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The Eyre Affair

Narrated by: Gabrielle Kruger
Series: Thursday Next Novels, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
4 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Jasper Fforde: An Interesting Read

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".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

P.G. Wodehouse-style sci-fi

Well-written, enthralling, ludicrous, and very British from start to finish. Lots of fun. Splendid performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great fun!

Love the writing style and humour! Looking forward to read the next book by Fforde.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story is great, but is let down by performance

I really wanted to get into this story, but unfortunately the performance is too distracting for me.

- Female voices often have a deeper tone than male voices, thus generating a large disparity between my perception and the book. This created numerous clashes for me... essentially whenever a male character was introduced.
- When a change of location or character focus occurs there is little to distinguish between the two in terms of sound, generating a sense of confusion.

While such performance style may be fine with simpler stories, the context of the book is already quite confronting in its amusing and warped perspective, it really needs a good performance that can work with it, as oppossed to against it.

In all, i would love to see this narrative paired with a more appropriate performer.

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That's it for me, I'm out.

I agree with other people’s assessment that this was a great idea with a lousy execution. I had a lot of difficulties following the plot, it felt all over the place to me; just as I was getting into it, it would veer off on another tangent.

I’m disappointed because the premise really was interesting! I won’t be sticking with this series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 06-06-13

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.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Twistlelass
  • 07-31-13

Thursday is my new favourite

Would you listen to The Eyre Affair again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What does Gabrielle Kruger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

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.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"Loved Jane Eyre but hated the ending? Well Thursday Next may be able to help with that"

Any additional comments?

I want my very own dodo

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-16-17

Interesting but poorly read.

Where does The Eyre Affair rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Quite a good story if you can follow in with the flat and fast narration.

How could the performance have been better?

The narration was too fast and lacking in characterisation and emphasis. It was a little like someone reading a workshop manual in a mostly flat monotone. The diction was good but the lack of emphasis on events on characters meant that I just drifted away and missed important story moments.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabriel
  • 08-12-16

Not a bad book, but sometimes a bit hard to follow

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend, but not for everyone.

If you’ve listened to books by Jasper Fforde before, how does this one compare?

I haven't read any other books. I will probably give the next one a try.

Was The Eyre Affair worth the listening time?

The concept of the book was fine, but even although it is a fantasy novel some of the story and the altered history were a bit hard to swallow. I couldn't reconcile how the chain of events would have played out to create this version of the last 150 years.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-03-18

Loved it!

Very enjoyable to listen to and given there were a lot of male characters the narrator covered them brilliantly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicola
  • 07-07-14

Made me smile every time I listened.

Where does The Eyre Affair rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Amongst the top 5 Audible audiobooks I've listened to so far.

What did you like best about this story?

The puns, the jokes, the character names, the little pieces of humour slipped in amongst the paragraphs.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Every scene was enjoyable for its own reason but the ending. ?..well....

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This is not an emotional book, not designed to tug at your heart strings.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 09-07-13

Terrible Narrator!

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....

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Saffi
  • 05-16-19

Fab story & narrator, crap sound mixing & quality

The story was exciting and interesting. It was a great tale to help me get over the lack of unread Douglas Adams books remaining on my shelf. The narrator was expressive and never boring. However, the recording and sound quality was not great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 05-17-18

Great fun

I had never heard of this series of books before. Loved this first one and can't wait to read or listen to the rest. Gabrielle Kruger's voice is perfect for Thursday

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LancsLass
  • 05-03-18

Hilarious

Fab story. Couple of repeated lines where the audible editor failed. Lots of fun. Off to get book two!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anie
  • 03-19-16

Great fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, very funny & extremely well-read novel (wonderful voice acting, with multiple characters and even international accents) . Full to the brim with witty references to the classics of western literature. I can see why it was so highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-19

Loved it!

Such an hilarious and clever novel. The narrator set a great tone for the protagonist. I would highly recommend as something on the lighter side and a little witty, without being trashy. To truly appreciate this you'll need to be a little on the quirkier side when it comes to humour and have a rough knowledge of some classic fiction (especially Jane Eyre) and history. There are a lot of hilarious references in there you don't want to miss!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tatiana
  • 05-25-19

Just fun!

Love it! Very creative and original story and world, fun flowing narrative, and great performance (only feedback there is the swallowing sound every now and then).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-19

Lend an ear.... to the Eyre Affair

Revisited this book - this time as an audiobook.

Thought the narrator did a great job - appreciated her passion & enthusiasm for the literature.

Wonderfully inventive, original story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaz
  • 01-16-19

Loved the story, but narrator read too quickly

I first read this many years ago, probably at the time the book was first published. I loved the story then and still enjoyed it now. The humour is quirky, the ideas are fabulous, and the choice of a very 'proper' English-accented narrator was 'spot on' in my opinion. However, the narrator simply read too fast. Sadly, the speed at which Ms Kruger read was a distraction throughout, imposing herself on the story, rather than melting into the background.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • j
  • 11-22-18

Literary farce

Reviewed as a silly book for smart people this book is a tour de force - a kind of thinking person’s discworld
I only hope the rest of the series is as whimsical and entertaining as this splendidly performed genre twisting delight

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • phoebe
  • 09-14-18

cute, fun and literary.

enjoyed the story. narrator has a pleasant voice but perhaps lacking in dynamics that would give the action scenes more life. very pleasant overall and a fun premise.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona Thurn
  • 07-11-18

A joyfully literary romp

The Eyre Affair is wildly entertaining. If you love literature, you'll find it full of surprise and delight. Especially entertaining if you love both Shakespeare and 19th Century English literature. Don't miss this one!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Womble
  • 05-08-18

One of my favourites

One of the best things about listening to this audiobook is knowing that this is just where the series gets started, and that I have even more to look forward to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian Pearce
  • 04-10-18

Literal fun

Delightful hilarity and literally twisted with a sprinkling of wordy puns. "Well read" in a clear voice - my ears are tuned for the next volume.