The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
I’m a member of two book clubs, and my library’s “Gen Lit” group has selected The Eyre Affair for its February pick. Having heard of it but never picked it up, I was eager to give it a try. I didn’t know too much about the story, but I do tend to like literary adaptations. As it is, I’m still struggling to formulate thoughts on The Eyre Affair, but I just finished today and it’s still fresh in my mind (did you notice how far I fell behind already? Reading tons of news on networks and social media has absolutely drained my reading and reviewing mojo. I so wish we can get back to the day where I can read a book and NOT worry about which executive order is going to get vulnerable people killed).
Thursday Next is a LiteraTec investigator who has a history of combat and disgrace in the Crimea War. She is assigned to track the third-most evil villain in England, Acheron Hades, her former professor who almost seduced her. Thursday discovers a much more sinister plot in play when her aunt and uncle (who is an inventor of time-traveling literary devices) are kidnapped. Charles Dickens’ novel Martin Chuzzlewit becomes Hades’ first victim, and then Jane Eyre is in danger. Mind you, the ending is not what we are familiar with: Jane goes to India with St. John Rivers (what? That would be *such* a bummer).
For a long time, I did not like this book. I thought the plot was too random and strange the characters just a little too quirky, and the wit a bit too quippy. It reminded me of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is not a favorite with me (don’t hate me! I know it’s popular!). But the second half of the book picks up, especially when Jane Eyre gets involved. I recommend giving it a shot but being patient with it. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series, but I’m glad I ended up liking it more. 3.5 stars.