The first in a series of outlandishly clever adventures featuring the resourceful, fearless literary detective Thursday Next - a New York Times best seller!
In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.
Fforde's ingenious fantasy - enhanced by a website that re-creates the world of the novel - unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.
Delve into Jasper Fforde's literary universe with the other books in his Thursday Next fantasy/detective series.
©2003 Jasper Fforde; (P)2009 Penguin
who am I?
Combination of literary steepage and science fiction. Wish I was more steeped in literature to get more of the jokes/connections. Reading Wikipedia entries added much to my enjoyment. As a bicycle mechanic, I did get the references to Sturmey Archer and Bowden Cable. Which made me realize I likely missed dozens of others.
Definitely not the most heavy going of literature. But clever and funny, particularly for those with a wide love of good books. I listen to audio books when running, and this one really helped me crank the miles out - I couldn't wait to get out for my next installment.
Jasper Fforde is my hero. He is so creative. HIs love of language and words is visible in his descriptions . Thursday Next is a great haracter surrounded by other great characters. The naration is great and Ms Duerdan is, for me , the voice of Thursday Next. I love this series .
Close friends had long recommended Jasper Fforde and I finally decided to take the plunge. The story is very good, not great, but very entertaining. There were are few stylistic bits, e.g., beginning each chapter with quotes from fictional gov't transcripts or characters' biographies or journals; also the tension over Thursday's brother could have been omitted. I also wanted to know more about the villain and the text offers very little. If I could go back would I drop a credit on this book? ABSOLUTELY. It was fun and entertaining, that's what I was looking for and that's what I got. The narrator is excellent, very good with accents. I immediately downloaded book 2 of the Thursday Next series, clearly I'm hooked.
Do you love classic literature? Do you enjoy whimsy and word plays? A smile that turns into a laugh? If so, this lighthearted frolic into literary never, never land will delight you. I'm not a mystery fan but was drawn to this book by the allusion to "Jane Eyre" and I'm so glad I listened to it. Give yourself a vacation and enjoy this literary romp.
I think you need to be in the right silly mood for this quirky, somewhat twisted tale. I enjoyed it as far as all the goofiness, and the premise behind the book, but it was a little weak and a bit too round about as far as the plot is concerned. Not sure if tried and true Jane Eyre fans will appreciate this one, but if they have a bit of a love for tongue in cheek, then maybe they will.
I became a Jasper Fforde fan about a year ago when I ran across Shades of Grey. It became an instant favorite of mine, and I was excited to delve into another Fforde novel.
Like Shades of Grey, The Eyre Affair is set in a dystopian world, this one an England that is somewhat controlled by mega-corporation, Goliath, and that is still fighting a 100+-year-old Crimean War. Thursday Next is a LiteraTec, part of a Special Operations team tasked with preventing crimes against literature, who gets called in when the evil Acheron Hades finds a way to enter literary works and kill characters off, changing the novels entirely to the outrage of the reading public.
I liked the character of Thursday Next. She's smart, resourceful, vulnerable, and loyal. This is the first of several Thursday novels, and I liked her enough to read another one. That being said, I didn't think this world worked as well as the one in Shades of Grey, and given a choice I would read that sequel first. There was too much "different-ness" in The Eyre Affair, especially in the middle of the book, that it got in the way of a pretty good story. (Vampires and werewolves--really?) By the end, however, when Hades attempts to change Jane Eyre Fforde gets back around to clever twists that make reading him him fun. Satisfying ending!
I listened to this as an audiobook and Elizabeth Sastre does an excellent job as a narrator. Good "Thursday" voice and a host of other voices to give life to all the fun characters in this book.
I would put The Eyre Affair easily in the Top 5 out of all the books I've listened to. I am in love with the literature-based world Jasper Fforde has created; a world that more-or-less answers the question: "wouldn't the world be a better place if everybody read more?" He has designed its delicate quirks and complex societal structure to delight every English Lit geek (even amateur ones) to stumble into it. I can't wait to see where the next book goes.
The first time the Shakespeare-authorship argument surfaced, I literally laughed out loud. Tied with this is the production of Richard III described in the book. Simply delicious.
Ms. Duerdan did a masterful job creating distinct and recognizable voices for all of her characters, but lacked in her characterization of the heroine/narrator Thursday Next. Thursday can be witty, aggressive, petulant, calculating, passionate, and ascerbic -- Ms. Duerdan's portrayal of her was, in my opinion, far too passive. I see that all other books in this series have been performed by a different narrator; I look forward to seeing how she differs.
Well. Obviously, Mr. Rochester -- but I suppose that's sort of cheating, isn't it? If it had to be a character created by Fforde, I think I would want to have dinner with Thursday -- I hope we'd be very good friends.
If you like audio books and reading, this book will have your reading more and more. Bronte, Austin, and many more classics. The way FForde removes classic charactors and uses them in different contexts will make you go back to the originals to see if you could pick up these personality traits.
Then the clever use of alternate histories of real events, again the listener will have to review the actual history (as we know it) to get the parody and paralels.
oh yeah, once you've gone through the first book over and over until you pick up all the plot shifts, you WILL be moving on to the next book and so on ... listener beware!
The amount of crossed genres at first is confusing. then, once you just go with the concept of all things crossing over and through books, you will begin to wonder how far the ideas can go.
well portrayed with the sarcasm and snarkiness that a real person migh experience put in situation after situation.
Jane and Heathcliff tonight, Live on 20/20.
A friend told me the basis of the plot line (jumping in and out of the books of classic litrature) and Jasper does not disappoint.
Fforde's books are always hugely tongue-in-cheek. With a razor edge. Susan Duerdan did a magnificent job capturing the absolutely deadpan silliness, and the knife edge. Well done.
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