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August 29, 2016

The Eyre Affair


The Eyre Affair

By: Jasper Fforde

Wordplay and literary allusions abound in this alternate 1985 Britain where warring factions of Shakespeare authorship skeptics brawl in violent street fights, dodos have been genetically re-engineered and are common pets, and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre has an unsatisfying ending.

Thursday Next, a special operative in the literary detection and veteran of the Crimean War (now in its 130th or so year), normally spends her days investigating forgeries and other bookish shenanigans. Unfortunately, Acheron Hades, psychopath extraordinaire, has kidnapped her Uncle Mycroft and stolen his Prose Portal, which allows a person to enter a book, interact with characters, and even change the narrative. Hades plans to use the Prose Portal for extortion – pay him or he’ll kill off beloved characters – and a weapons corporate executive would like to get his hands on the Prose Portal for his own nefarious reasons. It’s up to Thursday to defeat the baddies, stop the wedding of the estranged ex-fiance, and give Jane Eyre the ending we all know and love.

There are currently seven books in the Thursday Next series, all very good and extremely funny, but this is the one I return to every few years. Thursday is a strong, no-nonsense character whose wit and bravery make her one of my all-time favorite characters, and multiple readings haven’t diminished the number of times I laugh out loud when reading it.

Review By:  Julia Welzen