Dear Fellow Reader,
One day after my library book club meeting, I was talking to the librarian. She was talking about several books and authors that she has read. Since she reads fantasy and I generally don’t, I had not heard of most of the books and authors she was talking about. But she mentioned one that caught my interest.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is the first in the Thursday Next series. Thursday Next is the female detective in the series. The book takes place in an alternative universe in 1985 England. In the world of this book, there are police but there are also Special Operations agents. The Special Operations agents work in levels with each level having a different job. As the book opens, Thursday is a SO-27, which is a literary detection. The department investigates claims of discovered manuscripts, provides security systems for original manuscripts and prosecutes forgers. The story takes a turn when Thursday is recruited to help as a SO-8 because she knows who Acheron Hades is and what he looks like. He is a particularly slippery, dastardly bad guy. Acheron kidnaps Thursday’s uncle Mycroft and steals his invention. By using that invention, he goes into the world of the novel, Martin Chuzzlewit and removes a character and kills him. Because he has does this using the original manuscript, the character disappears from the story never to return. When Acheron does not get the ransom he demands, he announces that he is going to go a step further and kidnap and kill a major character.
Acheron has so many tricks up his sleeve that even though they are carefully guarding it, he steals the original manuscript for Jane Eyre and kidnaps Jane Eyre. Thursday has to think fast in order to return Jane to the book. (Since Jane Eyre is written in first person, there is essentially no book if Jane is gone.)
I’ll admit that this sounds like a spoiler alert and in some ways it is but there is so much going on in the book that while telling you about what happens with these two books is a spoiler, it is nothing compared to everything else that goes on.
The book is so clever. It is so much fun to read. I kept laughing. If you are a fan of Jane Eyre and literature in general, you will enjoy this book. Thursday has her hands full with her family and Acheron Hades and even her pet dodo. (It was an early clone.)
I don’t usually read fantasy, but this book was well worth making an exception. I think you will find it to be an enjoyable read. This is also the first book in a six book series. Yes, they need to be read in order.
Thanks for reading!