Aug 3, 2010

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The year is 1985, the place London, and the world not quite the world as we know it. Thursday Next, literary detective and veteran of the Crimea War (which has been raging for well over a century) is working on the disappearance of the manuscript of Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit. The man behind the theft is an academic turned dangerous criminal, Acheron Hades, who once upon a time taught Thursday at university. She comes close to catching him, but things take a wrong turn and her life is only saved because a copy of Jane Eyre in her front pocket stops the bullet intended for her heart.

After she comes out of the hospital, Thursday follows a tip of an unknown woman in a colourful car and accepts a job as a LiteraTec in Swindon, her hometown. There Thursday has to confront her past – which translates as seeing her ex-fiancée again and eventually coming to terms with her brother’s death. And it is also there that the story begins to live up to its title and indeed becomes The Eyre Affair, with Thursday being transported into the manuscript of Charlotte Brönte’s novel, both to save the beloved story from destruction and to solve the case once and for all.

This is a poor plot summary that leaves out plenty of important bits, but in my defence summing up a Jasper Fforde story is no easy task. The story is more complex than I gave it credit for – and to perfectly honest, also a bit messier. But before I go any further, let me tell you a little more about the alternative world that Thursday inhabits: this is a world where dodos have been brought back from extinction thanks to cloning and are popular pets (Thursday has one named Pickwick); a world where the boundaries between reality and fiction are malleable at best; a world in which a device called a Prose Portal allows people to enter works of fiction; a world in which the interests of the giant Goliath Corporation have pretty much trumped democracy; a world in which Wales is an independent nation behind a sort of Iron Curtain; and finally a world in which artistic and literary matters are the subject of debates so heated that they can lead to imprisonment or to terrorist acts.

The Eyre Affair is a sort of Inkheart for adults, or a Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with references to general classics instead of science fiction. It took me some to get into the story, but this was because Fforde catapults readers into a mad world and leaves them to figure out the rules for themselves as they go along. I did feel a little lost at first, but ultimately this was part of the fun. I enjoyed the slow revelation of the differences between Thursday’s alternative reality and our own, which include “Wait, what?” moments such as this:
“I was in ‘78 recently,” he announced. “I brought you this.”
He handed me a single by The Beatles. I didn’t recognise the title.
“Didn’t they split in ’70?”
“Not always. How are things?”
Or even more interestingly:
“It’s just… I’ve read this book [Jane Eyre] a lot. When I was younger. I know it very well.”
“And you like the ending?”
I thought for a moment. The rather flawed climax of the book was a cause of considerable bitterness within Brontë circles. It was generally agreed that if Jane had returned to Thornfield Hall and married Rorchester, the book might have been a lot better than it was.
“No one likes the ending, Tamworth. But there’s more than enough in it regardless of that.”
Can you imagine a version of Jane Eyre in which Jane actually goes off with St. John Rivers? Argh – I’m shuddering at the mere thought.

The last third of The Eyre Affair, in which Jane Eyre is heavily featured, was by far my favourite. Still, overall I think I liked the concept of this story (or, to be accurate, the several concepts) better than the actual execution. I love the idea of readers going into literary works – both for the fun of it and for all the metafictional and even philosophical implications. Talk about active reading and allowing a story to change before your eyes. I also liked the Douglas Adams-esque humour, but not as much as I like actual Douglas Adams humour. Fforde’s jokes didn’t always work for me, both because at times I found them forced, and because I suspect I missed some of his references. The Eyre Affair has more literary allusions per page than any other book I’ve read before, so the humour is probably more rewarding for those who are better read than I am. Still, my hat’s off to him for his sheer cleverness and inventiveness.

I had fun with The Eyre Affair, but it’s not a new addition to my list of favourites, and I’m not sure how much of it will actually stay with me. However, this isn’t really a complaint, as I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a book being “merely” fun. Plus I don’t want to start a whole thing about The Point of Literature, both because it’s silly to even suggest there’s only one and because Michael Chabon has said everything I’d want to say much better than I ever could. I did spend some pleasant hours in Thursday Next’s company, and that is enough for me to consider reading The Eyre Affair a good investment of my time.

I’ve been told that the Thursday Next series gets better as it progresses, and I actually already own the second book, Lost in a Good Book. However, I’ve also been told is draws heavily from Great Expectations, so I wanted to ask you if you think I should read that before I get to it. If I don’t, will it spoil Dicken’s story for me? In the case of The Eyre Affair, Fforde is careful to provide context for readers who may not be familiar with Jane Eyre, but he does inevitably spoil the book’s ending.

One more bit I liked:
“Malin and Sole look after all crimes regarding Shakespeare.”
He shut the door.
“They keep an eye on forgery, illegal dealing and overtly free thespian interpretations. The actor in with them was Graham Huxtable. He was putting on a felonious one-man performance of Twelfth Night. Persistent offender. He’ll be fined and bound over. His Malvolio is truly frightful.”
Reviewed at:
Bibliofreak Blog, Jenny’s Books, Rebecca Reads, Necromancy Never Pays, Sam’s Book Blog, If You Can Read This, Regular Ruminations, Andrea’s Book Nook, An Adventure in Reading, The Zen Leaf, Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity, Bart's Bookshelf

(Have I missed yours?)


  1. I adore this one! You know, I've never read Jane Eyre so I am definitely spoiled on that one. LOST IN A GOOD BOOK was my favorite of the series.

  2. I read this a few years ago and my expectations were also quite high. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would but the funny thing is I haven't given it away (I usually do that with books I don't like). I think it was Claire who said the series just gets better. Maybe I kept it for that reason. The idea should so much promise that it could only just improve. I'll have to try part two one day.

  3. Jasper Fforde is a complete and utter hypocrite: blah blah he doesn't like fanfic. He basically insinuates that anyone writing fanfic of his works is COMMITTING A CRIME. I mean, seriously, dude, it's called fair use, look it up instead of being ignorant. >|

    I am still disturbed by the fact that he can take the works of various lady-authors whose material are in the public domain and write his own spin-off fanfiction, but he leaks condescension all over fanfiction culture, which is largely female and says "don't touch my stuff, you strange people!". But it's OKAY that HE does it, because he's not "strange" and writes "his own material". As if we're all writing to be published authors.

    Seriously, never reading this man's work or giving him my money. >.>

  4. You’re being much kinder to the book than I was. It really became my favourite example when talking about hating a book that everyone else loves and one that I’m pretty hard on. I found Fforde had a good idea, but not enough writing skills to pull it off (maybe he improved with the sequels?).

    Interesting concept of the British society being so keen on literature (loved the discussions about Shakespeare) but then he tries too hard to be funny. I also think he made a mess of the more serious topics like war trauma: I just couldn’t see Thursday as a veteran, believe in her true love for Landen, or even take a liking to the absent father. The last straw was Jane Eyre crying “Edward! My Edward! I wont leave you, my love!”. I’m no expert, but I found it completely out of (the real) character.

  5. Well, it is hard for me to ignore a clever book with heavy literary references. I could fall in love with a book like this. But first, I guess I'd better make sure I read all of these classics. (I was like a child educated by monkeys when it comes to the classics.)

  6. Yes, yes, yes, the series DOES get better! I found The Eyre Affair anti-climactic when I read it (it had been so hyped by friends) but did eventually persist and now ADORE the series and his writing. Who can resist the Sir Terry Pratchett blurb on the cover?!

    Funnily enough, this didn't stay with me much; I read it in '06 and I found myself thinking "don't remember that" at several points in your plot summary.

    I'm afraid I can't advise about Great Expectations as I studied it several years before reading Lost in a Good Book. Steph should be able to provide valuable input as a) she has struggled to complete Great Expectations b) is a huge Fforde fan also.

    I adore literary allusion in books; I can't get enough of it (I think I may have to schedule in some Thursday Next rereading before the next in the series is released).

  7. Like Claire above, I ADORE Jasper Fforde's books too! I think it's because when I first came across it, I hadn't read anything like it before so it stunned me that you could use literature within a novel in such a hysterically funny yet clever way. Anyway, I hope you persist because it does get better^^ However, I do think that maybe you may enjoy it more if you do know the basic plots behind the books he alludes to, although I'm sure he doesn't talk about them in too much detail.

  8. Since this spoiled Jane Eyre for me, I think the next book will definitely spoil Great Expectations. I really enjoyed all the literary references and the alternate world- time travelers who don't quite know what's going on are something I love. (This is why I watch Doctor Who.)

    I'm glad you liked it, but it can be a bit fluffy.

  9. I definitely think you should persist, I loved the whole series. Treat them as fun books - I think that the creativity makes up for some of the negatives... I didn't read Great Expectations before and I was fine, although I'm sure you'd get more out of the story if you read it.

    On thing I must agree on is that it definitely didn't stay with me. I don't remember any details - but I like the thought of reading the books again so that's ok! :-)

  10. I was also confused at first but I also had great fun once I got into it, and once it gets to the Jane Eyre part. I had bought the second one at the time, but now I feel I should re read the first as I don't remember much of anything.
    I'm a bit dismayed by Renay's comments though. I didn't think an author who draws so heavily from other people's works could dislike fanfiction so much.

  11. Definitely gets better as the series continue. I hadn't read Great Expectations before I read the second one. Funnily enough I have read it since, and didn't associate it with the second book at all!

  12. Someone recommended to me the Thursday series, but when she told me what it was about, I walked away thinking, "You really don't know me or have a clue what I'd like." Based on your review, I'm sticking with my first thoughts.

  13. Great review, Nymeth! I also enjoyed this one and look forward to continuing with Lost in a Good Book. It's been a long time since I read Great Expectations," though, so maybe I'm due for a little refresher.

    Renay - Thank you for commenting about Fforde's views on fanfiction. I was unaware and wouldn't have expected that. Baffling!

  14. I totally agree with your review - I was baffled when I was plunged into this book! But as things slowly started making sense, I liked it more and more. I'll definitely be picking up the next one.

  15. First, I would say that yes, this book is confusing, but the nice thing about later books is that you're already familiar with the world and not trying to catch up.

    Second, about Great Expectations - I read Lost in a Good Book before reading GE and it didn't spoil the book at all. Lost in a Good Book doesn't focus on the story of Great Expectations the way the first book focuses on Jane Eyre. Mrs. Havisham is a character, different from her character in GE, changed when ripped from the pages. But by the time I read GE, I couldn't even remember if any of the other characters were mentioned in Lost in a Good Book. I don't think you have to worry about it from that pov.

  16. A friend of mine loves Jasper Fforde's work, so I read one of his books at her insistence. I liked it well enough, but I've never felt compelled to read another one. I'm not sure why either.

  17. I love this series and think it's probably one of my favorites, but I know it's not for everyone. Even though I have not read a lot of the classics, which you kind of need to in order to really get these books, I still have a pretty good background and can pick out characters and themes (though not quotes). Still, I sometimes get lost in the books and like you mention, I can imagine they would be so much better if I had the reading background. I also do highly recommend Great Expectations. It's a really great book!

  18. You know, I've heard of this series a hundred times, but never had a clue what it was like! I think I knew there was mystery involved, but had no idea they were set in an alternative world. I find the concepts involved really fascinating, but I'm afraid I'd miss sooooo much, not being at all well-read, especially in the classics.

    Also must say that I found what Renay had to say quite interesting...not in a good way. :(

  19. I do want to read this, but have to admit that I haven't even read Jane Eyre yet!

  20. Oh, the allusions, the many, many allusions. I think that I could dedicate my life to figuring out the allusions and reading the appropriate texts. I agree with your review here. I found the book to be tons of fun if not a Great Literary Achievement.

    If I remember correctly, Lost in a Good Book doesn't spoil GE at all, so you don't need to read it. I do remember feeling like I would have enjoyed the book more if I was more familiar with the GE character used - can't remember the name right now.

  21. Nymeth I loved these books!!! I really enjoy being lost in a book myself so when I was able to read about a job where you frequently get "lost" in books, I was in Heaven =) Great review!

  22. I really love these books, but I would recommend reading Great Expectations first. Fforde tends to assume you've read those if you're reading his book.

  23. First, I'm so glad you've finally read this one! As I've made abundantly clear, Jasper Fforde is one of my very favourite authors, and I'm a big Thursday Next fangirl.

    That said, I do think the series only gets better from here on out. This is just a taste of the universe, but it doesn't really reflect accurately on what the rest of the series is, as from here on out, Thursday spends WAY more time learning the ropes of the fiction world.

    Also, I have never read Great Expectations despite my best efforts and it really hasn't affected my enjoyment of the next book. The stuff you need to know about GE are the basics, like the type of character Miss Havisham is... nothing specific to the plot at all other than what you probably already know.

    Come on, drink the kool-aid! ;)

  24. I agree that there are some odd things about these books (his pacing always really weirds me out!), but also agree that the series improves as it goes on. I wouldn't say you need to have read Great Expectations to enjoy the second book, BUT if you really don't know how GE ends (specifically, how Havisham figures into that end) it will spoil that detail for you. Don't know how uptight you are about spoilers - my partner can't stand ANY at all. Havisham's role in the GE's ending isn't the biggest plot-point, but it is a very memorable scene. However, Fforde doesn't spoil any of the other big reveals at the end of the book. Take that for what you will! :-)

  25. I've been intending to read this book (and the series) for far too long. I've also been meaning to reread Jane Eyre. I, too, have debated if I would enjoy reading the Fforde or the classic first. I'll be curious to see your take on the next one!

  26. I've had a friend try to get me to read these for ages now and I keep saying "no" :/ Another one that I have a block against and I don't know're reading all of my blocked books lately :p I don't know...while it sounds interesting, even more so after reading your review, I'm just not super drawn to it :/ And what Renay said makes me even less likely to read his books :(

  27. The first book I read by Jasper Fforde was actually the third Thursday Next book, "The Well of Lost Plots". It is that book that made me fall in love with him. It takes place COMPLETELY inside fiction and the imagination Jasper Fforde has in his depictions of how books are truly created and maintained is nothing short of remarkable.

    I read "The Eyre Affair" after having read "The Well of Lost Plots" and I agree that if I had read that book first, I might not have continued with the series. But there is really so much more in store if you read the next couple of books, I guarantee it!

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  29. What a coincidence! I was in a used book store just a few days ago, and I saw The Eyre Affair hidden in a pile by the corner of the store. I was so close to picking it up! Now I wish I did, cause it sounds like it's worth a read. Wonderful review!

  30. I watched a movie of Great Expectations some years ago, so I was already familiar with the plot despite not reading it. I don't think anything was spoiled for me by reading book 2, but I might have gotten in on more of the Dickens jokes if I'd read GE. It's really more about one of the characters from GE than about the book/plot.

  31. Looks like we had similar reactions to this one. I definitely like the premise better than the execution. I've read the first two in the series, and things did improve when Miss Havisham stepped on the scene in book 2. I'll probably read book 3 at some point since she plays a big part in that one as well.

  32. My reaction to this was a lot like yours, but perhaps slightly more negative.

    I'll confess that I'm very attached to Jane Eyre, and I didn't feel that Fforde *got* Jane and Edward or any of the other characters. It was more like he was writing about the cultural idea of the characters rather than the characters as they exist on the page. I'm too invested in those characters to be able to set that feeling aside. Irrational and silly, I know, but true.

    I've also been told that the series improves, but I can't bring myself to continue with it. I'd be more likely to start with the newer Shades of Grey series, which several people have told me might suit me better anyway.

  33. This sounds like a really fun book. I love the idea of entering fiction!

  34. I've been wanting to try this author but I'm starting with the "easier" The Big Over Easy.

  35. I tried the Eyre Affair in audio, but now that I've read your review, I'm thinking I should give it another try, but in print. I find that books that are more challenging to get into don't work as well for me in audio. And I find the concept of this book very intriquing!

  36. I've tried to read Jasper Fforde, but yeah, not my thing, really

    As I don't like fanfic in general, and fanfic relating to the Brontes and Austen in particular, I would not "intentionally" read this, but if I happened upon it in the library and it slipped itself into my bag, I might take a peek at it. :)

    Great review, btw. Not easy to gather all the threads of a Fforde book and present them in a cogent fashion!

  37. The Thursday Next books are a hoot! No more, no less. Just plain litgeek fun. And it might be a good idea to have some of Great Expectations under your belt before you begin the next Next book (ha ha--sorry): some of the characters are a bit...different...from the original.

  38. This series sounds thoroughly unique. And now you've got me wanting a Prose Portal!

  39. The Eyre Affair is a sort of Inkheart for adults

    Yes! They both get my favorite tag that I use on LibraryThing: "permeable boundaries between books and reality." Well, them and The Unwritten.

    I haven't read Great Expectations, and I understood Lost in a Good Book just fine, although I'm sure I missed some of the subtler jokes.

  40. Oh, I think you should read Great Expectations just so I can read your review - I think you'd find so much to say about it! It's a quick read, and I think it would heighten your enjoyment of the next book.

  41. I don't think I've hidden the fact I love Fforde's books ;)

    They do get better (my favourite is Something Rotten) but I'm glad you at least enjoyed this one!

    My review is here:

    *blinks at the date on that review...* (from my pre-bookblogging blogging days!)

  42. My girlfriend keeps telling me how good this series is, but I never remember to look for it. Thanks for the wonderful review and reminder.

  43. I enjoyed this one years ago. The last one (Lost in a Good Book?) is very good. Maybe you'll enjoy that one.

    I really enjoyed his latest book Shades of Gray.

  44. I think I'd agree with your assessment; they're fun but not favorites. I've enjoyed the series so far and I quite like Fforde's world; I'm a bit less fond of feeling like I'm missing out on literary jokes because I haven't read the book in question. They are still fun even if I haven't, I just sense that they could be even better.

  45. Oh I loved this series! I do hope you carry on and enjoy them. It definitely helps to be as well read as you.

  46. Great review, Nymeth! I can't believe I still haven't read any of his books. Sadly, I've even had this one on my shelves for quite some time. So, can't say whether you need to read GE before the next book although I would recommend it anyway. It's a great read.

  47. I would love to read this, but I'll tone my expectations down a little just in case.

  48. I've read the first four of the Thursday Next series and the 5th, First Among Sequels, is sitting on my TBR pile. I find these books clever, funny, fascinating, imaginative and highly readable. A wonderful way to spend one's time "lost in a good book" if I may add the pun. Well, they are also just plain fun. I think to fully enjoy them it's best to have some basic knowledge of the classics. For instance, knowing what actually happens to Ms. Havisham in GE, who she is and why she is that way, will enhance the pleasure in reading Lost In A Good Book. And when getting to "Something Rotten," is good to have read Hamlet. Great post.

  49. Lenore: It's really hard to avoid spoilers for Jane Eyre anyway, though. I knew the ending before I read it just from all the pop culture references.

    Mrs B: Yes, I hope he'll be able to do more with the premise once the world has been established.

    Renay: Wow :S I have no words. I guess I'll take comfort in the fact that I mooched both books? :S

    Alex: Even though I enjoyed it more than you did I can definitely see your points, especially about the forces jokes and the lack of emotional resonance in scenes that should have had it.

    Sandy: lol! You and me both, my friend :P

    Claire: I didn't know about the blurb! I promise I'll read the second book at some point.

    Sakura: I'm glad to hear it does get better! And I think I'd have enjoyed the book even more if it had caught me by surprised. Not that I'm blaming your enthusiasm :P

    Clare: Yes, it was definitely more on the fluffy side than I expected - which is okay, really. And I should watch Doctor Who, shouldn't I? :P

    Joanna: I'll definitely follow your advice :)

    Valentina: Yeah, I was basically lost until the Jane Eyre section, but that did make up for the rest. And yes, his stance on fanction is VERY disappointing to say the least :\

    Marg: Hmm... I wonder if the same would happen to me!

    Elisabeth: I think anyone trying to explain what the books are about will necessarily make them sound worse than they are :P It's just really hard to get it across right.

    Laura: It IS baffling, isn't it? I wonder what he thinks he's doing in these books if not writing his own fanfictions.

    S. Krishna: I hope we both enjoy the next one!

    Amanda: I'm glad to know there are no major spoilers, but I wonder if being familiar with GE would make it more fun. And yes, I can see how already knowing the world would make the rest of the series more enjoyable. Funnily enough I often tell people this about Discworld :P

    Kathy: Sometimes that just happens, and it can be really difficult to pinpoint why.

    Zibilee: I do plan on reading Great Expectations eventually, even if not before the second book in the series! And yeah, the more you know the more you'll get out of these, I imagine.

    Debi: The same happened to me, so at least you're not alone. And yeah... I think he's joining Uncle Orsie on my mental list of Authors I Actually Take Pleasure in Not Supporting, Even if I Enjoy Their Stuff :P

    Christina: I do recommend reading it first - one of the reasons being that it's an excellent book :P

    Trisha: You know what I really love, though? That feeling of first realising where a very frequent allusion comes from. The world was made new to me after I first read Hamlet, for example :P

    Kristina: Sigh, talk about dream jobs, eh? :P

  50. Ah, on the UK cover (back, I think - too lazy to go check!) there is this quote from Sir Terry: ‘Ingenious. I shall be watching Jasper Fforde nervously.’

  51. I've heard such good things about these books and they sound SO neat! It's been on my wishlist for a long time now. As soon as I clear a few more books off of my TBR shelves, this will be the first thing I pick up from the library.

  52. I'm so glad you read this book! I can see your point about the concept being a little better than the execution, but it's such a wonderful concept I can gush over it for days (and have, as you so kindly noted).

    I'd say that the more classics you've read, the more you'll enjoy reading Fforde. His fiction is rife with allusions.

  53. this does sound good! I like finding those fun reads.
    'a sort of Inkheart for adults'-definitely sounds interesting.

  54. I'm so glad that you read this one and I'm glad to read your thoughts on it. I read this one awhile back and while I remember enjoying it...I still haven't picked up the 2nd book in this series. Even though I still plan to :) So I'll be even more interested in hearing your thoughts on the 2nd book whenever you get to it. Great review!

  55. Avid Reader: Yes, I noticed he does. I'll keep that in mind!

    Steph: lol :P Between you and Claire, I'm convinced I'll enjoy book two more than I did this one. And it's definitely not like I disliked this!

    Emily: Thank you so much - that's exactly what I wanted to know. I do care about even minor spoilers and would prefer not to know the ending of that particular subplot in advance. So I think it'll be GE first for me.

    nomadreader: I'd go with Jane Eyre first - not just because of the spoilers, but because it'll make this more fun!

    Chris: You and your weird blocks :P But yeah, what Renay said IS pretty disappointing :\

    Emily: I look forward to getting to book three, then!

    J.T. Oldfield: Yeah, that's another thing I was wondering about. Knowing the classics he references just makes it more fun.

    Andi: I look forward to books 2 and 3, but I think I'll need to be properly introduced to Miss Havisham first :P

    Teresa: I can definitely see what you mean about them being more like pop culture representations of the characters than the real deal, and I understand why it bothered you!

    Amy: Isn't that a great concept?

    Jenners: I look forward to your thoughts on it!

    Belle: Yeah, I imagine it being confusing as an audiobook!

    Violet, thank you! I love that you acknowledge that this is fan fiction, even though that would apparently offend Mr Fforde :P

    ds: Litgeek fun sums it up perfectly, yes. And yes, I do think I'll read GE first - if nothing else it'll make me get more out of the book.

    Stephanie: I desperately want one myself :P

    Fyrefly: I LOVE that tag!

    Darla D: I imagined it would take me forever, but I did recently manage to read Middlemarch in less than a month as a secondary book, so I'm feeling all daring and stuff :P

    Darren: Nope, you haven't :P Thanks for your link, and sorry that I missed it before!

    Jenny Girl: You're most welcome - hope you enjoy it!

    Chris: I hope I will - it goes sounds like it gets better and better.

  56. I have to confess this is one of those books that has always intimidated me.

  57. I love this book, in fact I love all of the Thursday Next books!! I agree, I found it difficult to figure out at first but just love it so much. All the little literary quirks are classic!

  58. Meghan: Yes, exactly. I can't help but feel that I could be getting more out of them.

    Mariel: The problem is that I feel that I'm not, though :P But I'll read Great Expectations soon and then the second book in the series.

    Iliana: I promise I'll read it, hopefully before too long!

    Iris: Yes, always safest that way, probably :P

    Grad: That's what I suspected. I'll make sure I read GE first, then!

    Claire: lol - I think he needs not worry ;) But I'm even more curious to read the second book now.

    Jen: I hope you enjoy it!

    Jeanne: Perhaps I should give myself a few years to catch up and then return to this :P

    Naida: Sadly I wasn't too crazy about Inkheart, but I still loved the idea of it.

    Sam: It might take me a while, but I'll get there :P

    Heidenkind: Once you get through the initial confusion there's nothing to be intimidated about! You do need a bit of patience at first, though.

    Elise: The beginning really tried my patience, but I'm glad I stuck with it :)

  59. This book is a classic. Jasper Fforde is witty, unique and completly hilarious! Ofcourse I understand that everyone's opinion is different, but if you want a good read, then look into 'The Eyre Affair' and any other of Fforde's works. But in the end, to like Fforde's work, you have to be a creative and crazy person yourself with a zany sense of humour. He uses book references by the dozen so you obviously have to be well read, and reading this has only enhanced my vision of 'Jane Eyre'. A great book, and there should be no delusions there. But an interesting review here, some of my favourite bits have been quoted, well done.


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