be quirky but just fell short. I kept fading out and I had to relisten to chunks of it. I'm disappointed that I didn't love it, I'd heard such good things and had high hopes.

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Great Story.

Great story please finish the orhers. Great narration by the reader. Will listen again soon.

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Original and entertaining

Funny and pleasant story. The storyline is original, funny and thought provoking at times. A light read, nothing special.

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Almost as good as Thursday Next...

I really enjoyed this title - a little slow to get going, but once into it, it is great. Loved the Welsh setting and accents. It had hints of Thursday Next, (Wales, not always raining) but I can’t give anything 5 stars in comparison to that first book and subsequent ones in the series. I guess it is hard being judged by comparison to one of my favourite books of all time. Strongly recommend this book.

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Early Riser

As weird and wonderful, story-wise, as always with Jasper Fforde. The main speaker is a joy to listen to but the cutaway at the beginning of each chapter just, ... I couldn't even listen towards the end. I'm not sure if it was just me but it was a nails-on-a-chalkboard situation.

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  • A Reader
  • 26-11-2018

Not as good as his other books

It's a good story but not as good as Shades of Grey and the Next series

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  • Sleepyhollow
  • 13-08-2018

Only drawback - no sequel yet.

As I don't live in the UK and the audiobook was released same day as the hardcover I started listening to it before having the chance to read the book itself and I'm super happy about that because the book would have been finished in a night and this has been my companion for the last 10 days. The book, as is a most of mr Fforde work, is imaginative, funny and quirky at the same time. It reminds me a little of my favorite book by him "Shades of Grey" as the main character again is a somewhat bewildered youngster with good intentions lost in a dystopian version of Wales. It is however completely different , original and very entertaining. The narrator is great, with a deep but very clear welsh (?) accent which suites very well to the character of the book. Highly recommended.

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  • A. R. Daw
  • 22-02-2019

Turned into a marathon.

I started losing interest. Possibly a good premise but just too long winded for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • J L Parkes
  • 13-08-2018

More good work from the king of Dystopia

Really good book, really enjoyed it! Now come on and write Shades of Grey 2!!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sue Gill
  • 28-01-2019

Brilliant, amusing and though inducing

A other fantastic story from Fford. Set in a Welsh soverinty that experiences ice age like winters with residents who hibernate. Who stays up to look after them? What happens to those who dream?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs. J. M. Galor
  • 20-12-2018

A bit baffling

There’s a really great story in here somewhere, I just didn’t quite find it. Convoluted, meandering, a bit directionless. It was almost impossible to keep track of characters and plot, but somehow there was still something that kept me listening. I think what kept it going for me was in fact the narrator, who is terrific, better I think than his material. All credit to his storytelling ability.

1 person found this helpful

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  • oldstaff
  • 09-12-2020

Totally different type of book

Having read the Thursday next and nursery crime books i was expecting similar, early riser it a different genre. Intrigue, despair, greed and inhumanity plus flesh eating zombies, a gripping yarn full of plot twists that im sure upon another listen will be just as enjoyable. Bravo Mr Fforde, great book and narration was sublime.

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  • Elizabeth
  • 27-09-2020

A fantastic thought-experiment adventure

This story does not disappoint! Jasper Fforde has crafted an intelligent and thrilling read. The concept underpinning the plot is a fantastic one but I was delighted to find how much I warmed to characters and wanted to hear what happened next. It is well-read and paced too. Sad to end it x

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  • simon211175
  • 23-06-2020

Classic Fforde

There are certain authors whose work I will jump on as soon as I can. Fforde's books have been amongst these since I first sunk my teeth into The Eyre Affair. This, a standalone novel is exactly what you would expect; a surreal journey through a Welsh world where people spend the winter months hibernating. Mixing the audiobook with the Kindle version was seamless, but I did find myself getting confused at various points and having to reread sections. I don't listen to audiobooks a great deal, so this might just have been my wandering mind. Overall I did really enjoy this story, and the rabbit hole it takes us down.

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  • Janiepooh_7
  • 19-05-2020

genius

loved it!! jasper fforde never disappoints! keeps you guessing till the end, the play with time shifts is impressive, considering it all takes place in only 3 or 4 days,

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-02-2020

thoughtful

will be starting again from the beginning! so many interesting concepts that turn our reality on its head, but remain recognisable. more in keeping with shades of gray than the Thursday books. more preferable in my opinion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-2019

very entertaining story

very entertaining story well read and funny too ... definitely worth a listen i suggest

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