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The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next) Paperback – 19 Jul 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (19 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034073356X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340733561
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Pirouetting on the boundaries between sci-fi, the crime thriller and intertextual whimsy, Jasper Fforde's outrageous The Eyre Affairputs you on the wrong footing even on its dedication page, which proudly announces that the book conforms to Crimean War economy standard.

Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence. She herself polices text--against men like the Moriarty-like Acheron Styx, whose current scam is to hold the minor characters of Dickens' novels to ransom, entering the manuscript and abducting them for execution and extinction one by one. When that caper goes sour, Styx moves on to the nation's most beloved novel--an oddly truncated version of Jane Eyre--and kidnaps its heroine. The phlegmatic and resourceful Thursday pursues Acheron across the border into a Leninist Wales and further to Mr Rochester's Thornfield Hall, where both books find their climax on the roof amid flames.

Fforde is endlessly inventive: his heroine's utter unconcern about the strangeness of the world she inhabits keeps the reader perpetually double-taking as minor certainties of history, literature and cuisine go soggy in the corner of our eye. The audacity of the premise and its working out provides sudden leaps of understanding, many of them accompanied by wild fits of the giggles. This is a peculiarly promising first novel. --Roz Kaveney

Review

What Fforde is pulling is a variation on the classic Monty Python gambit: the incongruous juxtaposition og 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 (Independent)

It is always a privilege to watch the birth of a cult, and Hodder has just cut the umbilical cord. Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters (Time Out)

Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously (Terry Pratchett)

Surely a cult in the making (Marie Clare)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At last, a readable, enjoyable, female detective!

It always annoys me that there aren't enough well written women detectives in fiction, so when I saw this one on offer, I figured, what the Hell, I've read worse books in my time, might as well give this a go. And boy and I glad I did!

Thursday Next is one of the most alive characters I've read in a long time. This representation of Rochester - as unexpected as it was - had me going back to a version of `Jane Eyre' that I brought years ago. So I checked the references in `The Eyre Affair' with `Jane Eyre' and straight away after read `Jane Eyre' for the fist time in my life - two good books for the price of one.

The story twists and turns, but never fails to amuse, the covert, and occasionally obvious, cross-references brought out some real laughs. I loved the idea of the Socialist Republic of Wales, being a conservative in Swansea this really appealed, and no, it doesn't always rain here.

So give it a try, pick up `The Eyre Affair', read and enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
I first heard about Jasper Fforde through an article in The Sunday Telegraph, so I bought one of his books as a present for a friend. She absolutely loved it and raved about it for ages, so I had to borrow it from her, and I'm so glad I did.

The Eyre Affair is one of the most original books I have read, if not the most original. Fforde really excels at creating a skewed world where things are similar to the real world, but also completely and utterly different. Thursday Next is a Literary Detective who must defeat the evil Acheron Hades scheme to hold Britain to ransom for Jane Eyre, who he has kidnapped from her book. The book is very funny, combining high- and low-brow humour in a way reminiscent of Monty Python. It also helps to have just a little knowledge of English literature!
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I lost sleep in order to read it (probably my ultimate accolade for a book). From the first page it all hangs together, despite the fact the alternate 1985 it's set in is so different that you can't take anything for granted. You just have to run with the blank bits in the world view until they get filled in (they do, eventually). The idea of a world where literature is popular culture just appealed to me, finally a book that rewards you for having read some of the classics (I think you'd still enjoy it without that though).
And a heroine who never once worries about her weight.
Its got it all, plot, characters (I'm still not sure how someone with as few appearances an Landon can come across so strongly as a character), jokes (possibly you need a slightly odd sense of humour) and two happy endings. If you need down to earth reality where you know exactly where you stand, this probably isn't the book for you. If you're happy to let reality look after itself for a couple of hours, you should like it.
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Format: Paperback
In order to save your time and money, if you don't like books that require you to suspend your disbelief, don't buy this book. On the other hand, even if you are one of those who generally don't enjoy books that require the reader to use his imagination, you can enormously enjoy this book. So I guess it all comes down to whether or not you are willing to risk it...
The plot is pretty strange. Fforde takes us to a surreal version of Great Britain, in the year 1985. We can recognize some aspects of his world, but not all of them. For example, in the author's world, technology is much more advanced (it is acceptable to clone extinguished animals and to have them as pets), the Crimean War didn't stop and everybody loves literature. It could be said that literature is for them what sports are to us: a national passion. Anyway, in that kind of world, that is already beginning to sound weird (but in a nice way), there is a Special Operations Network that was created in order to "handle policing duties considered either to unusual or too specialized to be tackled by the regular force". Most of the operatives are rather peculiar. There is a saying that explains that more clearly: "If you want to be a SpecOp, act kinda weird...".
Miss Thursday Nexts is a Spec- Op 27 who loves literature and specializes in problems related to literature, like all Spec-ops 27. She is intelligent and capable, strong but also vulnerable, and she was a sense of humor I found delightful. Thursday is more or less bored with her job, due to the fact that she finds it too routinary. After all, how many book forges can you detect before getting bored?. However, something is going to happen that is going to change her ordinary tasks.
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By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Jasper Fforde has a rich imagination that moves in wacky directions, an off-the-wall sense of humor that never quits, and a deep knowledge and love of literature which give shape and substance to this hilarious "thing" he's created. Not really a mystery, sci-fi thriller, satire, or fluffy fantasy, this wild rumpus contains elements of all these but feels like a completely new genre. Fforde combines "real" people from the "historically challenged" world of his plot with characters from classic novels, adding dollops of word play, irony, literary humor, satire--and even a dodo bird--just for spice.
With "real" characters who can stop time or travel back and forth in it, hear their own names (the names here are really terrific!) from 1000 yards away, appear in duplicate before themselves to give advice, travel inside books, and change the outcome of history, the reader journeys through Fforde's looking glass into a different and far more literary universe than the one we know. Thursday Next, a SpecOp-27 in the Literary Detective Division of Special Operations, is looking for Acheron Hades, who has stolen the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed one of the characters in it, thereby changing the story forever. Thursday and the Literatecs are trying to prevent him from getting inside Jane Eyre and committing further murders.
If you have not read Jane Eyre recently, your pleasure in this book will be greatly enhanced if you look up a brief plot summary on-line before proceeding too far--the ending of Jane Eyre as we know it is different from the ending of Jane Eyre as Thursday Next knows it, and the differences themselves become a delightful part of this plot.
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