“Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time. I would give everything to ensure the novel’s survival.”
– Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair
I have made mention of my love of books about books many times and The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is definitely up there as being one of my favourites! Despite not having read the original Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (I know – a fail on my part), I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters in a world very different from their own!
Set in 1985 in an alternate Britain, Fforde’s heroine Thursday Next is a literary detective, tracking down and confiscating forgeries and unauthorised works that threaten the literary world. Thursday finds herself in a stand off against her arch nemesis Acheron Hades when he starts killing and kidnapping literary characters and holding them to ransom! Hades sets his sights on the highest prize – the classic Jane Eyre – and Thursday must do whatever she can to reunite Miss Eyre with her rightful world. When Thursday discovers she can literally enter the world of books, she must infiltrate Jane Eyre (the book) to save the central characters. Unfortunately, Thursday must also contend with the Goliath Corporation – a kind of shadow government – hell-bent on making her life extremely difficult!
Opening the cover of The Eyre Affair is a little like failing down Alice’s rabbit hole. Eradicated fathers, pet dodos and time travel makes for an interesting read indeed! It would appear that Fforde’s creative mind knows no bounds and this quirky and hilarious tale is proof that books are far cooler than people think! Fforde’s story it littered with literary references (although I will admit to not recognising all of them) and in-jokes. It is literary and silly at the same time and I really like the way he plays with the rules of time, space and reality. Thursday is a fearless heroine who isn’t afraid to make the first shot – better than being shot herself! Did I mention she is also smart, capable and highly entertaining? Thursday’s world is comprehensive, fun and highly addictive! You will be through the series before you know it!