The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2004

When I read the review of The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde many months ago, I knew I had to read it. It took a long time, but I was finally able to get my hands on a copy.

In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.
This was a very, very clever book, set in one of the most fascinating alternate worlds I've ever read. A B.

The world-building is The Eyre Affair's strongest point. Thursday Next's 1985 England is chock-full of little details that made me smile and wonder at the author's wonderful imagination, even if I just know I must have caught maybe half of the references. The setting was just so much fun that it reminded me of the Harry Potter books, in that sense.

Unfortunately, unlike those books, where TEA didn't succeed as well was in the storytelling and in making the characters ring completely true. Here, I saw the story mostly as a pretext to be in the world Fforde created. I didn't close the book feeling emotionally satisfied by the story, mostly because I didn't really care about these people, they weren't real to me.

Still, to be completely sincere, I was amused and entertained enough for my experience with the book to be overwhelmingly positive.


Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP