The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
“The word “unique” is overused and frequently misused. Here, however, is an instance where it truly applies. But to call The Eyre Affair a unique first novel featuring a fearless fictional adventurer barely begins to tell the story. When asked to summarize his creation is a single sentence, Jasper Fforde described it as “a literary detective thriller with romantic overtones, mad-inventor uncles, aunts trapped in Wordsworth poems, global multinationals, scheming evildoers, an excursion inside the novel Jane Eyre, dodos, knight-errant-time-traveling fathers, and the answer to the eternal question: Who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays?” Swindon, a traditionally tranquil English town, is the ironic setting for most of these oddball characters and peculiar goings-on; the year is 1985. Fforde spins his wildly imaginative crime caper in language every bit as ingenious as the madcap plot; his devilishly clever turns of phrase take the form of verbal puzzles, anagrams, and literary and cinematic in-jokes.”
The Eyre Affair has literally been on my list of books to read for years. I had always heard from everyone how wonderful it was and that it was a must read. I have to agree! But boy I was not expecting what it turned out to be. A wild literary ride comparable to none I have perused, full of biblio-wit and just pure fun! For those of you who like just about any genre of book…well there is something in this book for you. I don’t think it could be classified if you tried. And yet somehow it all works wonderfully. However I do think you have more appreciation and enjoyment if you are somewhat well read in classical literature. In any event The Thursday Next Series has become well loved and I do believe I will be following along after The Eyre Affair. I just hope I don’t disappear inside some well known text as well….except anything Austen. I would be quite contented with that!