Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Rating: 8/10

Published: 2001
Number of pages: 373

Started: 11 March 2008
Finished: 18 March 2008

Summary (taken from blurb):

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend.

There is another 1985, where London's criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave's Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn't easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare's plays.

Perhaps today just isn't going to be Thursday's day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again...

An interesting concept and quite well done. I'm sure there are probably a lot of little jokes that I wasn't 'getting', but I think on re-reading it I'd probably pick up a bit more. The story was cliched (as it's meant to be, I'm sure), but it didn't bother me, which was strange, because I when the read the same sort of cliched detective story in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (The Luisa Rey Mystery), I just found it highly irritating.

It's certainly a gem of a book for a literary buff and contains a lot of intriguing little ideas and a quirky vision of the future. Not being much of an English history buff, there were some parts of the alternative history that I didn't quite get because I didn't know how that history had played out in our own time. The good thing about my ignorance is that books like these spur me on to research these events on the internet and thus learn while I'm enjoying the story.

Thursday Next is a great heroine and I can see a bit of myself in her, which is always nice. Having owned this book for so long and after seeing so many great reviews about it, I was glad not to be disappointed by it (as can often be the case when you go into a book with high expectations). I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.

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