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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
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The Eyre Affair (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,669439228 (4.02)3 / 969
Member:kgodey
Title:The Eyre Affair
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2003), Edition: Later Printing, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Owned & Read
Rating:****1/2
Tags:series, fantasy, fiction, literature, thursday next, book 1

Work details

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001)

  1. 372
    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. 2010
    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. 112
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (flonor)
  4. 115
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (sanddancer)
  5. 40
    Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (one-horse.library)
  6. 73
    To Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last 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: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde (shallihavemydwarf)
  9. 41
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (ShelfMonkey)
  10. 20
    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
    The Aunt Paradox by Chris Dolley (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar style of writing and humour
  16. 00
    The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey (LKAYC)
  17. 00
    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (one-horse.library)
  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 (one-horse.library)
  20. 00
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)

(see all 30 recommendations)

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English (423)  French (6)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (438)
Showing 1-5 of 423 (next | show all)
Fun, with typical tongue-in-cheek humor and plays on words. Read the character names out loud!
  LibraryGirl11 | Dec 12, 2014 |
This is the first book in the Tuesday Next series, and boy, am I excited to continue with it! Thursday Next is a 30-something LiteraTec for the SpecOps department in London, meaning she investigates all literature-related crimes. Thursday lives in w world where the Crimean War has been going on between England and Russia for the past 130+ years, ChronoGuard members (like her father) pop in and out of time, and dodos have been brought back from extinction. Oh, and Thursday's uncle invented a device that allows people to enter the world of any book they choose. All these details, plus many more where that came from, are what help to make this book a really fun and clever read, chock full of literary references. Fans of Jane Eyre (especially those who hate the ending) will definitely get a kick out of this book, although you do not need to have read the book for this one to make sense (I have yet to read Jane Eyre, and I was not lost at all). Highly recommended! ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Dec 11, 2014 |
This was a fun read... once I got into it and felt like I understood what was going on. I'm not sure if the blurb was misleading, or if the British style was more complicated than I expected, but when I first opened this book, I was thoroughly lost! I felt as if I was walking into the middle of a fully developed series in which I'd missed the previous books. Between references to wars that I didn't know (or perhaps didn't exist!), and unexplained job descriptions, this world is fully developed and it's not until about 100 pages in that it becomes comfortable.

From then on, I loved it! Thursday is spunky, and the way she does what needs to be done, in spite of the rules, gives her this heroic, rebellious feel that makes the reader root for her even more! The othet charcters are fleshed out just enough to give you a sense of who they are, but with enough leeway to let the reader's imagination run rampant. And the names! Beyween literary references (Oswald Mandias, aka Ozzie Mandias, as in Ozymandias...) and names like Jack Schitt (say it aloud, I dare you), how can you not love the character names?

On the downside, the charcters are a little superficial. Like I said, they're just fleshed out enough to not be totally two dimensional. Plus, there seem to be too many! Characters that seem important just kind of fade away (Spike) or get killed off (Styx), while new characters are introduced every few pages.

The plot also meanders a bit. Sometimes key plot developments rumble past at lightning speeds, and then later we go on a wild chase on a completely unrelated tangent.

Let us not forget the shifting temporal events: Thursday's father showing up at random moments to ask her history questions and her answers are constantly changing as history changes... This alone could confuse a reader who is not paying attention. Plus it has no relevance to the storyline except once, when her father's appearance stops time at a very convenient moment.

Is this book enjoyable? I think so. But it's not exactly something I'd recommend for a beginning reader, or someone who isn't used to thinking critically while reading. For those who always read in depth, this is a light, semi-brainless read, as in, don't overthink it or you won't really like it! Just read it for the quirky aspect. Enjoy the puns and literary references. But don't take it seriously or you might just go mad... ( )
  LadyLiz | Nov 25, 2014 |
Picture this: the year is 1985. The Crimean War is still raging and Great Britain is in a reverse time warp. Instead of being behind the times they are way ahead. England is a futuristic place where time travel is common, the most common thing to clone is the resurrected Dodo bird (everyone has them as pets), and visitations to the pages of literature is child's play. Thursday Next is a Special Operative in literary detection where not much is supposed to happen (it's a desk job after all). Most crimes in involve Byronic forgeries and protests over Shakespeare's authenticity. That is until a minor character from a Dickens novel is found murdered outside the novel, changing the plot forever. That's just for starters. When Jane Eyre herself is plucked from Bronte's original manuscript and the kidnapper threatens to alter Great Britain's most beloved story, Thursday rises to the challenge to rescue Jane. It's no small task for the kidnapper is a former professor who once tried to seduce Thursday and seems to have godlike powers. To make matters worse, Thursday's mind is not 100% on the case as she is distracted by a heartbreaking secret in the form of an ex-lover she can neither escape nor forget.
Fforde writes with cunning intention. Every chapter is riddled with wordplay, puns, literary allusions and trivia. With a names like Thursday Next, Hades Acheron, and Jack Schitt, you can just imagine the possibilities. Even the twins Jeff and Geoff got a giggle out of me. Because I am not up on pop culture I am sure some references went over my head.
One of my favorite scenes is when Thursday and the before mentioned ex-lover attend a performance of Shakespeare's Richard III. Only this adaptation is more like The Rocky Horror Picture Show than serious theater in the round. The audience participation is hilarious. Another great moment is when Thursday's uncle is showing Thursday his latest inventions. The bookworms are the best. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 20, 2014 |
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. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 423 (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 (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall 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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Epigraph
Dedication
For my father
John Standish Fforde
1920-2000

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.
Quotations
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:21 -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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