The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next Series #1)

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next Series #1)

by Jasper Fforde


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The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 378 reviews.
LinusRenee More than 1 year ago
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!
yoop More than 1 year ago
When I first heard about this book, I was intriqued by the plot concept. I have so many books that I have unread at home but the plotline was compelling me to buy yet another book. I absolutely love Jane Eyre and had actually just read about half of it prior to picking this book up. As I began to read this story I was amused and drawn to the characters first by their creative names and then by their quirkiness. I found the lead character Tuesday Next to be believeable and interesting so I had no problem moving right through the book at a quick pace. What I found the most amusing was the melding of science fiction, a bit of romance, fantasy and good ol humor mixing it up!If you are a fan of classic literature you will appreciate the story line. I would highly recommend this book. I think it would be a super fun book club selection when you get bogged down in serious literature. It was a breath of fresh air for me!
LitElephant More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully clever novel -- this is definitely something any lit-nerd out there should look into! Though I think Fforde could use some work on his pacing, ultimately his plot was inventive, funny and exciting and the world that he writes is extremely well-created. Thursday is engaging, and not too feminine-- male readers could also relate well to her, I'm assuming. I'm looking forward to picking up the next one in the series! Read my full review of this and other novels at:
MTwillman More than 1 year ago
You have to be willing to go with the flow, because the time warps and twists in this series are imaginative. This is a book for readers -- the more literature you've read, the more you'll appreciate the humor that other readers won't even notice. Some events are shocking, as you get lulled into thinking this is a light comedy of errors. It has the feel of a show ride in Disneyland .... lots of wonder, some thrills, and a few laughs as well.
Last_Monday More than 1 year ago
The "genre" for this book is near unclassifiable. It has much that Science Fiction fams will enjoy, but then its fun increases for those well read in "literature". Equally some of it is fun in the best possible sense of "silly" (I particularly liked the pet Dodo).

As with other loosely related stories that cover multiple books, you can read them out of order. However in this case I would recommend starting with this one - the first Thursday Next story. If you like it then you have the added pleasure of knowing there are more in store...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess "steampunk" means: time/ dimensional travel, revisions of history, Ministry of Magic-esque agencies, war vets, classical literature, jokes that only Shakespeare scholars (not even just your average Shakespeare nerds) get, extinct animal cloning, plot-heavy stories, and big baddies named after the river to the underworld (not THAT river, the OTHER river)...then I like steampunk. I picked this off a recommended reading list for the steampunk genre and - based on the crossover between this novel and my own personal tastes in (see above) everything, I opted that this would be my foray into contemporary steampunk lit. Truth be told, I started reading it in conjunction with HG Wells' Time Machine and flew through this one despite it being three times as long (or thereabouts) than Wells' classic novel. This book is perfect light reading (light and airy and plot-driven and witty) for the fan of classic literature AND time travel. I wrote on Goodreads that it reminds me A LOT of the SyFy television show "Warehouse 13" (no coincidence, I guess, that my signig other tells me that show is steampunk as well). Very entertaining. Love the mash-up-ness of it. I will hope to continue the Thursday Next series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun and inventive story. I cant wait to read the next book in the series.
CLB_is_me More than 1 year ago
The Eyre Affair was a thrilling read and I must say thoroughly enjoyable, but it is not for those seeking a novel like Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This novel is not going to satisfy those that would like a good look at any of the characters. Rochester is focused on at times and is a pivotal character for the novel, but his personality seems a little out of character. The novel has little to do with Jane Eyre and when the book or the character herself is involved at all in this novel the reader can be left disappointed by the author's interruption of Jane's character. She has no fire and is not allowed to know that the world of the novel is being tampered with. But by the end of this novel, she is allowed to know what is going on and somehow it is fine that she knew then. This loophole has to be the most frustrating thing about the novel in general. Thursday Next¿s character is also questionable. Honestly there were many a time where it was hard to distinguish whether she was a female or not. Her gender ambiguity leaves the novel lackluster for many readers. It is like Fforde did not honestly know how to write from a female¿s perspective, or the case might actually be that he wanted the main character to be a male but the interaction with Rochester would not have been correct if Thursday was a male. In either case, Fforde needed to make up his mind and decide which gender Thursday should be. She can be a tomboy, that is fine, but there was just too much confusion there. To be honest, this novel is not for any person with a super critical eye who analyzes every detail of a novel. The book would drive a person like that crazy. But for a case of light reading the novel is quite good. Even if you do not know all the books referenced in the novel, it is fine because you will not be missing the meat of the storyline. And even with all my critical words on the novel I can assure you, I read it in a day¿s time and could not put it down. I enjoyed the wit and humor of the book even with the critical errors. So, for those looking for a novel that reminds them of Wide Sargasso Sea, avoid this novel. But if you are looking for an easy read for relaxing after a long day, this could quite be the book for you!
Lisa_RR_H More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a series that captures you completely from beginning to end. Jasper fforde has become my favorite writer, he is just brilliant. His love of literature and stories brings new life to reading. Such a whirlwind all of these books and a perfect balance.
Bull_Nickel More than 1 year ago
Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair is a fun and exciting book that is loaded with literary allusions and action. What makes this book so exciting is the alternate reality that Fforde has created: time travels, re-created pet dodos, and jumping inside one’s favorite novel, or characters jumping out of their novels, are absolutely possible in the setting of The Eyre Affair. Following the action packed story of LiteraTec Detective Thursday Next of England’s Special Operations, the plot is propelled keeping a reader on their toes and dying to know what comes next. Fforde shows intricacy in the novel with the multitude of literary allusions he makes; so many, in fact, that one can’t possibly catch all of them in one read. This is a great aspect of the book because one can read the novel over and over again and find something new giving one a completely different experience. The book will never get boring! The only critique I have of the novel is the fairytale happy ending. There was so much action at the end of the novel it was great! But with that action there came an ending that to me seemed too good to be true. After ten years of not talking, Landen and Thursday just all of a sudden say “let’s get married?” That is very impractical and I feel like it was only thrown in so that the issue and drama of their relationship would be settled. It was as though at the end everything in the plot was closing, so Fforde felt he had to give closure to that too. It was almost like he ran out of ideas so he had the two get married. But it could be seen that just like after Rochester and Jane of Bronte’s Jane Eyre after a long separation still loved each other and were married, so also is the case for Thursday and Landen, even though it seems a little too fairytale.
catz1991 More than 1 year ago
Jasper Fforde’s novel, The Eyre Affair is an exciting and entertaining read. This book breaks the typical genre mold and creates it’s own fantasy-fiction realm that readers soon fall in love with. Perhaps the most exciting accomplishment within the novel is the fact that literary characters jump from the pages of their novel, and real life characters jump into the pages of literary texts. In this alternative realm time can stand still, cloning is common and literature is held at a much higher standard. The protagonist of the novel, the independent and dynamic, Thursday Next, is reminiscent of the famous Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte’s novel. Accordingly, the novel Thursday jumps into is actually Jane Eyre. Thursday’s character is likeable and she captures the reader’s attention. This novel has the reader closely examining each page to find any literary illusion Fforde has included and hidden within. One downfall however is the fact that starting the novel takes a bit of patience. It feels as though Fforde is constantly including literary references which overwhelms any reader who is not comfortable with a plethora of literature. Despite the rough beginning, The Eyre Affair calms down quite quickly and readers are able to enjoy the story. It can be considered a light, but interesting read. I enjoyed reading Fforde’s novel and recommend the book to anyone - especially a literature lover. I am truly excited to read the remaining books in Fforde’s Thursday Next series.
Rand25 More than 1 year ago
Many words can be used to describe Jasper Fforde¿s The Eyre Affair but dull is not one of them. The story is fast paced and totally off the wall wacky in its rampant implementation of time travel, to literary characters popping in and out of reality, and nearly countless genres thrown in between. Fforde walks the very fine line, and by very fine, read razor thin, between hilarious absurdist humor found novels such as Adam Douglas¿ Hithchhiker¿s Guide to the Galaxy and total hack wackiness flop-city found in your local college creative writing class. Sometimes he hits the perfect tone in this tight wire game, but all too often the jokes fall very flat and inevitably detract from what could have been an excellent story. The story stars Thursday Next, a pugnacious and spunky literary detective in an alternative 1985 tasked with identifying cases of literary fraud. In this world, England and Russia continue to fight the Crimean War after over one hundred years, time travel is not only possible, but commonplace, and literary characters and people alike can essentially come and go as they please between the real world and the novels the characters inhabit. After Thursday¿s archenemy Acheron Hades, a sort of Joker-esque super villain but not as funny, reappears strange things begin occurring in the world of literature. Characters begin disappearing and culminate with the kidnapping of Jane Eyre straight from the pages of her book. Thus Thursday is tasked with tracking down Hades, stopping his evil plot, and restoring Jane Eyre to its former glory. I found the book relatively enjoyable with its story being captivating and fun to read. The pacing employed by Fforde is excellent and never slows from start to finish. The problems arise with the multitude of references and genres Fforde attempted to fit in a relatively short story. The only way to describe the feeling of reading the novel is sheer reference claustrophobia. Too much is going on in the novel from the countless literary references, to the melding of several genres from romance to sci-fi and mystery that the story doesn¿t have a chance to flesh out any single aspect. To call this a mystery novel would show a serious lack of respect to the genre. From the second part of the novel onward it is fairly obvious what is going to happen, and it does. The romance aspect seems forced and fairly unbelievable and honestly doesn¿t belong in the novel at all. While the plot itself is great these side elements distract from it and the novel as a whole suffers. The child like sense of humor falls terribly flat with examples such as characters names being Jack Schitt and Paige Turner to name a few. I do recommend this book but very tentatively. Many people will be turned off by the aspects I¿ve discussed and will find it hard to slough them off without losing the story in the process. Fforde is an ambitious man, but with The Eyre Affair, he might be a bit too ambitious.
Fred_S23 More than 1 year ago
The Eyre Affair was nothing like I originally expected it to be. Considering it was assigned as a required book for one of my college English classes I didn¿t expect a science fiction detective story laced with many English references and funny wordplay, which is exactly what this book delivers. I thoroughly enjoyed The Eyre Affair, it was a quick read containing many different elements that I personally enjoy. There are numerous references to famous works of literature (the general society, belief systems, and names), time travel, werewolf and vampire hunting, romance, mystery, and just plain humor. I enjoyed the way the book contained so many different elements, but it may be difficult, confusing, or irritating to others who don¿t care to follow such a style. Due to the myriad number of references in this book some can get lost as well, but if you are willing to take the time to figure them out, or you are enough of a literary geek like myself to understand most of them, they are quite satisfying and humorous to read. Finally, with a title like The Eyre Affair there has to be some storyline involving the story of Jane Eyre right? Of course it does, however you don¿t actually get into the real meat of that story until about halfway through the book, which was surprising to me. When the narrative does start to involve the world of Jane Eyre, the book really takes off. The plot moves along at a fast pace that caused me to not want to put the book down. I found myself wanting to read more about the adventures of Thursday Next at the end of the novel, and was very pleased to see the book was part of a series. Overall, The Eyre Affair is a funny, fun read that can appeal to up and coming literature lovers as well as hold the attention for those who know the classics by heart.
Faezify More than 1 year ago
This novel is about an alternate reality, time travel, literature characters coming to life, black holes, vampires, werewolves, Martin Chuzzlewit, Jane Eyre and plocking dodos. Though this lighthearted story can be enjoyable so long as you don¿t try to take it seriously, this isn¿t a novel I would give a second read. The alternate reality Fforde has created is fascinatingly imaginative, but his enthusiasm for it is one of the biggest problems with the novel. In an effort to show readers every aspect of Thursday Next¿s crazy, upside down world, the main plot is often put on the backburner in order to make room for a staggering number of side plots. These side plots usually take the story absolutely nowhere and can be dropped so quickly that it takes a while to realize that the story is never going to refer back to those moments ever again. Characters drop in and out of the story is a similar manner- so quickly that you either hardly realized they were there or are surprised to find out that they are also never mentioned again. The number of characters is just as staggering as the number of pointless side plots, and they are often hard to keep up with. It doesn¿t help that they all have unusual names intended to be punny or clever but that actually make them even more difficult to remember. Jane Eyre fans take note, the title of this book is very misleading. Jane herself plays no active role in this story, and Jane Eyre, the novel, is barely mentioned until the second half. When not going off on a random tangent, the first half of the story focuses on the theft of the original manuscript of Charles Dickens¿ book Martin Chuzzlewit and the threat posed to its main character. It isn¿t until much later that Thursday Next must enter the Jane Eyre story in order to protect it from the same man who stole Martin Chuzzlewit. So, if you were looking for a futuristic twist on the Jane Eyre story, this book is not for you. Despite its many drawbacks, this is still a entertaining book. If you can accept all the random twists, turns, characters and pointless moments and just enjoy the imaginative wackiness, you¿ll still have fun. Though it¿s not a book I plan on reading again, I don¿t at all regret reading it the first time.
JWWest More than 1 year ago
Jasper Fforde¿s The Eyre Affair is easily one of the most refreshing novels I have had the chance to read this year. The plot is smart, yet not so mundane that it alienates itself from any particular audience. With a novel steeped in such classical literary figures Fforde could have easily gone overboard in his approach, but it is obvious that he doesn¿t take himself too seriously. Fforde is not trying to replicate the appeal of Jane Eyre or Dickens, but is instead simply paying homage to the greats. I find it to be a wonderful tribute to the great works that have shaped the literary world, and an interesting peek into a society that holds literature in such esteem. It¿s a successful balance of literary puns and suspense; a cooperative effort of hidden cameos and romance. To deconstruct The Eyre Affair for all that it doesn¿t do would really take away from all that it does accomplish. There is a question of how far Fforde¿s demographic reach really is, and a question of whether this novel belongs in the ¿young adult¿ section of bookstores. I believe that such black and white categorization isn¿t necessary or appropriate where The Eyre Affair is concerned. They way Fforde arranges the narrative, with time hopping epigraphs and descents into the classic text themselves, create a complexity that can keep any reader engaged. Although the plot unravels pretty quickly and the character development is somewhat shallow, it is easily redeemed by its sheer inventiveness. The idea of basing a novel around the inner-workings of the narrative itself is engaging and original.
Callie_C More than 1 year ago
As the title of this review suggests "The Eyre Affair" was a quick and easy read that was enjoyable. Jasper Fford kept me entertained from the first page to the last. He combined mystery/science fiction with a literary classic, and made them flow together. I never would have imagined that ¿Jane Eyre¿ could be a science fiction novel before. I enjoyed the characters and how some were named ironically. The plot, without giving too much away, is about a man named Hades who has stolen the original copy of Jane Eyre and plans to kill her unless Thursday Next and the SpecOps team gives him what he wants. The book was a fun read because I found myself thinking about it when I wasn¿t reading it, constantly wanting to know what was happening. The plot is a little tricky to grasp at first, and sometimes I had to go back and re-read the section that I missed. Even if you don¿t get all the literary references in the novel, it still will hold your attention. If you love "Jane Eyre", but would like to take a break from it, I would suggest this book for you.
Keri Broughton More than 1 year ago
One of my daughter's friends lent me her copy of this book the other week and she insisted that I read it. To be polite, I read it...and am sooo happy that I did! I've never read Jane Eyre before but after reading this, I'm dying to know the whole story....The Eyre Affair is a funny, engaging, and totally fun ride!! I loved how this story was incredibly thrilling and engaging, while not taking itself so seriously. Loved it!!
ktCakes More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
lizPA More than 1 year ago
Love this series
kyzariee More than 1 year ago
This is the first in series (and a subsequent "spin-off" series). All the books are fabulous. If you can suspend reality, and you love books, read Jasper Fforde!
Anonymous 3 months ago
To live it I think you have to be a true fan of sci go over fantasy.
alyssama121 7 months ago
What I love about books is the mystery and the suspense. I love meeting characters who are more complicated and have more depth than some people I know in real life. And I LOVE good writing. The Eyre Affair has it all. Jasper Fforde is a genius, mixing the elements of a contemporary fiction/mystery story with science fiction to create a world that is at once familiar and strikingly different. It took me a while to get adjusted to this new world, where the Crimean war still rages on, and where forging Byronic verse is a serious offense and literature and art are highly prized by all. However, after 30 pages, I was fully involved in the story, flipping pages almost faster than I could read. The characters are easy to relate to, and Thursday is everything I look for in a female protagonist. She’s funny, resourceful, and doesn’t let anybody boss her around or intimidate her. The fact that she seems to be way in over her head on this case makes it all the better. I like how she is forced to deal not only with hunting down a seemingly-invincible villain who has kidnapped her relatives and is about to change Martin Chuzzlewit and Jane Eyre forever, but also with her past and the death of her brother in the Crimean War. The only problem I had with The Eyre Affair is that the ending is wrapped up a little too perfectly a little too quickly. After all that happened before, it just didn’t work for me. I’m a fan of nicely tied-up endings, but I like them to be realistic. This is a book for book lovers (and who of us doesn’t love books?!). It makes more sense if you have some knowledge of history and classics in general, but it’s really not necessary. I definitely recommend giving The Eyre Affair a try.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Xiguli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More "cute" than clever, The Eyre Affair was a surprise letdown for me. Literate, intelligent friends with taste and judgment I admire recommended this novel to me in droves. It contains so many elements of something I ought to like, after all--strong female protagonist, literary references, Jane Eyre at its center, and whimsical imaginative touches in the creation of its world. But the writing. Oh, my god, the writing. "Pedestrian" would be a generous descriptive for quite a few of the passages. Never once did I forget that somewhere, some guy had deliberately chosen to put those words in that order ON HIS FINAL DRAFT. I kept wondering why an editor hadn't stopped him, hadn't demanded dialog with a little polish, or suspense scenes that didn't resolve with a whimper. Oh, and maybe a bad guy that I could take even halfway seriously for one single moment. (Instead, it was a Really Evil Cartoon Character bad guy... think Boris on Rocky and Bullwinkle.)If a friend of mine had written this, I would tell him that I loved the ideas in the book and would be happy to help him work on the prose. And there are some interesting twists, idea-wise. Fforde works in some tantalizing bits about genetic engineering, for example, and does a few unexpected things with time travel. The ideas make the book readable, but the writing doesn't give me any motivation to continue with the series.