Do you ever just not wanna? I don’t want to think. I don’t want to type. But I also don’t want to let my thoughts on this book to disappear to wherever my thoughts on books disappear to. What’s a girl to do?
I can’t remember where I first heard about this book–maybe the Something About Me Challenge two summers ago? I had forgotten what the book was really about (those thoughts must have gone where my other thoughts go), and I had it in my head that this was some type of Jane Eyre romance spin-off. How wrong I was!
The Eyre Affair is set in 1985, but it is a type of futuristic 1985 “where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taking very, very seriously” (back cover). Thursday Next, the main character, is a SpecOps agent in charge of literary crimes–such as forgeries and manuscript theft. She is called into a special case when the original manuscript of Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit mysteriously disappears.
In an effort to recover the missing manuscript, Thursday finds herself in the midst of the most heinous literary crime–a villain by the name of Hades is going into original manuscripts (literally going in) and disposing of characters. Hades next victim will be Jane Eyre if Thursday cannot stop him first. Imagine–a world without Jane Eyre.
While I was expecting more of a literary feast with this book, it was an incredibly fun read. You hear about books for book lovers, and this is one in full force. Literary allusions abound on each page, Fforde uses metaphors and wit, and I often found myself chuckling out loud. I love the idea of being able to travel into a book and cavorting with the characters–such as Thursday did with Mr. Rochester (Jane never knew of Thursday’s existence, but boy was she suspicious!). But when she travels into Jane Eyre, will the story as we know it change and be lost forever?
I’d recommend this book as a light and entertaining read. When I mentioned thinking about reading it for the read-a-thon, I got a few comments about the complexity of the book, but other than piecing together how Thursday’s 1985 world looks and musing about some of the literary references, I found it to be a pretty quick read. And again, who doesn’t love books about books–especially one about one of the most beloved classics?