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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by…
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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,407None237 (4.02)3 / 915
Member:NigelTB
Title:The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Penguin Books (2003), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:None

Work details

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001)

alternate history (272) alternate reality (163) alternate universe (90) books (133) books about books (180) British (155) comedy (87) crime (110) detective (125) England (150) fantasy (1,295) fiction (1,687) humor (733) Jane Eyre (146) literary (87) literature (240) metafiction (96) mystery (754) novel (168) own (89) read (245) science fiction (389) series (197) sf (53) sff (75) signed (49) Thursday Next (592) time travel (295) to-read (173) unread (74)
  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. 209
    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. 102
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (flonor)
  4. 105
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (sanddancer)
  5. 62
    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.
  6. 40
    Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (one-horse.library)
  7. 63
    Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde (shallihavemydwarf)
  8. 96
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (lauranav)
    lauranav: The Eyre Affair has a great scene of an anger management session in Wuthering Heights!
  9. 41
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (ShelfMonkey)
  10. 32
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (norabelle414)
  11. 10
    Schrodinger's Ball by Adam Felber (fyrefly98)
  12. 10
    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.
  13. 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.
  14. 00
    The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey (LKAYC)
  15. 00
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (interference)
  16. 00
    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (one-horse.library)
  17. 11
    Fables, Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham (one-horse.library)
  18. 11
    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)
  19. 22
    The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (inge87)
  20. 11
    The D. Case: Or The Truth About The Mystery Of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (jonathankws)

(see all 29 recommendations)

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English (410)  French (6)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (424)
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)
In my opinion, the official synopsis for The Eyre Affair does not do justice to this funny, quirky novel. I first became interested in this book over a year ago but the synopsis actually turned me off of it. It seems a little too crazy to me, besides, who would dare touch my beloved Jane Eyre!? I finally decided to read (actually listen since this was an audio book) The Eyre Affair as part of an online book club.

The world that Jasper Fforde created for his Thursday Next novels is most definitely a one of a kind. Our heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world (our world, mind you) where timelines are blurred and the love of literature rules all. This is a story that you have to enter without any preconceived notions on how the world works. It just doesn't work the same in The Eyre Affair.

I laughed my way through this novel (although I did grimace each time Jack Schitt was mentioned...I mean, really? Could you not have thought of a different name, Mr. Fforde?) and couldn't wait to get to the end to finally fit all the pieces together. The Eyre Affair is most definitely a quirky novel and while it may not be for everyone, I do recommend it for fans of science fiction and time travel. I can also recommend the audio version as I thoroughly enjoyed the narration of Susan Duerdan. ( )
  jsamaha | Mar 14, 2014 |
I do not read a lot of "SF" but my brother pressed this book on me and I read it reluctantly and ended up enjoying it. ( )
  Alphawoman | Mar 13, 2014 |
Desideravo leggere questo libro da un bel po’: per questo ero felicissima all’idea di riceverlo, ma allo stesso tempo avevo paura di rimanere delusa. Fortunatamente, Il caso Jane Eyre si è rivelata una lettura divertente, immaginifica e assolutamente all’altezza delle mie aspettative!

Sin dalle prime pagine il lettore viene catapultato in quella che è un’ucronia (ovvero un mondo in cui la storia ha seguito un corso alternativo rispetto al nostro) condita con invenzioni incredibili sempre a metà tra la scienza vera e propria e la fantasia più sfrenata. Come potrete immaginare, questo porta a sviluppi socio-politici ben diversi da quelli del nostro mondo: Fforde è bravissimo nell’introdurre i vari elementi in modo naturale, senza fare la parte del “maestrino” e senza risultare eccessivo.
Un ottimo stratagemma che gli permette di delineare meglio il suo mondo, evitando l’infame infodump (ovvero la sensazione di leggere gli sproloqui di un autore sul mondo da lui creato), è l’inserimento di citazioni tratte da pseudobiblia all’inizio di ogni capitolo: interviste ai personaggi, biografie, manuali e saggi danno una sensazione di profondità e di credibilità, risultando spesso anche molto divertenti.
Un concetto-cardine dell’universo di Fforde è quella che, leggendo, ho ribattezzato “follia letteraria”: in questa versione alternativa del nostro mondo, infatti, le questioni letterarie sono molto più che semplici dibattiti culturali – fanno parte della vita sociale quasi al livello di questioni di etica e morale, talvolta persino con delle sfumature religiose. Anche le arti visive ricevono lo stesso trattamento e non mi stupirei se, nei prossimi libri della serie, si scoprisse che questo vale anche per la musica, ad esempio.
L’ho definita “follia” perché, anche se apparentemente sembrerebbe il paradiso, in realtà è anche un atteggiamento fautore di estremismi tutt’altro che pacifici. Diciamo che, per quanto io ami discutere di arte e letteratura, non mi farebbe affatto piacere venire picchiata perché apprezzo più una corrente piuttosto che un’altra (cosa che, in questo libro, accade). Ammetto, però, che ci sono diversi lati positivi che mi hanno entusiasmata e mi hanno fatto desiderare, per un momento, di vivere nel mondo di Fforde; un esempio su tutti, la rappresentazione del Riccardo III, vissuta direttamente dagli spettatori e incredibilmente sentita (molto simile, in un certo senso, alle odierne rappresentazioni del Rocky Horror Picture Show, come ad esempio quella del cinema Mexico a Milano).
C’è da dire, tuttavia, che questo mondo può essere apprezzato totalmente solo se si ha almeno un’infarinatura di letteratura inglese, direi quella che si può ottenere con un buon professore al liceo. In questo modo si riescono ad apprezzare alcuni dei discorso e varie allusioni. E’ ovvio, inoltre, che chi ha letto Jane Eyre parte “avvantaggiato” e sicuramente si divertirà di più nel vedere certe modifiche che Fforde ha apportato…

Tuttavia, le avventure di Thursday non sarebbe così piacevoli da leggere se lei non fosse una protagonista che vale la pena seguire: la nostra Detective Letteraria, infatti, è una donna molto sicura di sé, decisa e indipendente, simpatica sin dalle prime pagine. La storia è narrata principalmente dal suo punto di vista e questo ci permette di conoscerla meglio, di capire le sue reazioni e di iniziare a scavare nel suo passato; ho trovato l’approfondimento psicologico buono, anche se non eccellente. Thursday è sicuramente tridimensionale, ma in un certo senso mi è sembrato che l’autore abbia volutamente evitato di addentrarsi troppo in certi lati della nostra detective. Tuttavia, ho fiducia nel fatto che questo ottimo lavoro si approfondirà nei prossimi capitoli della saga.
Inoltre, credo che questa mia impressione si sia creata anche a causa dello stile dell’autore, che è medio, piano: è perfetto, per la sua scorrevolezza e la semplicità, per descrivere, per le scene d’azione, per l’umorismo, mentre si presta meno a rendere le scene più drammatiche, o comunque riflessive.
Altro personaggio che impedisce di staccarsi dalle pagine è Acheron Hades che, con un nome così, non può che essere il cattivo della storia. Assolutamente senza scrupoli, malvagio per il puro gusto di esserlo, le sue battute sono semplicemente mitiche e il compiacimento con cui porta a termine le proprie nefandezze è tale da risultare quasi comico. Si vede che l’autore spinge sull’acceleratore quando questo personaggi entra in scena: la sua caratterizzazione richiama fortemente quella dei cattivi dei cartoni animati della nostra infanzia, ovvero quegli antagonisti che non possono fare a meno di strapparci delle risate, pur ostacolando i buoni. Allo stesso tempo, però, alcune delle azioni di Hades sono tali da ridimensionare questa dimensione più comica, dandogli sfumature particolarmente inquietanti. Anche i suoi scagnozzi sono caratterizzati da questa duplicità: tra l’altro, la scena in cui li presenta mi è rimasta impressa per la sua ironia e mi ha fatto ridacchiare apertamente!
I comprimari (il fratello di Thursday, suo padre, i colleghi, i già citati scagnozzi, eccetera) sono tutti molto interessanti, tratteggiati quel che basta per dargli personalità e renderli simpatici al lettore.

Insomma, abbiamo un mondo fantastico, personaggi che acchiappano l’attenzione… aggiungeteci pure una trama non esente da colpi di scena e momenti di pathos (anche se è chiaro come il sole che si punta al classico “e vissero felici e contenti”), resa ancora più piacevole dalla natura quasi “episodica” del romanzo – ogni capitolo, come gli episodi di una serie tv, dà inizio e fine a certe avventure che portano, man mano, ad un avanzamento complessivo della trama principale – e avrete una lettura frizzante e fantastica, cui non vedrete l’ora di tornare. ( )
  Dasly | Feb 18, 2014 |
While its contemporary fiction... its an alternate reality in 1985.
Enjoyable if you love reading. ( )
  eswaim | Feb 17, 2014 |
Amazing! Such creativity! What an imagination! I can't wait to read the next one. It is so refreshing to read something so completely new and wonderful.
( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 410 (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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People/Characters
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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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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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)

In a world where one can literally get lost in literature, Thursday Next, a Special Operative in literary detection, tries to stop the world's Third Most Wanted criminal from kidnapping characters, including Jane Eyre, from works of literature.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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