Title: The Eyre Affair
Author: Jasper Fforde
Genre: Science fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: The Special Operations Network was instigated to handle policing duties considered either too unusual or too specialized to be tackled by the regular force.
This review was previously posted on my personal blog on August 27, 2007.
Thursday Next works as a LiteraTec in Special Ops. She’s a specialist in literary crimes. In the world of Thursday, the Brits take literature very, very seriously. Fans of various poets have formed competing factions, people arguing the true authorship of Shakespeare’s plays get into physical altercations, and prosecution of plagiarism is taken to a new level. Thursday gets embroiled in a plot that involves a murder of a Dickens character, the kidnapping of Jane Eyre herself, and an arch-enemy that is part human, part something else.
I loved this book! I have read several reviews, and it seems to be a book that people either love or hate. I enjoyed it very much, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the Thursday Next series.
I don’t quite know how to describe this book. There are so many literary and historical references that I was constantly on Wikipedia, checking to see if I was missing something. The cover says something about a mixture of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Steven Hawking, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There’s also a scene where some characters attend a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III that rivals the rowdiest midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. That kind of sums it up. Kind of.
It took me a few chapters to get hooked, but once I was, I couldn’t put it down. Two beefs: the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, leaving me a bit jet-lagged; and this book made me woefully aware of the depth of my literary ignorance.