leedock’s CBR-III Review #35-“The Eyre Affair” – Jasper Fforde

Another gem panned from the CBR-III goldmine. I probably never would have found this one, so thanks to those of you who reviewed it before me. The past reviews of this one were mostly positive with a few mixed emotions thrown in. I completely understand both. “The Eyre Affair” creates a complex and quirky world that is both entertaining and a bit daunting. I think I did best by ceasing to wrestle with it and just enjoy the ride.

The mid-1980’s  find the Crimean War still going strong and England policed by numerous special operatives investigating everything from werewolves to forged classics. Thursday Next, a literary detective, is assigned to hunt down a former professor who has begun to kidnap characters from classical literature thereby altering the novels. When Jane Eyre is held hostage, Thursday Next must find a way to retrieve her before Bronte’s story is re-written.

Literary references abound here and I can’t help but think half of them eluded me despite my 100-year-old degree in English. Had to blow off the dust from that shelf in my brain in order to bring something to the party, but once I decided to go with it instead of over analyze it I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I will never again experience “Jane Eyre” in the same way.  Thanks goes to Thursday Next for whipping up a better ending.

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