The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

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Rate: 3.5/5


Medium: Kindle


Overview (No Spoilers):

The Eyre Affair has probably broken my record, previously held by Child 44, for the longest I’ve waiting for a library book to become available upon being placed on a waiting list. I waited over 6 months for Child 44 and The Eyre Affair far surpassed that timeframe to the point that I’d forgotten I’d put the novel in question on hold. One of my very talented blogging friends Rachel, author of the Records of the Ohanzee series, first recommended me The Eyre Affair well over a year ago and anyone that happens to be a fan of classical literature, especially Jane Eyre, will find this clever, witty tale delightful.   The key concepts involve a much changed, semi-futuristic Britain where time travel is possible and thanks to a new invention, the barriers between the literary world and that of the real world are semi permeable at best. Can you even imagine being able to walk around your favorite novel, interacting with your favorite characters? My key complaint revolves around the level of detail in which this foreign, technologically advanced world is described. Fforde has dreamed up some truly unique ideas, however I felt as though some of key points that he could have hooked me as a reader were quickly glossed over. Overall, The Eyre Affair would be a fun read by any book lover, however to be able to glean several key aspects of the book having previously read Jane Eyre is an absolute must.


Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • I was not a fan of Landen and Thursday getting together in the end! All we had to go on that they should be together was Thursday’s insistence on their previous chemistry. As the reader we did not witness any of this instant love. I did love how Landen’s initial wedding was interrupted as in Jane Eyre. Personally, I wanted Thursday and Bowden to be a couple.
  • I want to know more about the ChronoGuard. Why did Thursday’s dad go rogue? How do you learn to time travel? How do people like Snood get stuck in time and get instantly old? All of this was incredibly fascinating but alas not flushed out?
  • Why did Hades become so evil? How did he get his crazy powers?
  • Also, how are their vampires and werewolves in this realm of Britain? Also the book is base in 1985? How can they be so advanced in cloning?
  • Did Thursday’s brother actually give the wrong directions as to what hill to storm during the Crimea war?

 

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12 comments

  1. I LOVE this book! One of my all-time favorites. You do definitely have to know literature and especially Jane Eyre to appreciate it; that’s why I haven’t continued the series yet because I haven’t read some of the classics involved in the next books. I did start his Nursery Crime series, though, which I also absolutely love!

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  2. I was scrolling through my feed and was so excited to see you had finally gotten to read this one! The timing is so funny because my husband is actually listening to this right now on audiobook, and he’s mentioned several of the same issues that pointed out–most frequently his desire to know more about the ChronoGuard.

    I do remember being somewhat dissatisfied with the Landen situation at the end of the first book, since Thursday seemed more sentimentally attached to the past version of him than the present. I don’t remember him being particularly endearing at first. The rest I just chalked up as being part of the quirky charm of the story (to me!). I’m somewhat affectionate toward Millon de Floss (the author of the biographical excerpts at the beginning of some chapters), though I think that arises from events that happen later in the story line. Do you think you’ll go on to read any of the others from this series?

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  3. OMG!!! this is one of my favorite all-time books and series!!! I’ve read the whole series through 4 times and the Eyre Affair at least 6 times. (Everytime a new book came out I’d read the whole series from start to finish! The world has been waiting for the 7th or 8th book for almost 3 years now – I think. the book is so quirky and offbeat – Jasper Fforde is one of only 3 authors I’ll read any thing published by them without a second thought. It’s high time I read the series again. Warning: things get crazier as they go along in the series and I love it!!

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  4. Great review!

    I read most of this series a few years ago and really enjoyed it, though it was occasionally too convoluted for my taste. I agree that familiarity with the original stories is key to enjoying it because my favorite moments involved characters from the books I was already familiar with. I also really enjoyed some of the moments with the crew from Wuthering Heights and one of the scenes with Hamlet from later books. In fact that scene with Hamlet still makes me laugh years later whenever I think about it. 🙂

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  5. Good post, and I agree with all the comments. Fforde’s an amazing writer and the creativity is superb. It’s one of the few books where I’ve actually had to put it down to try to think about all the implications of the world he’s created. I got caught up in which books I’d want to try to jump into, what would I choose to do/fix or would leave everything as it was. I’m never been a huge fan of philosophy as it can really cause your mind to implode but his books make philosophy a fun experience — mostly because they really aren’t trying to be philosophical, it just happens naturally. Many ear-to-ear grins come from reading his fiction.

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  6. It’s funny that you had such a long wait for this book – it is fairly common in my area, and I think we even have a copy on the dollar sale shelves at one of my jobs right now! I bought the whole series used or at a steep discount from local stores. Some of your questions about the ChronoGuard are answered in later books, some mysteries are just part of the alternate world. It is an intriguing series to be sure, although I agree with another comment that the Nursery Crimes series is actually better than these books. I think the simpler and more widely known stories (nursery rhymes) allow more room for creative interpretation.

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