Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde


I love modern English lit. I love the way the characters talk. Brief, quick sentences full of meaning. For example,
“Loosen up, Sis. Mycroft is a brainbox and Polly, well, she does have a fat arse,”
or –
“Thursday!—” shouted Bowden against the rasp of the engine.
“What?”
“Road.”
“Road?”
“Road.”

Perfectly timed and perfectly witty, this was a really funny book. The Eyre Affair is a heady amalgam of comedy and crime, and I guess alternate history, two words together I’d never heard of. Enter the world of Great Britain circa 1985 where time travel is common place, dodo’s are the pet of choice, Richard III is performed nightly with as much excitement as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and people vacation in their favorite novel. But now someone is stealing original manuscripts, kidnapping characters and permanently altering the stories. Hot on the trail of this slippery slope killer, such is a day in the life of Thursday Next, Special Operative in the literary detection division, until her beloved Jane is stolen from the pages of Thornfield Hall. Now she really means business.

Think Stephanie Plum with less hair spray and clothes that don’t glow in the dark. Instead of the rat, think dodo bird. Instead of the psycho grandma, insert time traveling father whose face could stop a clock. Landon is no Morelli (not even close), but there is a Vampire Spec Op agent who is dead-pan Ranger with dread locks and the cool shades.

Enough comparison though, I liked this book all on its own. In its own way it was original and funny, even bizarre at times. With names like Thursday Next, Captain Braxton Hicks, Jack Schitt, and Filbert Snood how can you go wrong I say. I laughed outloud multiple times.

The plot moved along rather swiftly for me, keeping me interested most of the time, with my only problem being it taking to so long to actually get to the Eyre affair. A lot of weird stuff happens before then, in fact I thought it might be better named The Eyre Affair, cont., but it is all wrapped up swimmingly, and like a good Bronte novel, ended with just the beginning. Be sure to read it with a cup of herb tea and a cucumber sandwich. 4 stars

4 comments:

TheBlackSheep said...

That sounds good. Think I might have to look into getting it. Thanks for the review!

Mandy said...

What a funny concept. Sounds like a good book.

Danielle and Jason said...

I'm glad you liked it. My husband has loved this whole series of books. I, however, was not so much a fan and prudishly, perhaps, could have done without all the foul language. :) The concept, though, is brilliant.

Lula O said...

It is a fun book, a lot of inside literature jokes in it too, but like Danielle says there is a little language - strikes for me I hardly remember noticing it. It wasn't bad I don't think, especially when I remembered that the English have a whole other set of swear words they use, and there's no sex or anything like that. Barely even a kiss. At least in the first one anyway.