Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“I am absolutely thrilled with the world of Thursday Next as created by Fforde. At first, I thought it was odd that he planned to take us a mere ~20 years into the past when creating this world. But as I continued into the story, I was entranced by the intricate world that had been created by...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Super fun read, especially if you like books and are familiar with literature. Clever and enjoyable.”Mrs. Spence wrote this review 4 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved this whole series! The author is so very clever with all his literary references. A must read for everyone who loves books.”Kris Q wrote this review Friday, October 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A clever and interesting book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. Jane Eyre wasn't a major part until the final third of the book, so the first half or so dragged a little for me. My biggest disappointment was the point of view: the perspective kept changing from first person to third, adding to what I felt was already so-so writing. Even the first person parts felt oddly detached to me. I never felt like I got to know Thursday as a character. It was almost as if the entire book had been written in third person limited, then, at the last moment, some editor switched all the "she"'s to "I"'s. But the effect was never quite enough for me to get to know the character as well as I should have.”Julie R wrote this review Sunday, October 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked this and I'm glad I read this--but I expected to love it, and I didn't and won't be reading more of Fforde. The book has a fantastic core premise: fictional characters can drop into the real world and intervene in lives; real people can drop into works of fiction and refashion the story. The heroine, Thursday Next, is a member of Special Operations 27--"LiteraTec" which usually deals with crimes such as forgery, copyright infringement, and bad acting. (An actor can be arrested for an unapproved rendition of Shakespeare.) In the Eyre Affair she's on the heels of a criminal mastermind who is murdering and kidnapping fictional characters--including the beloved Jane Eyre.
This isn't the only narrative strand--the novel is set in an alternate universe where a lot of the history we know happened differently. (Time travel is a fact in this world and the timeline it seems continually tweaked by operatives.) In this novel the Crimean War has been going on for 131 years--Thursday is a veteran of that war and it pops up and intertwines in the plot in a clever way. There's also text-eating bookworms, extinct creatures brought back to life to be made into pets--like Thursday's dodo--productions of Richard III that have run for 15 years with the audience shouting out lines as if it were The Rocky Horror Picture Show and people debate questions of literary text and authorship with all the fervor of religious disputes.
The book should be a bibliophile's dream with a wealth of literary allusion and word play: a blurb from The Wall Street Journal on the cover calls it a blend of "Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawkings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Maybe that's the problem for me. It's too manic--too many disparate elements thrown at me even if a great deal of the threads come together at the end. Maybe it's just that I can never quite disappear into this world. Harry Potter is easier. Believe that you can pass through a barrier at Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station into a world of witches and wizards and you're pretty OK from there. People still act like people. But a world where literature is cared about with such zeal is harder for me to credit.
I also don't feel the book is well-written. Almost all of The Eyre Affair is written in first person, but there are patches of third person and third-person like narration and it's not transitioned well. I remember as particularly clunky a scene where Thursday talks about her encounter with her nemesis, Hades Archeron, and other parts of the narrative seem clumsy as well.
It's an imaginative story, well-plotted, and I liked Thursday Next, the main narrator of the story. Yet somehow, I found too much of this novel a chore to read to recommend enthusiastically nor do I want to follow more of Thursday's adventures.”
“Funny, quirky, literature investigator. Tongue in cheek.”Chris K wrote this review Tuesday, September 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Audio book version”Peter R. Auber wrote this review Tuesday, August 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wow - what a great ride. Read it in a few days and really enjoyed the book. Just requested the rest of the series!!!”Marguerite W wrote this review Monday, August 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read the full review at http://randommusingsmanicramblings.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-eyre-affair-by-jasper-fforde.html
I LOVE The Eyre Affair. I first read it several years ago, and it was the book I received to give away for World Book Night 2013. I’ve never progressed beyond book 1 because I could just never find book 2, but TEA always worked fine as a standalone for me. Now, my appetite for more Thursday Next goodness has returned, and I’m desperately hungry for more.
I’m really fond of these alternate-world books, especially such a genre-mixer like this. I can’t pin one label onto TEA, but amongst the genres that occur to me are: futuristic; alternate-world; alternate-history, crime, funny, time travel and fantasy. There are copious elements of each, but not enough (in my view) such that it can be used to describe the book completely; it’s like Jasper Fforde couldn’t decide what genre to stick with, so just tried everything – I love it. I talked a little about genre-mixing in Etiquette for the End of the World and if you liked that, then this takes it to a whole new level.
This is unbelievably funny. Some events are unbelievably outrageous, yet fit for the simple reason that this isn’t your regular book, set on Earth as we know it. This is a special world, filled with special people and so patchwork cars bursting through the fabric of time itself barely warrants a blink.
Thursday can be a difficult woman to like. She’s held a grudge against the only man she’s ever loved for ten years, and while she has good reasons, it can be hard to reconcile for the majority of the book, because we don’t find out those reasons till the end. Her stubbornness can sometimes be interpreted as downright irrationality, but she wouldn’t be human if she weren’t flawed. Personally, I admire her strength and resolve as well as her quest for justice, but I can imagine that many might be put off by her personality.
I would love to live in this crazy, crazy world. Bibliophiles are basically handed their dream come true on a platter: a world where everyone is book-mad, and the heroine polices literary crime. It works because it’s so unique. I don’t find myself scoffing at the idea of people being able to waltz into books, or talking bookworms ready to belch out a thesaurus once given the right food.
This isn’t a romance novel, despite however much I wish it was, though it has romantic elements. They’re nowhere near as numerous or intense as I would like, but that’s what you get when a romance reader reads outside their genre. I’d like to see where the Thursday-Landen relationship develops and the ending of The Eyre Affair has been the main reason why I’ve always been satisfied by not carrying on with the series. I’m all for a happy-ever-after and more books means that the dynamic reached between our hero and heroine will inevitably be upset. With seven books in the series, that’s a lot of upsets.
If you want a book that is quirky and different that will blow your mind, The Eyre Affair is a good bet. I can almost guarantee that you'll never have come across a book like this in your reading career and regardless of whether or not you like the book, it's something that you just have to read for the sake of the experience. Who knows - you may just have discovered your new favourite author.”
“I just re-read this, the first Thursday Next, and enjoyed it even more. I got to see all of the "on and off ramps," as Jasper Fforde says, that he set for himself (characters and situations that will appear later).I enjoyed Thursday coming to her real calling to work in the Book World and the pure evil that is Acheron Hades. Of course a happy ending with Landen is also good.”Lisa E wrote this review Monday, July 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I wish I'd enjoyed this book more than I did. The idea of literary detectives and the blurring lines between fiction and reality holds great possibility, and the novel is very literate, with many entertaining literary and linguistic quips. Still, I found the story less engaging than much of what I've read.”Justin J wrote this review Saturday, June 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No