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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,461484195 (4.01)3 / 1023
Title:The Eyre Affair
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2003), Edition: Later Printing, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:series, fantasy, fiction, literature, thursday next, book 1

Work details

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001)

  1. 392
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Kerian)
    Kerian: If for some reason you read The Eyre Affair without having read Jane Eyre, I definitely recommend it. It will certainly be interesting to read and is a very good book.
  2. 2310
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (coliemta)
    coliemta: One's more literary and the other more science-fiction-y, but they're both bizarre, hilarious and similar in feel. Most people who like one will enjoy the other.
  3. 132
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (flonor)
  4. 125
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (sanddancer)
  5. 40
    Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (TomWaitsTables)
  6. 73
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (simon_carr)
    simon_carr: Similar light hearted style and 'book travelling' rather than time travelling but chances are if you like one then you'll like the other.
  7. 96
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (lauranav)
    lauranav: The Eyre Affair has a great scene of an anger management session in Wuthering Heights!
  8. 74
    Shades of Grey: A Novel by Jasper Fforde (shallihavemydwarf)
  9. 41
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (ShelfMonkey)
  10. 30
    Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce (ten_floors_up)
    ten_floors_up: This and the other books in the Aberystwyth series share a specifically British alternative universe, and a dollop of entertainingly twisted literary pastiche.
  11. 10
    The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (Katie.Loughlin)
    Katie.Loughlin: The two books have very similar flavor, but The Manual of Detection is a darker fantasy novel.
  12. 21
    Who's Afraid of Beowulf? by Tom Holt (Dr.Science)
    Dr.Science: The English author Tom Holt is relatively unknown in America, but very popular in England. If you enjoy Jasper Fforde or Christopher Moore you will most certainly enjoy Tom Holt's wry sense of English humor and the absurd. He has written a number of excellent books but they will be difficult to find at your library.… (more)
  13. 10
    Schrodinger's Ball by Adam Felber (fyrefly98)
  14. 32
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (norabelle414)
  15. 00
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)
  16. 00
    The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey (LKAYC)
  17. 00
    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (TomWaitsTables)
  18. 00
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (interference)
  19. 11
    Fables, Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham (TomWaitsTables)
  20. 00
    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: YA version of the premise about moving in/out of fictional worlds.

(see all 31 recommendations)


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English (467)  French (6)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (483)
Showing 1-5 of 467 (next | show all)
The concept appeals so strongly to me. Even though this is the weakest book in the series I must love it for the dodo, the numerous Shakespeare jokes, the alternate history. It's a series that makes a lot of jokes about cheese and has professional croquet and airships. And, of course, the classic public domain novels we all love. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book a lot the first time I read it which must have been quite a while ago because I no longer remember it well. I've kept it so I could re-read in the future. I've read some of the sequels as well but don't remember them well either. I'm disposing of my hard copy because I've gotten it as an e-book. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Sep 21, 2016 |
If time travel were possible, could we recover the DNA of the dodo and recreate them? And if travel through books were possible, could someone rewrite the pages of Jane Eyre? Look for answers to these and other exciting questions in Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, as you follow agent Thursday Next and ponder the possibility that our reality's possible not the most exciting one.

Aggressive reporters work for Toad Network News, a bad guy is “differently moralled” rather than mad, literary detectives follow the tracks of forgers of poetry, and “Midsummer Night’s Dream with chainsaws” will surely not catch on. Suffice it to say, this novel all ends up making a thoroughly odd sort of sense, and lovers of Bronte will be suitably satisfied by the ending.

Lovers of literature and fantasy will probably be satisfied too, and also eager for more. I need to read more!
Disclosure: Just the titles in this series were enough to hook me. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Aug 23, 2016 |
"Somehow ‘Fucked up’ made it seem more believable; we all make mistakes at some time in our lives, some more than others. It is only when the cost is counted in human lives that people really take notice."

This book was a recommendation that arose from a discussion about a non-fiction book about extinction. I have a slight obsession with dodos and had to read The Eyre Affair because of it.

"I had been with Boswell and SO-27 for eight years, living in a Maida Vale apartment with Pickwick, a regenerated pet dodo left over from the days when reverse extinction was all the rage and you could buy home cloning kits over the counter."

And, yes, I want one.

"I used the time to get up to date with some reading, filing, mending the car, and also – because of the new legislation – to register Pickwick as a pet rather than a wild dodo. I took him to the town hall where a veterinary inspector studied the once-extinct bird very carefully. Pickwick stared back forlornly, as he, in common with most pets, didn’t fancy the vet much. ‘Plock-plock,’ said Pickwick nervously as the inspector expertly clipped the large brass ring around his ankle."

However, inconceivable as it may sound, there is much more to enjoy in this book, because as it turned out, this is not a book about dodos, but about a world in which time travel is possible and - hold on to your hats - where it is possible to enter books and physically meet characters. With great power, comes great responsibility, and there even is a special police unit that deals with works of literature - and the misuse and mistreatment of manuscripts and characters.

And why would you think such a unit is required? Because some villain might take it into his mind to hold the world at ransom and kidnap a beloved character. So, this is where our heroine, Thursday Next, comes in to save the world from the destruction of literature and life as we love it.

It is shocking and distressing to even think about such villainy, so best to soothe the mind with another quotation about the adorable Pickwick:

"I left Chester’s owner and the official arguing together and took Pickwick for a waddle in the park. I let him off the lead and he chased a few pigeons before fraternising with some feral dodos who were cooling their feet in the pond. They splashed excitedly and made quiet plock plock noises to one another until it was time to go home." >
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
I was somewhere between three and four stars for this, but I thought I'd be generous. The main problem with it is it's completely obvious that it's the author's first book - some of the writing is clumsy, and the ending is totally rushed and a little too neat. However, there's a lot to love in this book.

I really liked Thursday - she was tough and good at her job and independent, without being a cliche, a robotic-type, or generally lacking in empathy. She made mistakes and she did a bunch of stupid shit, but she was essentially a good person. I don't know why, but too often writers fail to make their female characters seem human - they're either too stereotypically feminine, or to earnest in their struggle against that archetype. Points for that.

The plot is in places cartoonish, but I'm fairly sure that was intentional, given the subject matter. Acheron is a total pantomime baddie, but it fitted perfectly. Books within books and the subject of the thin divide between fantasy and reality - whether played out like it is in this book, or otherwise - is one of my favourite tropes and I really enjoyed the way it played out in this.

Like I said, it has its problems - some storylines are completely dropped (what the hell happened to Spike?) and the ending is a bit too... quick. He could have played out the real-life Jane Eyre parallel a little more subtly, I felt, but it didn't ruin it. Also, knowing that this is the first in a series, it makes sense that some things would be left behind. I AM glad that Forde didn't try to have the romance dragged out over a bunch of books - that will-they/won't-they idea has been done to death, so I guess that makes up for it feeling... rushed?

Overall, it was probably more like 3.5 stars, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, and will likely read the next one at some point.

EDIT: Also, for some reason, the idea of having a dodo as a pet, and the noise it makes being "plock-plock" is absolutely adorable. Not entirely sure why. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 467 (next | show all)
Fforde wears the marks of his literary forebears proudly on his sleeve, from Lewis Carroll and Wodehouse to Douglas Adams and Monty Python, in both inventiveness and sense of fun.
added by Katya0133 | editYale Review, David Galef (Oct 1, 2008)
Fforde delivers almost every sentence with a sly wink, and he's got an easy way with wordplay, trivia and inside jokes. ''The Eyre Affair'' can be too clever by half, and fiction like this is certainly an acquired taste, but Fforde's verve is rarely less than infectious.
A good editor might have trimmed away some of the annoying padding of this novel and helped the author to assimilate his heavy borrowings from other artists, but no matter: by the end of the novel, Mr. Fforde has, however belatedly, found his own exuberant voice.
THE EYRE AFFAIR is mostly a collection of jokes, conceits and puzzles. It's smart, frisky and sheer catnip for former English majors....And some of the jokes are clever indeed.
added by Shortride | editSalon, Laura Miller (Jan 24, 2002)
Dark, funny, complex, and inventive, THE EYRE AFFAIR is a breath of fresh air and easily one of the strongest debuts in years.
added by jburlinson | editLocus, Jonathan Strahan (Aug 1, 2001)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bussolo, EmilianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gewurz, Daniele A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koen, ViktorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kruger, GabrielleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sastre, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my father
John Standish Fforde

Who never knew I was to be published but would have been most proud nonetheless
—and not a little surprised.
First words
My father had a face that could stop a clock.
The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think; a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning. (Victor to Thursday)
Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of 'Jane Eyre'. In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary - and a woman called Thursday Next.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142001805, Paperback)

Penzler Pick, January 2002: When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.

Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.

Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.

How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:12 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodas are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Based on an imaginary world where time and reality bend in the most convincing and original way since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Eyre Affair is a delightful rabbit hole of a read: once you fall in you may never come back. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in Wordsworth poems, militant Baconians roam freely spreading the gospel that Bacon, not Shakespeare, penned those immortal works. And forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. This is all business as usual for brainy, bookish (and heat-packing) Thursday Next, a renowned Special Operative in literary detection -- that is, until someone begins murdering characters from works of literature. When this madman plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Bronte's novel Thursday faces the challenge of her career. Aided and abetted by characters that include her time-traveling father, an executive of the all-powerful Goliath Corporation, and Edward Rochester himself, Thursday must track down the world's Third Most Wanted criminal and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide. A brilliantly outlandish and absorbing caper destined to become a classic adventure tale, The Eyre Affair is an irresistible thriller and the introduction to the imagination of a most distinctive writer. In Jasper Fforde's singular fictional universe no literary character is safe from crime. And for Special Operative Thursday Next this is only the beginning ...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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