The Eyre Affair
There is another 1985 where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of ‘Jane Eyre’. In this world, there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, and a woman called Thursday Next.
21 August 2017
I really enjoyed this book.
12 July 2017
This book is definitely a marmite book, you either love it or you hate it. We had both ends of the scale in the bookclub on Thursday.
Thos that didn’t enjoy it as much felt that there were too many in jokes, it felt as you were reading that you might be missing things that other readers were enjoying. Often we felt that characters were more along the lines of plot devices rather than actual characters. They sometimes didn’t make a great deal of sense other than to make something happen within the story. For example, Hades was hard to understand as a character but was better understood as a plot device.
We all agreed it was in a similar vein to Terry Pratchett, it felt very light hearted for an adult novel although it also contained a great deal of deeper literary references. It felt to many of the group like a comic book that had been created in written rather than pictorial form. We could all see it clearly as a film or a cartoon rather than a book. This is interesting because Jasper worked originally in film, maybe his film eye is better than his writing eye?
One important thing to note is the length of time is takes to get into a Jasper Fforde book, this was not something some of the members enjoyed. It really does take a while for his books to get going so there’s a lot of investment of time reading the first book of a series. Once you get into further books the investment then pays off, but this is not immediately obvious on only reading the first book from one of his series.
The most interesting thing to many of the members was the love of literature shown by everyone in Jasper’s world. We wondered what it would be like if our world valued writing and books in the same way, rather then fixating on famous people and sports stars. We also tried to decide whether we would prefer to be able to time travel or book jump as a special skill. Some prefered to visit their favourite novels, others would prefer to travel in time to (for example) find out who wrote the Shakepeare plays!
Overall we gave the book 7 out of 10 with scores ranging from 2 to 9 showing the love/hate relationship readers had with this book. Those that enjoyed would like to go on and read other books by Jasper.