Monday, 21 May 2012

Jasper Fforde - The Eyre Affair

Title: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, book 1)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Pub. year: 2001
Pages: 373
Editor: Hodder & Stoughton

Summary: There 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.

I'm sure a lot of you heard about Jasper Fforde before, probably for the very good reason that this guy is a genius.

I mean, he wrote this world which looks very much like ours, except for.. a lot of things! I mean, there's a police for crime against books, dodos are back, there's wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff involved, ...
It's like a giant cauldron in which he put a little bit of investigation, a spoon of SF, some book-related shenanigans, a bit of timetravel, some reflexions about wars and its point, and other awesome and surprising stuff, and then the series came out of it.

We discover Thursday Next, 30-something woman, who's working for the LiteraTec department of the SpecOps, which supposedly is a tranquil kind of job, but which appears not to be quite what it's supposed to be, for her ; her father who can't stay more than 10mn in the same place and jumps back and forward in time to hide (and have fun, let's be honest) ; Acheron Hades, the big bad guy, who enjoys being a villain just for the sake of it ; Mycroft Next who doesn't seem to realise that some of his inventions can be really dangerous and that some people are willing to do anything to aquire them ; Jack Schitt (another one with a funny name) who's a little bit megalomaniac and thinks he owns the world.. Well, let's say that these colorful characters are clearly responsible for most of the fun & rythm in this story.

At the end, I was almost willing to reread Jane Eyre, though I didn't enjoyed it very much the first time (I couldn't even remember most of the story, if it weren't for Thursday summary), and to read Martin Chuzzlewit (by Charles Dickens) and Richard III (I don't need much convincing to read Shakespeare books, though).

There were some disappointing points at first, but after thinking about it, I realised it was perfect this way. So in the end, I enjoyed this book very much and I can't wait to read the next ones.

Actually, it's really hard to talk about this book because it contains so many things that I cannot really put words on them, so maybe the easiest way for you to know what is exactly this book, is by reading it. Give it a go, you'll see, it's awesome!

" I said to him when he rebuilt the muscles in my arm, 'Do you think I'll be able to play the violin?' and he said: 'Of course!' and then I said: 'That's good, I couldn't before!' "

" 'They'd never get here in time. It's easy. A lobotomised monkey could do it.'
'And where are we going to find a lobotomised monkey at this time of night?'
'You're being windy, Bowden.'

3 commentaires:

Interesting review. I had similar feelings about the book but then I'm into Murakami and weird-fiction/horror stories more than fantasy/comedy. I met Jasper at a talk at my local library and got him to sign my copy of this book. He's as smart as his writing suggests.

I just recently read his first book in the Nursery Crimes Series. I will say I loved it with a great blend of humor and serious moments throughout the book.

I think I will have to try this series by him as well. Great review.

Genkinahito: I doubt he'll ever come to my local library, haha! But yay for you! :D As for the kind of books you like, Muffin and I don't always like the same stuff but sometimes a book pleases us both, so I guess it happens ^^

Geeky Daddy: This was my first try with Fforde's books so I can't tell you if you'll have as much fun, but I really enjoyed it! I'll probably read the Nursery Crimes Series after this one! :)

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