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Penzler Pick, January 2002: When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.
Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.
Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.
Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.
How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This novel might be called "James Bond Meets Harry Potter in the Twilight Zone." In fact, the reader plays "name that literary reference" through most of this zany work, where characters wander around in time from the Crimean War through the present and into the future, and in and out of novels including, of course, Jane Eyre. The narrator, Tuesday Next, is a tough, gun-totin' heart-of-gold heroine with a pet dodo, a true love she has refused to acknowledge and a brilliant, dotty scientist uncle named Mycroft. Her job is to rescue literary characters kidnapped out of books from being wiped off the face of every copy of a work by tracking down and outwitting the purely evil Asheron Hades and Goliath Corporation greedyman Jack Shit. Throughout, discussions of who really wrote Shakespeare's plays abound, along with send-ups of every literary genre from the highest to the lowest brow. Sastre's reading works particularly well because she's good at the straight narrative, while the nature of the book's language makes melodramatic voices for the other bizarre characters. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 17, 2001).
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I struggle to believe this is meant for adults and I seriously doubt young people would find it amusing.Published 3 months ago by Peter van Rens
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 morePublished on Oct. 31 2009 by Dave_42
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. Read morePublished on June 18 2005
There are a lot of funny, UK authors out there. However, there are few that are imaginative and original as Jasper Fforde. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2004
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 morePublished on Aug. 22 2004 by Alexandra Scott
As a fan of Jane Eyre, I was looking forward to this book. I found the concept very interesting and delightful. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by jrth97
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 morePublished on July 12 2004
Don't bother reading this book if you are A, poorly read in basic English literature and/or B unappreciative of dry wit. Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by A. Ryan