Book Review: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, Book 1) by Jasper Fforde

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


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
A quick, fun read leaving you with a great admiration for Fforde’s imagination and cavalier literary liberties. Thank you to Aaron for a terrific recommendation, succeeding in getting me back to sprinkling my normal business-book diet with some lighthearted fiction.

The product description from Amazon.com describes it well:

In Jasper Fforde's 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. England is a
virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a
Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All
this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative
in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters
from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of
Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.
Fforde's ingenious fantasy-enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the
world of the novel–unites intrigue with English literature in a
delightfully witty mix.

Love being able to add ‘bibliowit’ to my vocabulary (compliments to the WSJ review on the book jacket) and I keep thinking that this was the perfect book for me to recommit to reading in 2009 precisely because of all of Fforde’s “literary allusion and bibliowit.” I was left with a list of books, mostly classics, that I haven’t read since college and have forgotten so much of, which I’d love to reread again now. Then I could trace my calendar to read The Eyre Affair again at the end of the year, to newly appreciate some references that probably flew right past me.

As for the “clever wordplay,” the naming and characterization of Braxton Hicks really cracked me up the most. Every woman who has ever carried a child will understand.

View all my reviews (at Goodreads).

You might also want to check out this page for my business books:
Mana‘o on a Virtual Bookshelf.

Postscript: If you are a blogger, the bones for this post came from a great “post this review to your blog” option at GoodReads, a social network for readers that will give you even more incentive to read more this year with me too!

POMD: January 10, 2009

Comments

  1. bob says

    Originally published in 2001, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is set in an alternative England in 1985. It is the first book in a series of many, the main character is a female named Thursday Next. Next is a police officer and a war veteran. In this version of England there has been a hundred year war with Russia and the war weaves itself around throughout the novel. As well as the war there are time vortexes and pet dodo birds. During the course of the book Next continuously loses the ones around her. Her love interest in the novel is named Landen, her brothers best friend and somebody who she had a previous relationship with. As for Landen being anything more than just a ‘love interest,” we will never know. Fforde writes this as somewhat of a detective novel. The main villain is Acheron Hades who gets himself into the culturally loved book Jane Eyre, where Next then has to hunt for him. As far as my view on the book, i thought it was too simple for my liking. For the most part the sentences were short and very linear. There is not a lot of metaphors in the reading, just lots of puns. Fforde wrote the book from a first person narrative point of view so we know everything going on in her life. This novel is a very solitary read, it could very easily be made into a movie. Personally, i like to read novels that make you think deeply to understand what is going on rather than it being right in front of me