Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde

I read this book in Feb 2006 and enjoyed it immensely. That review is HERE. My daughter recently listened to it on CD and loved it, but expressed surprise that I would like a book that had quite a bit of swearing. I really didn't notice the swearing while reading it, but this time through I noticed it alot. I think I skim over it while reading and I can't do that while listening. Anyway I still liked it a lot. I got so much more out of it by reading and was able to focus more on the characters and storyline.

"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, reviewer


Angela/SciFiChick said...

I'll have to see if my library has this!

hellomelissa said...

oooh! sounds like my kind of book!

Anonymous said...

I've had this one lounging on my shelves for too long. I must move it up on the stack.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Jasper Fforde a hoot! I discovered him years ago and I've been a fan ever since. His new series of nursery rhyme tales is just as good as the Thursday Next books.


Les said...

I read this when it first came out, but haven't gotten around to the sequels. I even have a signed copy of his second book that Nat sent to me all the way from England! That was several years ago! Time to get to it.

Nyssaneala said...

I love this series, I read it a few years ago. It's on my bookshelf, waiting to be re-read sometime soon. At that time, it made my TBR list grow exponentially!

Carl V. Anderson said...

The Fforde books are fantastic.

A friend and I were having a similar discussion about swearing/racial dialogue awhile back when he listened to the audio book version of To Kill a Mockingbird and later Live and Let Die. It is much more noticeable and shocking to 'hear' this language than it is to read it. I remember feeling the same way when I listened to American Gods by Neil Gaiman on audio after I read the book. Initially the language seems so 'shocking' when you hear it spoken.

Eva said...

You know, I bought this as a present for my mom, and later I read it, and I found it very disappointing. I keep hearing so many good things about him, though...maybe I should give him a second shot.

I hate it when I don't like a book!

chrisa511 said...

I hear about this book all the time. I'm going to have to give it a read. "The Big Over Easy" looks great too. Great review.

Booklogged said...

Angela, this is fun sci/fi. I think you'll like it.

Melissa, with your sense of humor, this is your kind of book.

Iliana, you know what happens when you move one book up on your stack, don't you? The one you moved up earlier gets covered up and eventually winds up on the bottom.

Mary, I'm glad to hear something about Fforde's nursery rhyme series. I'll be looking into those.

Les, I liked the 2nd one in the series even better than the first, but did not care as much for the 3rd.

Nyssaneala, K know what you mean about adding a series to the list. YIKES!

Carl, my husband and I just watched Glory Road. Swearing, racial slurs, etc. are very jarring to the nerves.

Eva, I don't think the series is for everyone. My sister didn't like it either and quit reading it early on.

Chris, I'm looking forward to reading The Big Over Easy, too. We can compare notes.

Literary Feline said...

I really enjoyed reading The Eyre Affair, but for some reason, I've never gotten around to reading the other books in the series. Thanks for your great review.

Marg said...

I've read all of Fforde's books. Loved the Thursday Next books. Wasn't quite so keen on The Big Over Easy but The Fourth Bear was once again excellent.

I am so excited that the next Thursday Next book comes out in July. Can't wait!!

Sherry said...

I've read the entire series and I definitely loved it! (Although I don't remember the swearing...) I definitely think this is one that should be read, Fforde does so many things with word play I found myself flipping back because it finally connected..."oh, did he say that?" or "that is so clever!"

I haven't read the Nursery Tales yet, they're on my wish list.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I love this series but I never really noticed the swearing either!

Indu M said...

Hi booklogged,

I came across you blog from Lotusread's link, and enjoyed reading your reviews. I was intrigued reading your first post, as I too have been wanting to read 'The Poisonwood Bible' for a long time now, ever since I read her delightful 'The Bean Trees'.

I read 'The Eyre Affair' sometime back and loved it. It sure is any bibliophile's kind of book!