Book Reviews

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next) by Jasper Fforde

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List Price: £8.99

 

Paperback: 384 Pages.

Published: 19 July 2001 by Hodder Paperbacks

ISBN: 034073356X

EAN: 9780340733561

'The Eyre Affair' is unlike any novel I have encountered before, and it deserves to be read, and loved by a great number of people.

Imagine if Lewis Carroll had decided to write a detective story, which became a love story, which grew into a thriller, which ended up as an astonishing, highly entertaining page-turner that confounds expectations, and you have some idea of the scope of this novel.

Jasper Fforde has created a world not so very different to our own, where his wonderful, loveable heroine Thursday Next struggles to defend literary figures from kidnapping, and sometimes worse. The cast of characters that aid and abet her is fantastic (including Wordsworth, Jack Schitt of the Goliath corporation, Welsh booksellers, vampire-stakers, time-travellers and Jane Eyre's own Mr Rochester), and the writing is exuberant.

This is a book that must be read to be believed. Try it, and let yourself in for a treat.

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Totally weird .... but in a good way

Defining this book is beyond me ... enthusing about it is not. What fun ... This book is based on a number of delightful conceits - pretend that the Crimean war is not over, pretend that characters can step out of novels and affect the real world, accept that dodos do not have to be extinct and revel in the fact that we can change the ending of books. Add in some time travel and some truly amazing names and stir around with a plot about loss and identity with a touch of a mad Dickens heroine and you have a compelling yarn that just might make you laugh out loud.

Suspend your disbelief and just delight in the sheer fun, wit and intelligence of this book ... and when you've finished go out and buy the sequels - I promise that you will not be disappointed.

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Quite, Quite Mad

I am indebted to our reviewer, Anne, for suggesting that I give this book a try. It is a rather mad book which is great fun & I enjoyed it very much. I have already put the next in the series on order from my library.

This is the story of Thursday Next. She is, essentially, a detective concerned with all things literary. When the original manuscript for Martin Chuzzlewit is stolen she is on the trail. Sounds like a simple Agatha Christie? Believe me it is not.

Thursday Next lives in a world which on first glance is obviously modern day earth, England in fact. However, history has not gone quite gone down the route that you & I know. The Crimean War is still being fought, Churchill met with an accident in childhood & never became an adult & Wales is a separate & hostile republic. These are just a few of the simpler changes. I shall not try to explain the existance of Dodos nor the Chrono guard.

One of the very enjoyable things about this book is that the author makes no attempt to explain his world to the reader. There are not pages & pages of explanations as to why the Crimean war is still being fought, why there are dangerous rifts in time or why the arch criminal can deflect bullets & appear invisible. The author just writes the story as if the reader understands this all perfectly & will accept it as fact, which I did quite easily.

Thursday is a great leading character. So normal. She has baggage & conflicting emotions. This takes an important place in the story but it isn't too excessive - enough to make her a real person without being over powering. Not all of her work or personal decisions are the right ones but it all comes right in the end.

I loved this book. It was sheer escapsim. There was plenty to smile about with the odd laugh out loud moment. A good working knowledge of literature would be useful though not essential. A world where literature is almost a religion was great fun and, as I am sure I mentioned, rather mad!

 
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