Book Review: The Eyre Affair

Posted May 30th, 2013 by in book review / 0 comments


Title: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)
Author:  Jasper Fforde
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Version Read: Paperback (library)
Publication Date: July 19th, 2001
Categories: contemporary, crime, fantasy, humour, magic

Summary (Goodreads):
There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr Big.
Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.
Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.
Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again…

This was an interesting read. Lots of subtle in-jokes for lovers of books, and pun-filled names.

Thursday is not your average heroine, which is nice. She’s witty and amusing, but also has enough flaws and subtleties of character to make her accessible to most readers.

There were parts of the book that I could have done without, that made it feel a bit long. Not big things, but some of the Shakespeare stuff was a little bit excessive. I get that he is very popular in Thursday’s world, but the constant discussions of about who wrote his plays was starting to grate on my nerves. It definitely made me drop at least half a star.

I enjoyed the plot with Jane Eyre being kidnapped and everything else that happened with that part of the novel. Hades was an interesting villain – you don’t have too many villains who do things purely for the sake of being evil. There is usually something else involved, such as monetary gain or revenge or something. But it was never really explained what he was. I assume some sort of demonic presence because of how he was eventually killed, but I think it could have been expanded upon a little more.

Another thing that annoyed me was that it felt a little bit like the author was trying too hard to be original. The book was screaming ‘look at me and how original I am’ over and over. Occasionally the plot got lost or fell through a wormhole or something, because it kept switching genres so much.

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