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!
"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.
I have not read the print version and so have no basis for comparison. That does mean I have benefitted from coming to the story fresh.
A difficult choice as all the characters are extremely well written. However, a book like this wins or falls on its lead antagonist and in Hades Fforde has created a truly depraved character that you really want to see get his comeuppance.
This is the first performance that I have heard from her and she hooked me with her characterisation of Thursday. I do find that a few characters are portrayed very simialrly but this did not detract at all from my enjoyment.
Maybe not a single sitting but I really looked forward to listening to the next installment and found that I stopped listening to some of my Podcasts which I usually intersperse between listening to chapters.
A cracking original book, well performed. I am looking forward to listening to the next one.
"fabulous start to a fabulous series"
Absolutely. I love literature and I love the idea that policing it is a job. As I said earlier a great start to a greater series.
For me the performance of Richard III. They should so do those in real life.
Yes. She has done all the Thursday Next books and they are all very good.
When Rochester and Jane get to end up together. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books and I love that the ending is the one the characters wanted.
If you haven't tried this series then you should!!
"Best book and narrator I've listened to this year!"
Best I've read all year. Definitely in the top five of all my Audio books. I can't wait to get all of the Thursday Next books. I hope Something Rotten and First Among Sequels will be added to Audible soon.
Light in tone, but the plot has a multi-layered and dense structure that will make re-reading a pleasure.
I cannot praise Gabrielle Kruger enough, she seems to totally understand the book or is it simpler than that and she really is Thursday Next!
Gabrielle Kruger is a marvelous narrator and should read more books.
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