An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
This is book one in a series.
Jasper Fforde may be the most creative writer I've ever read. It is almost beyond my understanding how his thinking processes work. Multiple story lines and sub plots intertwine in such a complex way that I was dizzy for the first several chapters, particularly in light of the crazy world he has created for this book.
The parallel universe Fforde describes is wildly different. There is a 100+ year war between Russia and England over the Crimean Peninsula, time travel, a Chronoguard (time police force), pet Dodo birds and LiteraTecs who police the world of books. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre and other fictional characters travel to and from the real world, and some real people transport into books. Vampires, werewolves and other gruesome creatures are common.
Fforde's sense of humor is delightful. His characters have names like Victor Analogy, Acheron Hades, Jack Sh-t and, of course, Thursday Next. I laughed out loud at numerous comic situations and turns of phrase.
The narrator is excellent. She handles several British accents, male, female, old, young, crazy, evil and ... finally ... Welsh.
I recommend that anyone who buys this book read Jane Eyre, or at least a synopsis easily found online, before starting "The Eyre Affair."
Overall, I commend Fforde's wildly creative universe and undeniably complex plots. But I found it too confusing to enjoy. Hundreds of thousands of people disagree with me, so try it if you are intrigued.
This reminds me a bit of an Artemis Fowl book only with curse words. There is some clever word play and humorous moments, however, the story did not hold my attention very well. The constant time travel back and forth made it seem like a never ending journey to the inevitable non-ending cliffhanger.
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
The Thursday Next series is a fun reinvention of literature. Using their original voices, Jasper Fforde shows us the classics as we have never envisioned them, and it works out fantastically. As always, Emily Gray is brilliant.
I downloaded this because the description intrigued me - a mix between the world as we know it and something completely different, which is a concept that usually glues me to my headphones. But the story never really got going. The author doesn't explain her world, you just get all these weird things that happen, having to puzzle out what is "normal" and what isn't in the concept of this story. In some cases I guessed right and in some wrong, and a couple of times I ended up deciding that the obvious solution from my point of view, must be impossible based on the queer laws of physics never explained, only to find out several tedious chapters later that indeed it had been the solution, but the author preferred to string us along for a while longer. Definitely wouldn't spend another credit on this series.
The narrator is excellent, her different voices let you know who says what before the "suggested x" or "agreed y" comes along.
I love clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction
I have really mixed feelings about this book. On one hand the characters and premise of the book are extremely interesting and enjoyable. BUT one character is named a swear word and this book swears copiously. One section is replete with f-bombs. I really loved the literary parts of this, but apparently Jasper Fforde thinks that people who love Dickens, Jane Eyre and the Austin crowd swear a lot. I don't think that those books have that kind of thing in them. To me that is just wrong. I don't know anyone who swears this way except people on the perimeter of my acquaintance. So if I were rating it on story value alone it is a 5. If I were rating it on entertainment value it is a 1. Sorry. Put me in the middle.
I liked the idea of this story. The way the author played with the idea of an alternate reality was fun. Where I struggled with this book is in trying show his cleverness, he threw every possible idea, pun, word play, plot point, etc. that he could think of into one story. To me this book has a bit of an identity crisis. Trying to cater to lovers of great novels and time travel is hard enough but to do it in a way that is quasi-futuristic or super alternative world based is impossible. Throw in some war, some government conspiracy, some unrequited love, complicated family relationships, detective work and a few other things and the story is so scattered you just may not care what happens at the end. I really wanted to, but I just didn't.
This wonderfully fanciful story is set in a world which revolves around books. The protagonist works as a literary detective which provides a launch point for a wide assortment of interesting events. The plot thickens EVERYWHERE! There are murders and mayhem with a sprinkling of love and lust, topped with a mad scientist and a few dodos. An all-around fun read. If you like Terry Pratchett, try this one too.