06 August 2011

Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1)The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and Impressionists, and thousands of men are named John Milton, an homage to the real Milton and a very confusing situation for the police. Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that's just a prelude . . .

Hades' real target is the beloved Jane Eyre, and it's not long before he plucks her from the pages of Bronte's novel. Enter Thursday Next. She's the Special Operative's renowned literary detective, and she drives a Porsche. With the help of her uncle Mycroft's Prose Portal, Thursday enters the novel to rescue Jane Eyre from this heinous act of literary homicide. It's tricky business, all these interlopers running about Thornfield, and deceptions run rampant as their paths cross with Jane, Rochester, and Miss Fairfax. Can Thursday save Jane Eyre and Bronte's masterpiece? And what of the Crimean War? Will it ever end? And what about those annoying black holes that pop up now and again, sucking things into time-space voids . . .

It has been years since I've read a book and fell in love with it without the least bit of hesitation. When I started reading 'The Eyre Affair,' moments later I had fallen in love, and this book became an instant favorite of mine. I LOVE this book.

Fforde's fictional world is priceless. The police state of England is populated by citizens who are damn serious about their literature. You can go to prison for trying to pass knock-offs of famous prose, and riots start between groups conflicting over who really wrote the works of Shakespeare. And you can literally step into a novel and interact with the characters of classic literature... or kidnap them.

Thursday next is an amazing gal, and the main character. She's a detective in literature, tracking down and nabbing the literature criminals. She's one of a kind, with Pickwick of course, her pet dodo, and really carries the novel forward. Along with Hades, the evil mastermind whose aim is to just... well, be evil, and to capture and kill literature's most beloved characters.

'The Eyre Affair' is beyond fun, witty, and creative. In a world where everything is upside down at times, Fforde manages to write his book with the utmost of distinction. He doesn't think twice about what he's crafting, and for that reason even the most comical of aspects comes off as just plain perfect. The characters as easy to fall in love with, and I found myself hanging on their every word an experience, whether professional or personal, I just loved the men and women in this novel.

Like I mentioned, instant favorite. A great mystery, sci-fi, drama, and comedy that really belongs in a category of its own. Don’t try and label this book, don’t give it a genre. It’s in a class all its own.

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  1. Great review! I've been curious about this series for ages.

  2. Absolutely THRILLED that you liked it! But, now, you have to read the rest of the series, dear!

    I'm sure you already know, but just in case...

    1. Eyre Affair
    2. Lost in a Good Book
    3. The Well of Lost Plots
    4. Something Rotten (my personal fav!)
    5. First Among Sequels
    6. One of Our Thursdays is Missing

    And don't forget Fforde's other books!

    Nursery Crime:
    1. The Big Over Easy
    2. The Fourth Bear (easily one of my favorite books EVER!)

    And finally, Shades of Grey.

    Happy reading :)

  3. @ Emmy -

    Thank you! Oh you are a life saver. Usually when I need to find out the order of a series there's a lot of cursing, sifting through online databases for publication dates, and papers all over the place with scribbles...

    So your list makes me happy, :)

  4. Happy to help :)

    I had a similar problem when I started reading Fforde's books. I actually started off with Lost in a Good Book, and got frustrated because I didn't know what was going on :P After that, I decided to just grab all the books and try to figure out which ones came first :P

    Also, if you're interested, you should check out Fforde's website. It's PACKED with fun stuff :)

  5. I finished this last week and totally agree - it's brilliant! In fact, 'Lost in a Good Book' arrived on Saturday despite promising myself I would exercise restraint...oops! Glad I'm not alone in my love!

  6. @ Emmy - You are awesome. I have read books out of order, and it's just... bad. Then I've seen people read a favorite series of mine out of order and they don't understand it, so they give it bad revies and it gets under my skin. So in order is best!

    And his website is way too much fun, thanks for sharing with me! I'm used to stuffy authors websites, his is the total opposite!


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