Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I love modern English lit. I love the way the characters talk. Brief, quick sentences full of meaning. For example,
“Loosen up, Sis. Mycroft is a brainbox and Polly, well, she does have a fat arse,”
or –
“Thursday!—” shouted Bowden against the rasp of the engine.

Perfectly timed and perfectly witty, this was a really funny book. The Eyre Affair is a heady amalgam of comedy and crime, and I guess alternate history, two words together I’d never heard of. Enter the world of Great Britain circa 1985 where time travel is common place, dodo’s are the pet of choice, Richard III is performed nightly with as much excitement as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and people vacation in their favorite novel. But now someone is stealing original manuscripts, kidnapping characters and permanently altering the stories. Hot on the trail of this slippery slope killer, such is a day in the life of Thursday Next, Special Operative in the literary detection division, until her beloved Jane is stolen from the pages of Thornfield Hall. Now she really means business.

Think Stephanie Plum with less hair spray and clothes that don’t glow in the dark. Instead of the rat, think dodo bird. Instead of the psycho grandma, insert time traveling father whose face could stop a clock. Landon is no Morelli (not even close), but there is a Vampire Spec Op agent who is dead-pan Ranger with dread locks and the cool shades.

Enough comparison though, I liked this book all on its own. In its own way it was original and funny, even bizarre at times. With names like Thursday Next, Captain Braxton Hicks, Jack Schitt, and Filbert Snood how can you go wrong I say. I laughed outloud multiple times.

The plot moved along rather swiftly for me, keeping me interested most of the time, with my only problem being it taking so long to actually get to the Eyre affair. A lot of weird stuff happens before then, in fact I thought it might be more aptly named The Eyre Affair, cont., but it is all wrapped up swimmingly, and like a good Bronte novel, ended with just the beginning. Be sure to read it with a cup of herb tea and a cucumber sandwich. 4 stars
Other excellent reviews of this:


Julie said...

This sounds so fun! I've got to read it!

Amanda said...

I'm glad you liked it. I agree, it took a long time to build up to the Eyre affair part, but I didn't mind so much because there was so much world to build up in our minds!

Amanda said...

whoops, forgot to subscribe...

hamilcar barca said...

so far it's a collective 6-thumbs up for The Eyre Affair at 5-Squared. methinks it's gonna be a landslide!

Rebecca Reid said...

I have it on my pile for this coming week! I'm heard just so much about it. I'm a bit afraid it's not my kind of silliness, but I'm eager to just let go and enjoy it all the same!

L said...

There are 4 more reviews of this here?? I should've dug deeper I guess. I shan't fail again.
Really looking forward to book 2. Might even wear a pinky ring and hold it just so while I'm drinking my tea, you know, to increase the atmosphere while reading it.

Pure fun.

L said...

Sorry I can't add apparently. 3 more reviews - Duh.

hamilcar barca said...

Two thumbs per person. It's that good.

Jena said...

So glad you enjoyed this! (I don't know how a reader couldn't.) I read The Eyre Affair once upon a time and loved it so much I bookcrossed it to my best friend (who also has a degree in English lit). I don't know if she's read it yet--I strongly encouraged her to read Jane Eyre first--but I was sorry to have given my copy away when I found the next in the series at a thrift store. So I managed to snag another copy of The Eyre Affair, which I have to reread before I read the next one. (I forget how many there are in the Tuesday Next series now.)