There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of 'Jane Eyre'.
In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary - and a woman called Thursday Next.
In this utterly original and wonderfully funny first novel, Fforde has created a fiesty, loveable heroine and a plot of such richness and ingenuity that it will take your breath away.
©2001 Jasper Fforde (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughotn
"What Fforde is pulling is a variation on the classic Monty Python gambit: the incongruous juxtaposition of low comedy and high erudition - this scam has not been pulled off with such off-hand finesse and manic verve since the Pythons shut up shop. 'The Eyre Affair'is a silly book for smart people: postmodernism played as raw, howling farce." (Independant)
I've listened to this a bunch of times. A few of the jokes don't translate because they are print based but the rest is great.
And I love the performance. I could listen to her voice all day.
I even like the musical intro!
A lover of Classics, humorous literature, bizarre fantasy and crazed crime and Sci-fi.
The Eyre Affair is a remarkably amusing book that is a testament to the intriguing writing of Jasper Fforde. His writings are akin to those of the literary genius of Terry Pratchett with crazy worlds, mixed up magic and insane parallel universes.
The main character of 'The Eyre Affair' is one Thursday Next, a Literary Detective whose job is to police the literary world and prevent fake or bootleg copies of Literary works from entering the literature market. This book is set on a parallel version of Earth where the Crimean War is still being fought in 1985, cloning kits for animals like Thylacines and Dodos are available over the counter and Literature is the defining interest of the world's population. Thursday Next's life is sent into a dive by an encounter with the demonic Acheron Hades and is sent into a series of events that lead her to love, The Socialist Republic of Wales and the pages of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.
I Found the book a highly amusing read and believe that Jasper Fforde's writing is incredibly clever and engaging and it well deserves the epithets of "playfully irreverent", "delightfully daft", "whoppingly imaginative" and "a work of ... startling originality".
"Great wit, good references, good plot."
It is a new favourite series of mine and I have gone on to buy the rest, pacing myself for the final books now!
Thursday, she has to be my favourite as the title character. Her humour, intelligence and dynamic personality make her a fantastic hero.
She definitely voice Thursday well (better than the subsequent narrator)
The ending, I won't give it away but it brings great reflections on the parallel and our current universe.
The parallel universes is one of the best features of the book, what a world could be like if only a little different.
"Great Book, but..."
Unfortunately this book has a number of aspects which do not lend themselves well to audio books (the scene with the bookworms emitting ampersands springs to mind), and as a result certain parts are missed. While only a minor issue in this book, the footnoteaphone in later books, I fear, will not work with a narration.
The Eyre Affair itself is a fantastic novel, with humour, intelligence, literary references and a wonderfully flowing narrative. I read the book many years ago, and had to follow on the entire series of Thursday Next.
"Fabulous book, unsure about the narrator"
Fast, funny, fabulous!
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, it's a similar concept-alternate reality, supernatural stuff-but with a different core subject.
Very clear to hear
Not the type of book to move you...
Will be listening to the rest of the series :)
"Take a chance"
Sometimes you have to take a chance on a book. I remember doing this with this book in printed form years ago, and never regretted it. The audiobook is clearly and intelligently read and loses nothing in the 'translation'. I have no real interest in fantasy literature, but this book (and the whole series) stands apart. There is a wit and intelligence in the writing, which sets Mr Fforde apart from most other novellists. He has the ability to exploit and develop ideas without ever slipping into smug cliche or lazy plot devices. The Eyre Affair works as a stand-alone item, but it also the start of a series. Yes, take a chance...
"Not my cup of tea"
Lovely set and imagination. But two dimensional characters who I had no empathy with. Very original plot and version of fantasy.
Extremely entertaining; especially if you're an English Literature fan. The idea of being able to inhabit the world of a book you love is very appealing.
"Clever story but rather flat narration"
I read the printed version of this book some time ago, and decided to buy all the audio books in the series as I had enjoyed this first story so much. There are many clever references to literary fiction - lots of which were lost on me, but provided quite a challenge in trying to recognise them - and to more modern facts which sometimes surprise you when you think you are firmly set in a particular period. The names are also very witty, and the story is very unusual, but very interesting. You get to know characters from famous books in a completely new way.
What lets the book down is the narrator, who does not bring the book to life in the way I had hoped. I drive long distances and use audiobooks as the accompaniment to my journeys, and often I find I have to stay in the car park when I arrive somewhere to listen to a bit more of a story. For this book (and the others in the series), I have on occasions had to force myself to listen, because I have already paid for them, and - apart from this book - have not read the stories before. If I had, I would probably have asked for a refund.
Gabrielle Kruger's narration is difficult to describe. There are periods of excitement, but much of it is very flat and sounds as if she were uninterested in the material. There are occasional mis-speakings, and regular sounds of page-turns (especially in the later books in the series), but these would be forgivable if the overall performance was captivating enough. Sadly, it isn't.
Most of the male voices have a very similar tone to them, and even the female characters do not sound as real as I have come to expect with some of the other excellent narrators available. Trying to distinguish who is speaking is pretty much impossible from voice characterisations alone, and the narration is quite mundane and flat in many places.
This is a shame, as I imagine that - as other reviewers have mentioned they have given up part way through - Jasper Fforde's work may not reach the wider audience it deserves because of the effort required to get through the audio version of the books.
Enjoyable story something very different however the read speed did feel fast at times, and when I tried to slow it down it didn't play correctly.
"Quirky mix of Eng Lit !"
Eclectic mix of suspense, Brit Lit and alternate reality scenario. Fun for those who know their Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
"A bit too clever for its own good. "
This was a really hard listen to begin with. The story got lost in the rushed schoolgirl narration. Once I'd adjusted it to half speed and it sounded closer to normal speech it was much better.
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