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4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Love Books About Books, This is for You Jan. 11 2013
By adawn
Format:Paperback
What an incredibly fun book, and a great first entry into the Thursday Next series!

I am a huge fan of books about books. It’s very meta, I know, but when you love reading books about books are an added layer of brilliant on an already fun past time. So it was with great glee that I found the Thursday Next series on display at my local bookstore. I was drawn in by the cover art, read the back blurb of one and was instantly drawn in by the phrase “Thursday Next, literary detective”. I mean really, how can you not be intrigued by that premise?

So I bought the first book in the series. I didn’t read it right away. It sat idle for several months. But I picked it up a few weeks ago when another book I was reading just wasn’t cutting it. The Eyre Affair was my hope for respite from a book that had seemed like a chore, and what a lovely respite it was.

I won’t go into too many of the plot details because I don’t want to spoil it for future readers, but the broad view of it is that Thursday’s assistance is required when a well known criminal begins stealing the original manuscripts of a few well known classics and threatens to dangerously and permanently alter them…in a way the reader will not be expecting.

Besides the plot, the small details of the world of Thursday Next are brilliant in and of themselves, and brought me many smiles when I’d come across them. In Thursday’s world Wales is a Socialist country, blocked off from the rest of the world. The dodo bird is no longer extinct (thanks to scientific reproduction), and the characters have names like Braxton Hicks and Jack Schitts.

I highly recommend the Eyre Affair if you are looking for a fun, light read, and especially if you are a lover of books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loving affair Feb. 24 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think." This statement just about sums up "The Eyre Affair," a bizarre blend of mystery, fantasy, alternate universe novel, satire, and a dash of horror and scifi. With its likeable heroine and delightful plot, this is one that bibliophiles will drool over. It's sort of as if Terry Pratchett wrote mysteries.

It takes place an alternate world where the Crimean War has lasted over a century, vampirism and lycanthropy are like diseases, time can be warped, and people can fall in and out of books and plays -- and if it's the original work, it will change all the other copies. Thursday Next is an agent for a special division devoted to literature, and is on the trail of the villainous Acheron Hades after the theft of the manuscript of "Martin Chuzzlewit" by Charles Dickens. To complicate matters more, her old boyfriend Landen has reentered the picture, and the obnoxious Schitt of the powerful Goliath Corporation is following Thursday.

Hades seems to have been killed, but Thursday is almost sure that he isn't. It turns out she's right -- he kidnaps her aunt and "mad as pants" uncle Mycroft Next, who has just made a machine that allows people to wander into pieces of literature. Hades's plot is to use the machine to disrupt literature as we know it. First he kills a minor character from "Martin Chuzzlewit," and then kidnaps Jane Eyre (in this parallel universe, the novel has a very different ending). Thursday Next teams up with the brooding Rochester and an odd bunch of characters to save Jane -- and all the other great works of literature.

This is one of the best-conceived and best-executed ideas in recent years.
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Format:Paperback
This is Fforde's (yeah, two "F"s) first published novel and the first one I've read of his, and I think I'm hooked. It's a novel that has characters named Thursday Next and Jack Schitt; where fictional characters become real and the real can step into fictional stories; where there exists Special Police Forces for Literary Detectives, Neighbourly Disputes, Temporal Stability, and other troublesome matters. It's a silly, literary story written with a Douglas Adams twist: science-fiction, fantasy, thriller, and humour that only hose mad about books may appreciate.
The plot involves Thursday Next, a LiteraTec, investigating the disappearance of the original Martin Chuzzlewit manuscript, which leads to the theft of the original Jane Eyre manuscript. The story has elements of murder, espionage, war, romance, vampires and werewolves, time travel, and off-the-cuff humour, such as:
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"
"Because Poe wrote on both?"
Hahahaha! Then there's some dialogue like:
"Haven't I seen your face somewhere else?"
"No, it's always been right here on the front of my head."
Well, all of it isn't that corny, and although I didn't laugh out loud, it did cause some grins.
Highly recommended for those with a literary background, who appreciate off-the-wall humour, and who don't take reality seriously.
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2.0 out of 5 stars am I the only one? June 19 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Frankly, not at all that five-star. I bought this based on all the positive reviews (readers and critics), and the book jacket itself in which the plot sounded clever enough. I found it mildly entertaining and inoffensive but really had to force myself to finish it. The twists of the story didn't feel all that inevitable, at times a bit forced, and as a result the book felt somewhat haphazard. Some parts of it was developped fairly compellingly, others were a little random which wears on the reader's attention. The language was also nothing special, unfocused, it honestly felt a bit amateurish in that department.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chuzzlewit Caper?
For the first half of the novel, one might have asked if it had the wrong name, but by the time the book ends, one can probably agree that "The Eyre Affair" is at least as good a... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2009 by Dave_42
5.0 out of 5 stars My inner English Major has found a new favourite...
I have never been a fan of fantasy or sci-fi, and yet, this was an incredible read. Anybody who has studied literature will find this and the subsequent others absolutely... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2005 by Happy "hooker"
4.0 out of 5 stars Fluff, but great fluff
There are a lot of funny, UK authors out there. However, there are few that are imaginative and original as Jasper Fforde. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally
From out of the literary wilderness of today's flaccid, made-for-Hollywood fiction comes Jasper Fforde with a cast of characters from the pages of history (both past and future). Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2004 by Alexandra Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one defensive about what he did with Eyre?
As a fan of Jane Eyre, I was looking forward to this book. I found the concept very interesting and delightful. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by jrth97
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to expectations
Jasper Fforde hit the mark with this one. I realize it's now 2004, and the fourth book in the Thursday Next series is soon to be released, but I'm writing about book one... Read more
Published on July 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sci fi, not quite parody, but fun all the way
Don't bother reading this book if you are A, poorly read in basic English literature and/or B unappreciative of dry wit. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by A. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best
The Eyre Affair is a brilliant masterpiece that ranks up with its counterpart, Jane Eyre, as well as Harry Potter and David Copperfield. Read more
Published on June 26 2004 by S. Gregory
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear.
I bought this book on the strength of the many-starred reviews on it's cover; reviews from the NY review of Books, the Washington post, et al. Read more
Published on June 18 2004
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