The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

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In The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Thursday Next is an agent for SO-27, working in the Literatec division in alternative 1985. Her job is to stop literary thieves from taking original manuscripts. This is a very important job, for people in Thursday’s world are able step in and out of books: if one were to mess with the original manuscript, every copy of the book would be changed forever.

I loved the “Dragnet” tone of the narration, and the outrageous abilities of people in the book (such as going back and forth in time or accidentally falling in a hole in time) make the solving of a crime hilarious. The characters’ names alone are funny (from Jack Schitt, a bad guy, to Paige Turner and Thursday Next). Besides the humorous and fantastic elements, though, I loved the import of literature to the people in Thursday’s world. If only Shakespeare’s plays were the entertainment of choice in our world!

There were lots of literary jokes, and I was glad I’d read Jane Eyre, which was one of the main books central to the plot. I also liked all the jokes about the true author of Shakespeare’s plays.

I really did enjoy this book, and as I try to write about it now, I really don’t have much more to say about it! It was not deep literature in any degree, but it is certainly for those who appreciate reading those classics. There were some slow parts, and I was eager for it to get to the Jane Eyre portion I knew was coming, but overall, it was a fun journey. I want to read the other books in the series, just because it was so random, light-hearted, and amusing for a book-lover like me. The next time I’m in the mood for a frivolous read, this series might be it.

I will say this: the front cover of The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde says that it has elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The back cover compares Thursday to Bridget Jones, Nancy Drew, and Dirty Harry. If I’d read those comments first, I would have been scared away. That weird amalgamation of characters and subjects does not sound like my type of book. But because I’d read reviews from other bloggers saying how fun this book was, I gave it a chance, and I’m glad I did because it was fun. Book bloggers unite!

What book would you love to visit?

I’m still debating that one. I would have said Pride and Prejudice, but the movie Lost in Austen scared me off from that (no toothpaste).

Other Reviews:

I only posted a few reviews above, but I know there are many more. If you have reviewed The Eyre Affair on your blog, leave a link in the comments and I’ll add it here.

Reviewed on August 6, 2009

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that’s so weird some people are turned off by it. My librarian friend originally suggested this to me and she says she has the hardest time getting people to read these, but usually if they read them they love them. I thought the second book was structured better than the first, less scattershot, but still random. As for the jumbled mix of comparisons on the cover, I imagine reviewers were just sort of at a loss. This is so unique.

  • I love this series, so I’m elated that you did! And I agree with Amanda that if you liked the first one, the second books (and subsequent ones) only get better. They focus more on the intrabook world, and it’s both fascinating and fun! I was working on a re-read through the series last year and am currently stalled on book #4! I have to get through it before I can tackle #5 (which I’ve never read!). These books are sucha delight!

  • Ooh, I adore this whole series. I agree that the pacing in Fforde’s books is really odd – very top-heavy, so he’s still introducing plot elements 2/3 of the way through the book, and then everything kind of races to a conclusion. But I still love them. I want to live in To the Lighthouse!

  • I have a friend who is a huge Jasper Fforde fan – I read one of his books at her insistence and it was just okay for me. I think a lot of it was over my head.

  • I read this pre-blogging and never reviewed it, but I really enjoyed it – I love the whole series, actually. It’s silly and clever at the same time. I hope you like the rest of the Thursday Next books too!

  • Jackie, I had to be in the right mood too! Summer was a good time for it.

    Amanda, I’m glad to hear the others are even better. Yeah, it is kind of it’s own genre.

    Steph, I’m glad to hear you like them enough for a reread of the whole series!

    Emily, “top heavy” is a good way of putting it. I dont’ know if I’d read To the Lighthouse but intriguing that that is your pick.

    Kathy, well, like someone said, you kind of have to be in the mood for it. I can completely understand not liking it. It’d a different kind of weird.

    Florinda, Thanks! I hope I like them too!

  • It was good fun, wasn’t it! Hmm, what book to enter – I totally agree with the Lost in Austen thing, although I thought that movie very funny. Ah, how about The Woman in White, so I can kick Count Fosco’s ass, and then have a nice chat over tea with him about literature.

  • Lula O, lol you made me laugh. To be honest I didn’t notice until I read your second comment…The family policy I guess is more “don’t be calling me or anyone else names.”

    I haven’t finished The Woman in White yet so I won’t ask why Coutn Fosco’s bottom needs to be kicked 😉 I’m eager to do so!

  • I loved this book as well. I especially liked the John Milton conference where everyone was named John Milton. If I could go back into any book I would probably choose something by E.M. Forster. Howards End I think.

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