THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fforde, Book Review

The Eyre Affair Book Synopsis

The Eyre Affair Jasper FfordeThere is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, 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, a great interest in all things literary – and a woman called Thursday Next.

In this utterly original and wonderfully funny first novel, Fforde has created a feisty, loveable heroine and a plot of such richness and ingenuity that it will take your breath away. 

Genre: Literature, Action-Adventure, Romance, Crime-Detective, Sci-Fi-Fantasy

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It took me far too long to get around to reading my first Jasper Fforde novel, the first in his Thursday Next Literary Detective Series. After having read all the rave reviews and The Eyre Affair being billed as ‘a book for book lovers’ I had high expectations. I was not disappointed.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is wacky, zany and addictive – candy in a book.

What is so great about The Eyre Affair? Why has Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series achieved almost cult-like status?

The wit, wordplay and satire on display as Jasper Fforde develops and then consistently deploys an alternate history in which appreciation of literature is high in the social conscience and something all the popular people are doing.

The fact that time travel is common place and it is possible to travel ‘into a book’.

A loveably loyal, flawed and feisty heroine named Thursday Next, a SpecOp-27 (Literary Detective Division of Special Operations) with a genetically flawed dodo as a pet.

I tried to call him (Tamworth) at the beginning of the third week but was put through to a trained denialist who flatly refused to admit that Tamworth or SO-5 even existed. I used the time to get up to date with some reading, filing, mending the car, and also – because of the new legislation – to register Pickwick as a pet rather than a wild dodo. I took him to the town hall where a veterinary inspector studied the once-extinct bird very carefully. Pickwick stared back forlornly, as he, in common with most pets, didn’t fancy the vet much.

‘Plock-plock’, said Pickwisk nervously as the inspector expertly clipped the large brass ring around his ankle.

‘No wings?’ asked the official curiously, staring at Pickwick’s slightly odd shape.

‘He’s a Version 1.2,’ I explained. ‘One of the first. They didn’t get the sequence complete until 1.7.’

‘Must be pretty old.’

‘Twelve years this October.’

I should note that a friend of mine had a much different reaction to Jasper Fforde’s writing than I did. She thought it was contrived – well, ‘contrived’ was not the actual word she used but that is the nicest way of conveying the feelings she expressed. So clearly The Eyre Affair is not to everyone’s tastes – but I found it simply delightful and extremely difficult to put down.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5

Get your copy of The Eyre Affair from:

Amazon | Bookshop US | Booktopia AU

* We also since very much enjoyed Jasper Fforde’s standalone novel Early Riser (2018) and Shades of Grey (2009).

Book Quote The Eyre Affair

About the Author, Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde (born 1961) is a British novelist. Fforde’s first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. Fforde is mainly known for his Thursday Next novels, although he has written several books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and begun two more independent series: The Last Dragonslayer and Shades of Grey.

– Check out Jasper Fforde’s unique website

Other reviews of The Eyre Affair

Goodreads, Roof Beam Reader; The Guardian; Book Smugglers