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)
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".
"Audio problems mar an otherwise entertaining read"
I really like this book, having read it a number of years ago. It's a great entertaining and witty story. Gabrielle Kruger does a decent job of the voices of the characters, although she sometimes seems a bit flat in the descriptive sections.
What really drags down the rating for me are faults on the files themselves. So far I'm about 1/3rd of the way through, and on almost every chapter, you get sections of maybe 10 seconds where the audio skips back & repeats, up to 5 times, then skips forwards over the next sentence or two, ruining the flow. This file NEEDS to be re-mastered. I've only tried the Enhanced format so far, so I'll be trying one of the other file formats to see if this is better. I'm also going to raise this with Customer Support, as it is a major flaw in an otherwise very good book.
"Made me smile every time I listened."
Amongst the top 5 Audible audiobooks I've listened to so far.
The puns, the jokes, the character names, the little pieces of humour slipped in amongst the paragraphs.
Every scene was enjoyable for its own reason but the ending. ?..well....
This is not an emotional book, not designed to tug at your heart strings.
If you enjoy Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett then this is for you. Fan of Agatha Raisin? This is for you. Enjoy science fiction? Crime novels? This is for you.
I gave up on this after only a few chapters, because the narration is just appalling. She speaks too fast, like most amateur readers - nothing compared to proper acting - and reads with all the enthusiasm and personality of a bin liner. You can even hear her gulping as she runs out of oxygen in her race to the end of the chapter. What were they thinking?
Jasper Fforde books are about fun and character. Gabrielle Kruger is apparently not.
Shame, as I like the set up, but can't rate it too highly as I had to give up so early on....
"Thursday is my new favourite"
Such a good listen, funny, clever and full of engaging charecters The Eyre Affair was so good that when it finished I wanted to listen to it all over again to pick up the bits I might have missed first time round.
Thursday Next has to be one of my favourite charecters of all times. She's clever, confident but oh so human. Love the fact that she hardly ever has a plan but just blunders along like the rest of us and her Swindon sounds far more interesting than the ours.
Gabrielle Krugers wonderful voice charecterisation really helped propel the story along. She's an excellent narrator and I hope she does the rest of the series.
"Loved Jane Eyre but hated the ending? Well Thursday Next may be able to help with that"
I want my very own dodo
"The narrator is as important as the story"
I've read most of Jasper Fforde's books and I loved them so when I saw that they were available on Audible I was delighted and so downloaded the first in the Thursday Next series.
What a disappointment. Gabrielle Kruger is an uninspiring reader and apparently puts no effort into characterisation which makes for a dull listening experience. When compared with performers like Lorelei King and Susan Ericksen it is difficult to imagine why she's doing this sort of work.
Unfortunately there was also a problem with a glitch on the recording which had the effect of fast-forwarding the reading. Audible refunded the purchase and suggested that I tried downloading the title later but to be honest I can't be bothered as I know that this particular narrator will only spoil the story for me.
I hope that Jasper Fforde will get the titles re-recorded at some point using another narrator who will do his brilliant stories justice. In the meantime I suggest you buy the actual books!
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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