Review: The Eyre Affair- Jasper Fforde
I found this book while I was on holiday; a tatty, dog-eared copy with the spine faded from the sun, placed on the shelf of unwanted books. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books so when I saw The Eyre Affair I had to read it- and I am really glad I did. The Eyre Affair is an outrageous and delightful novel, jam packed with literature references and in-jokes that made the novel an absolute pleasure to read. Being made up of so many different genres it is hard to define this unusual novel. Fforde manages to create an alternate britain and fantastical world where vampires are real, you can literally get lost in a Wordsworth poem and literature is taken very seriously. For a fictional nation that eats, breathes and sleeps literature, this world is every bookworm’s dream- if it wasn’t for the Advanced Weapons Division ‘Goliath Corporation’ and Acheron Hades.
We follow protagonist Thursday Next, a Literary detective whose job is to prevent crimes to literature; this can be anything from detecting a fraud manuscript to saving kidnapped characters from actual books. Faced with the threatening and ever-powerful Goliath Corporation, Thursday must now track and kill villain Acheron Hades, which is no easy feat. He has kidnapped Jane from within the novel of Jane Eyre, away from her 19th century world of Rochester and Thornfield Hall and into the present day. Not only must she save Jane and kill Hades, Thursday must also put a stop to the Crimea War and persaude the man she loves to marry her- even though he is engaged to someone else.
Although the novel is loved by many and has been widely received, it has been criticised because yes, it isn’t the most brilliantly written in the world. But that is not what matters when you are reading The Eyre Affair. What matters here is the wonderful world Fforde has created and the way you can just escape into it. Some lovers of classic literature have said it is a crime to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre but- and take it from someone who absolutely loves Jane Eyre– I loved this book. These critcisers need to let go of their sense of reality and disbelief and just enjoy the book! The Eyre Affair is a wonderful novel crammed with fun, humour and charm. It was a delight to read and I will definitely be reading the following books in the Thursday Next series.
Do I recommend you to read it? Can be enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humour and a love of literature- a lot of fun for Jane Eyre and classic literature fans
Genre: fantasy, mystery, science fiction, alternate history