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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
12,164469207 (4.01)3 / 998
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)

  1. 382
    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. 2210
    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. 122
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (flonor)
  4. 115
    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. 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)
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    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (TomWaitsTables)
  18. 00
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (interference)
  19. 11
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  20. 00
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(see all 30 recommendations)

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English (451)  French (6)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (467)
Showing 1-5 of 451 (next | show all)
This is so creative! I 'read' this as an audiobook and really enjoyed it. It was hard to grasp the context of the time travel and reality versus fiction.... but once I got the hang of it, I was along for an adventurous ride that I couldn't get enough of :) Although I love the reader of the audiobook, reading it as a book was even more enjoyable! ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 10, 2016 |
I have to admit that I've never read 'Jane Eyre.' I only got around to reading 'Wuthering Heights' not too long ago, and found it to be both unimpressive (stylistically) and annoying (plotwise) (Heathcliff was NOT romantic, he was a right bastard) - so I don't maintain high hopes for her sister's book, especially considering what I've heard of the story (Rochester sounds like another cut from the same cloth).
However, while there are definitely elements of 'The Eyre Affair' that will be found much more amusing by those who are reasonably familiar with 19th-century English literature, it's not really necessary to have read anything else to appreciate this book.
Basically, it's a mystery set in an alternate-world England.
The Crimean War has raged on for over 130 years, there are all kinds of Spec-Ops divisions in the government - including one for time travel - and technology has progressed rather stragely, resulting in a mix that we might find both oddly Victorian and futuristic. Most significantly, however, in this alternate world, the British (and, seemingly, everyone) are obsessed with art and literature. Gangs riot over the virtues of classicist painting vs. surrealism, and political groups can be based on opinion over who wrote Shakespeare's plays. In this milieu, it's no surprise that there's a need for the LiteraTec division of Spec-Ops, which deals with literary crime. Usually this has to do with forgery and such, but when our book opens, agent Thursday Next gets dragged into a mystery - Acheron Hades, the third most evil man on England's 'Wanted' list has stolen an original manuscript - and, unfortunately, thanks to a device invented by Thursday's mad-scientist uncle (who's been kidnapped) has the ability to reach into that manuscript and grab - or kill - characters, irrevocably changing all versions of the book forever. The first manuscript Hades steals isn't of prime import - the obscure Dickens work 'Martin Chuzzlewit' - but when he gets his hands on the beloved 'Jane Eyre' straits are dire indeed.
Can Thursday apprehend Hades, rescue her aunt and uncle, and preserve 'Jane Eyre'?

Fforde pays just a bit too much attention to his own cleverness, and not quite enough to the plot and background (who is Hades? Why is he so invincible and evil?) - but the story is definitely original - and a great deal of fun. I've added the 'Next' two sequels to my wish list. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I'm afraid I'm giving up on this book, as much as I truly wanted to like it. I've been meaning to read it for a long time because the plot sounds like EVERYTHING I SHOULD LOVE--but it wasn't. The writing was pretty sad in a lot of places, and there was too much of that incredibly lame alternate-reality slang you often get when writers try and imagine how we'll talk about technology in the future. It was a bust from the beginning, and I kept going because I desperately wanted it to get amazing... But shortly after the introduction of a character named Jack Schitt, I knew it was time to call it a day.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Great fun, an alternative, literary orientated universe, with a refreshingly competent heroine. I look forward to reading more. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
It was ok. Light and entertaining, but nothing ground-breaking. I wish Fforde had focused a little more on the actual Eyre Affair - I kept waiting for the story to begin, and by the time it did, it was almost the end of the novel. ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 451 (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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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.)
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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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