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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel Kindle Edition

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Penzler Pick, January 2002: When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.

Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.

Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.

How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending. --Otto Penzler

From Publishers Weekly

This novel might be called "James Bond Meets Harry Potter in the Twilight Zone." In fact, the reader plays "name that literary reference" through most of this zany work, where characters wander around in time from the Crimean War through the present and into the future, and in and out of novels including, of course, Jane Eyre. The narrator, Tuesday Next, is a tough, gun-totin' heart-of-gold heroine with a pet dodo, a true love she has refused to acknowledge and a brilliant, dotty scientist uncle named Mycroft. Her job is to rescue literary characters kidnapped out of books from being wiped off the face of every copy of a work by tracking down and outwitting the purely evil Asheron Hades and Goliath Corporation greedyman Jack Shit. Throughout, discussions of who really wrote Shakespeare's plays abound, along with send-ups of every literary genre from the highest to the lowest brow. Sastre's reading works particularly well because she's good at the straight narrative, while the nature of the book's language makes melodramatic voices for the other bizarre characters. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 17, 2001).
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 849 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 034073356X
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (February 25, 2003)
  • Publication Date: February 25, 2003
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXHC2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,241 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling Thursday Next series. He is also the author of the Nursery Crime series.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jasper Fforde has a rich imagination that moves in wacky directions, an off-the-wall sense of humor that never quits, and a deep knowledge and love of literature which give shape and substance to this hilarious "thing" he's created. Not really a mystery, sci-fi thriller, satire, or fluffy fantasy, this wild rumpus contains elements of all these but feels like a completely new genre. Fforde combines "real" people from the "historically challenged" world of his plot with characters from classic novels, adding dollops of word play, irony, literary humor, satire--and even a dodo bird--just for spice.

With "real" characters who can stop time or travel back and forth in it, hear their own names (the names here are really terrific!) from 1000 yards away, appear in duplicate before themselves to give advice, travel inside books, and change the outcome of history, the reader journeys through Fforde's looking glass into a different and far more literary universe than the one we know. Thursday Next, a SpecOp-27 in the Literary Detective Division of Special Operations, is looking for Acheron Hades, who has stolen the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed one of the characters in it, thereby changing the story forever. Thursday and the Literatecs are trying to prevent him from getting inside Jane Eyre and committing further murders.

If you have not read Jane Eyre recently, your pleasure in this book will be greatly enhanced if you look up a brief plot summary on-line before proceeding too far--the ending of Jane Eyre as we know it is different from the ending of Jane Eyre as Thursday Next knows it, and the differences themselves become a delightful part of this plot.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Josh Aterovis on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
With the first page of this book, Fford caught my attention and held it fast until the last. I hated to see it end, but I was very happy to discover that it was only first in a series featuring Spec-Ops agent Thursday Next. Fford has created a blend of mystery, science fiction, and fantasy that is similar to Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently series. Fford's books even have the same irreverently sublime silliness, but with a decidedly literary bent.
The books are set in an alternate universe, one where England is the world greatest super power, but is held under the control of a shadowy mega-company called Goliath. The year is 1985, but it's unlike any 1985 you or I might remember. Technology is both far advanced and far behind. The Crimean War still drags on and the world's biggest superstars are authors. A special crime enforcement unit has been formed to deal with crimes that fall outside the usual boundaries of police jurisdiction. Thursday Next works for Spec-Ops 27, the Literary Division.
When the world's third most wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, finds a way to jump into the original manuscript of Dicken's MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT and assassinates Mr. Quaverley (a character you will only remember if you read the book before 1985), Thursday is assigned the case. It turns out that the assassination of Mr. Quaverley was only an example of what he was capable of, and when he jumps into JANE EYRE and kidnaps the title character, it's up to Thursday to save the beloved heroine...and the book.
I'll warn you now that you'll have to suspend belief while reading this book. It should be read as a fantasy first and foremost. It deals with time travel (Thursday's father is a Spec-Ops agent as well, but in the Chronoguard), cloned dodo's (Thursday's marshmallow loving pet Pickwick, version 1.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tony Hines on June 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Some books are memorable because they're well-written. Some books are memorable because their plot leaves you breathless.
"The Eyre Affair" is neither of these. But it is indeed memorable on the strength of Jasper Fforde's original, witty version of an alternate world. It's a genre-bender to be sure. Because it involves time travel and alternate reality (the book takes place in a 1985 UK no one will recognize, only partially because England is at war with Russia), it's a SciFi/Fantasy novel. Kinda. But because Thursday Next, the protaganist, chases an ultra-baddy (Archeron Hades) to a final showdown, it's a Detective Thriller. Kinda. Also, because it's filled with witty in-jokes ranging from literary references to character names (yes, there's a character actually named "Jack Schitt"), it's humor. Kinda. Well, mostly.
While it delves into literary subject matter (works of Dickens, Bronte and Poe all play key parts in the story), it ain't literary. Fforde's prose is pretty lean and bare--too lean and bare, sometimes, but the charm of the story more than compensates.
You should certainly like this if you enjoy imaginative, experimental fiction. You will probably like this if you enjoy thrillers with a dash of humor, or the idea of "jumping into" classic works of literature such as "Jane Eyre" seems interesting. You probably will not like this if you're a hardcore SF fan: you don't get any nuts-and-bolts explanations of how this alternate universe works. And if you're looking for a complex antagonist, forget it; Archeron Hades, Thursday Next's nemesis, might as well go by the name Snidely Whiplash and twirl his handlebar mustache.
Still, the power of imagination conquers all in this book, and Thursday Next is someone most readers will enjoy getting to know.
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William Shakespeare
I think that's what the author is getting to...there is some contention around the idea of authorship. Some people say Shakespeare was a non d'plume, others maintain he was the real guy, others suggest Marlow. Shakespeare in Love looked at this line as well.
Nov 16, 2013 by Duncan |  See all 2 posts
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