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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
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...
Published 15 months ago by adawn

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, but too slow
The book operates on an interesting premise: in the alternate universe where it is set, literature is a popular pastime. Not only that, but there is a whole police section whose only task is investigating crimes of a literary nature. It is in that section that the literate, intelligent and sometimes touchingly vulnerable Thursday Next operates. She finds herself on the...
Published on March 29 2004 by Liloo


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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
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (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 "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (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. A lot of readers probably won't understand all of the literary jokes and in-jokes (it sounds snobby, but if you don't get something then just skip it), as well as some that anybody can understand, like the invention of the banana. The idea of high art as pop culture is delightfully done, like the guy with the "Hand of God" tattoo, or the door-to-door Baconian missionaries, or a John Milton convention. Take a sprinkling of real-life pop culture, make it art-inclined, and that's what you get.

One of the best things about this book is that it overflows with promise for sequels in this universe. Time travel, a chilling scene with a lisping vampire, lycanthropy vaccines, and the wealth of literature are all dealt with, but not so thoroughly that it can't be used again. The writing style is spare and fast-moving, sort of like Terry Pratchett's but more detailed. The dialogue is very good, with a lot of good quotables.

Thursday Next is a likable female lead, very hard-boiled, tough and smart, but with a vulnerable side. Uncle Mycroft is just delightful, mad as pants! Acheron Hades is one of those villains who loves evil for its own sake (well, with a name like "Hades," what can you expect?), and people who like a complex reason for a person to be bad won't like him. "I'm just... well, differently moralled, that's all."

Jasper Fforde's first novel is a slightly frothy, book-hopping, tongue-in-cheek novel. It may not be a work of literature equal to "Jane Eyre," but it's a supremely entertaining and promising one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Review Of �The Eyre Affair� by Jasper Fforde, Jan. 4 2006
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (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
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (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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5.0 out of 5 stars My inner English Major has found a new favourite..., Feb. 22 2005
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
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 BRILLIANT. It is hilarious: like a bizarre "alice in wonderland" premise where the reader follows Fforde through books - a wild imaginary ride. If you have ever wanted to enter a novel literally - pardon the pun - this novel makes it possible.
Granted, the love affair development between Thursday and Landen is a bit stale, but that is not the focus of the work. The wonderment of this book is how, in the name of all things sacred, did Fforde come up with this plot and story line?! The character development of Thursday Next allows us to see her for who she is in the context of the story, and we can visiualize what her uncle's inventions are or her annoyance at her father's inability to stay more than five minutes at a time.
This was a good distraction from writing my thesis... now, if only I can get my hands on a couple of those bookworms...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fluff, but great fluff, Dec 6 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
There are a lot of funny, UK authors out there. However, there are few that are imaginative and original as Jasper Fforde. The Eyre Affair is an excellent, fun ride that brings out the best parts of a cop novel and a humourous/slice o' life kind of book. Fforde's protagonist, Thursday Next, is a witty, strong character that is easy to like and even though Fforde's setting, a 1985 England with time travel and airships, is confusing at first, before long you are fully in the story and fully with Next on her adventure. A great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Aug. 23 2004
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
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). How refreshing it is to encounter an author who presupposes the intelligence of the reader and succeeds in making the impossible rather plausible. Falling into the pages of this book is like encountering beloved old friends in new and unexpected places as Mr Quaverley, Rochester, Wordsworth, Jane Eyre and a host of others find themselves threaded into the plot. Mad Baconians, casual vampires, interactive productions of Richard III...it all makes complete sense in the world of the heroine, Thursday Next. One can only imagine how delightful it must be to possess a mind as elegantly agile as Jasper Fforde's.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one defensive about what he did with Eyre?, July 12 2004
By 
jrth97 (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
As a fan of Jane Eyre, I was looking forward to this book. I found the concept very interesting and delightful. I would love to live in a world where literature held such value.
However, the book was a bit too long. I think he took a while getting to the thick of the story. I don't think there was enough character development, and the villainous characters were almost too hokey to be taken too seriously.
But I was SO UPSET over Fforde's treatment of Jane Eyre. Are we Bronte lovers really supposed to grasp his notion that Charlotte Bronte herself would not have written the ending of Jane Eyre as she had and that a rather unsatisfying ending was her initial intention? Are we really supposed to be satisfied with the turn of the events for Jane and Rochester being brought about the way he described? I didn't find it amusing at all. I found the ending painful to read! It pretty much ruined the rest of the book for me, even though there was much about it that I initially liked. It's like eating a new, delightful dessert, only to get an aftertaste of rotten eggs at the end. If you LOVE Jane Eyre, I would prepare myself before reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to expectations, July 12 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Hardcover)
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 regardless. As an older fan of Harry Potter, I recently went to the bookstore in search of a good read to help ease the wait of Book 6, sadly enough. "The Eyre Affair" and Fforde's second book, "Lost in a Good Book," both had "Harry Potter for adults..." printed somewhere inside. That's all the information I needed. And even though I have yet to finish "The Eyre Affair," I can't wait to continue on in the world of 'Thursday Next.' I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys escapist writing. And no, the book is in no way a rip off of Harry Potter. True, the comparison caught my eye, but Fforde has created something beyond original. 5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sci fi, not quite parody, but fun all the way, June 29 2004
By 
A. Ryan "Merribelle" (Westminster, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
Don't bother reading this book if you are A, poorly read in basic English literature and/or B unappreciative of dry wit. Now that we've eliminated the apathetics, here's the review for the rest of us:
The Eyre Affair is a great love letter to the famous English authors of centuries past, notably Shakespeare, Bronte, Austen, Dickens, etc. Well not really - it's a clever alternate universe thriller in which Litratec investigator/enforcer Thursday Next takes on a case involving the kidnapping of some of the most beloved literary characters in British lore. You see, in Thursday's world, the supernatural is very often a natural part of everyday life; vampires and werewolves are regulated by a department very much like Animal Control, time travel -talented individuals are recruited for their services in government branches, and the integrity of national literary treasures is guarded zealously by top secret levels of those branches. I could love to live in this world were it not so chaotic, what with history being constantly tampered with by various factions and all. Even so, it's great fun to visit.
Author Jasper Fforde can be caught using this forum to stage literary debates and in-jokes, much to the delight of the Anglophile readers. In place of religious fanatics coming to one's door proselytizing, you have Baconians whose mission in life is to convince the world that Shakespeare's works were written by Francis Bacon. Fforde demonstrates a very British tendency to use proper names to lampoon a character. His prodigal creation of Thursday Next is an unlikely mixture of reserved-but-courageous traditional British heroines and modern pop culture action stars reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. Fittingly, Ms. Next's interesting life seems to parallel Jane's a little more closely than coincidence.
If there is one flaw in this book, it's that the reader is thrown into an alternate universe in which we are playing a lot of catch up thoughout the plot. This sometimes had the side effect of distracting me and sometimes it contributed to the humor. Perhaps the author should have included a prologue chapter which summarized the necessary backstory, but overall TEA is worth sticking to nonetheless.

The Eyre Affair is a great find, and I look forward to other tales from this adorably messy universe.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle
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