Customer Reviews for

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A Book Nerd's Dream!

When I first picked up The Eyre Affair, I had no idea what to expect, other than friends saying I would love it. Well, they were right!
Jasper Fforde creates this amazing world of a very strange 1980's England, where the door-to-door proselytizers are Baconians, trying...
When I first picked up The Eyre Affair, I had no idea what to expect, other than friends saying I would love it. Well, they were right!
Jasper Fforde creates this amazing world of a very strange 1980's England, where the door-to-door proselytizers are Baconians, trying to convince you that it was Francis Bacon who was responsible for the works under "his pen name", Shakespeare. Oh, and time travel is a matter of fact, the Crimean War is still being waged, and dirigibles are the way to travel the sky!
The story woven in, around, and because of this world had me hooked pretty quickly. Mixing my knowledge of literature with this topsy-turvy world of literary detectives, Fforde captures the imagination and doesn't let it go!
Before I finished reading it, I went and bought all of his other works. It's become the first book I suggest and the one that I haven't stopped talking about yet! Go read it!

posted by LinusRenee on April 9, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Great Premise, Not So Great Execution

I liked this and I'm glad I read this--but I expected to love it, and I didn't and won't be reading more of Fforde. The book has a fantastic core premise: fictional characters can drop into the real world and intervene in lives; real people can drop into works of fictio...
I liked this and I'm glad I read this--but I expected to love it, and I didn't and won't be reading more of Fforde. The book has a fantastic core premise: fictional characters can drop into the real world and intervene in lives; real people can drop into works of fiction and refashion the story. The heroine, Thursday Next, is a member of Special Operations 27--currently she's on the heels of a criminal mastermind who is murdering and kidnapping fictional characters--including the beloved Jane Eyre.

This isn't the only narrative strand--the novel is set in an alternate universe where a lot of the history we know happened differently. (Time travel is a fact in this world and the timeline it seems continually tweaked by operatives.) In this novel the Crimean War has been going on for 131 years--Thursday is a veteran of that war and it pops up and intertwines in the plot in a clever way. There's also text-eating bookworms, extinct creatures brought back to life to be made into pets--like Thursday's dodo, productions of Richard III done a la The Rocky Horror Picture show and people debate questions of text and authorship with all the fervor of religious disputes.

The book should be a bibliophile's dream with a wealth of literary allusion and word play--a blurb from <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> on the cover calls it a blend of "Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawkings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and maybe that's the problem for me. It's too manic--too many disparate elements thrown at me even if a great deal of the threads come together at the end. Maybe it's just that I can never quite disappear into this world. Harry Potter is easier. Believe that you can pass through a barrier at Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station into a world of witches and wizards and you're pretty OK from there. People still act like people. But a world where literature is cared about with such zeal is harder.

I also don't feel parts are all that well-written. Almost all of <i>The Eyre Affair</i> is written in first person, but there are patches of third person and third-person like narration and it's not transitioned well. I remember a particularly clunky scene where Thursday talks about her encounter with her nemesis, Hades Archeron, and other parts of the narrative seem clumsy as well.

It's an imaginative story, well-plotted, and I liked Thursday Next, the main narrator of the story. Yet somehow, I found too much of this novel a chore to read to recommend enthusiastically or want to follow more of Thursday's adventures.

posted by Lisa_RR_H on July 4, 2010

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

    I didn't exactly hate this book, but it was not at all what I ex

    I didn't exactly hate this book, but it was not at all what I expected. It took until about page 260 for me to be interested. And only another 40 pages before I was bored again. I was very intrigued by the premise, and have had this on my shelf for years. I'm kinda sad that it didn't live up to what I thought it should have. This is probably in part due to the fact that I hated Jane Eyre, so maybe if another book had been chosen to start the series, I would have continued on. But alas, this was not the case, and I won't be continuing. Though I will give kudos for the character names: Thursday Next, Jack Schitt, Paige Turner, Analogy and Hades!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Love mysteries, love books, love fantasy. Didn't love this book

    Love mysteries, love books, love fantasy. Didn't love this book at all. After trudging through a hundred pages or so I skipped to the end to see if  the ending was worth reading the book. Nope.

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Okay read.

    The story and concept were interesting enought but there were some definite lag spots.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2010

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    Posted February 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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