Book Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair CoverBook: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Published January 2002 by Viking|374 pages

Where I Got It: Borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Thursday Next #1

Genre: Adult Fiction

What It’s About: 

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where 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, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide. 

What I Thought: 

I liked The Eyre Affair!  It was really hard for me to get into at first, because it’s quite an odd little world (but in a totally good way), and you really need to know what this world is like in order to understand what’s going on once Jane Eyre becomes more important.

To be honest, this world made no sense to me the first time around, and I feel like I need to read it again. Because I really need to understand what the heck just happened.  It wasn’t annoying, and I liked the book just fine, but it feels like one of those books you need to read a few times to really understand what’s happening.  Or maybe I wasn’t paying as much attention as I could have.

It also made me want to read Jane Eyre again, because it’s been a long time since I’ve read it.  Maybe reading it beforehand would have helped.  You don’t need to read Jane Eyre to know what’s going on, since the book is more about trying to keep weird things from happening to the book, but I still recommend reading it alongside The Eyre Affair.

With a first reading, it’s a little too odd, and trying a little too hard to be clever, and I did have a little trouble keeping up with what was going on.  There are all of the random things, and it was a little confusing at times trying to figure out what was going on.  But I still kept reading, because there is something compelling about this book, and I did want to know what happened next.  I would definitely recommend it to English/Literature majors because while I like books and reading and fangirl over books and authors, this isn’t my kind of book. Not that people who didn’t major in those 2 subjects wouldn’t like the book or appreciate it, but I do think it’s great for a certain kind of person.  I’m just not that kind of person.

My Rating:

3 stars.  I liked The Eyre Affair, but not as much as I thought I would.  It is a pretty cool concept, which is why it’s getting 3 stars.

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