Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Book Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

This was March's book club choice and although I missed the deadline, I did read it while in Amsterdam.

This was probably the impetus for reading Jane Eyre...at least one of them. Several novels we were considering had references to Jane Eyre, and undoubtedly, this one with Jane in the title, was wholly dependent on it.

So this particular novel is a little out there: a futuristic setting in the year 1985, in England, where there is policing of literary novels and poems – where forgery is prevalent. There is also a war in place, the Crimea, so much is going on in the world in this novel.

The primary character is Thursday Next. You read it right: w LiteraTec (investigates literary forgeries), first name Thursday, last name Next. And as with most novels that have a lead hero or heroine, she is the best of the best. So good, is she, that she is assigned to work with an elite special operations force, SO-5. Well, and the operations that is to take place under SO-5 has also linked her to the most evil person in the world (well, third most...as the ending stated), which is another reason she is chosen to get involved with this SO-5 case...

The SO-5 case she is involved with goes awry and she ends up in the hospital. While there, she is visited by, well, herself from the future (in a sports car in the middle of her hospital room) to take up a job as a LiteraTec in Swindon, which is her hometown. She takes it and the journey continues with the third most evil man, and the literary classics of Martin Chuzzlewit and Jane Eyre.

As you can see from my quick introduction to this book, there is a lot of sci-fi and, well, just kind of “out there” scenes in which, really, you have to suspend any doubt and just go with the flow.

I am not a science fiction fan...and yet I like horror. I can suspend my belief for some things, but not for others and for whatever reason, science fiction is hard for me to buy into.

While I enjoyed the book, I doubt that I would be interested in following the series...this was our first introduction to Thursday Next, who will now be the heroine of many other novels. That type of genre is something I've grown to dislike because, and it doesn't have to be science fiction, I am so tired of the most invincible person in the world routine.

It's funny – buying used books can be more interesting than new. I bought this book used from Amazon and while reading (in the luxury of my waterbed in Amsterdam), a small note fell out that read:

“Melissa,
u can return it 2 me anytime you want...(squiggly face)

FYI: I got it @ an old book store.

P.S. It's not so good @ the beginning, but it gets better toward the end.

--Hiroko”

Hiroko is right...it was quite slow and mind-boggling in the beginning...although when we meet the third most evil man in the world, it was pretty good.

The middle was also quite interesting but truthfully, towards the end, I was tired of the jumping in and out of novels, the changing of the stories, etc. But at the very end, there was the whole sappy hollywood-type ending that just ended with a thud for me.

1 comment:

  1. this book is merely a set up for the books that follow. I hope you gave the rest a chance.

    ReplyDelete