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.
In this utterly original and wonderfully funny first novel, Fforde has created a fiesty, loveable heroine and a plot of such richness and ingenuity that it will take your breath away.
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Pirouetting on the boundaries between sci-fi, the crime thriller and intertextual whimsy, Jasper Fforde's outrageous The Eyre Affairputs you on the wrong footing even on its dedication page, which proudly announces that the book conforms to Crimean War economy standard.
Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence. She herself polices text--against men like the Moriarty-like Acheron Styx, whose current scam is to hold the minor characters of Dickens' novels to ransom, entering the manuscript and abducting them for execution and extinction one by one. When that caper goes sour, Styx moves on to the nation's most beloved novel--an oddly truncated version of Jane Eyre--and kidnaps its heroine. The phlegmatic and resourceful Thursday pursues Acheron across the border into a Leninist Wales and further to Mr Rochester's Thornfield Hall, where both books find their climax on the roof amid flames.
Fforde is endlessly inventive: his heroine's utter unconcern about the strangeness of the world she inhabits keeps the reader perpetually double-taking as minor certainties of history, literature and cuisine go soggy in the corner of our eye. The audacity of the premise and its working out provides sudden leaps of understanding, many of them accompanied by wild fits of the giggles. This is a peculiarly promising first novel. --Roz KaveneyReview:
[She's] part Bridget Jones, part Nancy Drew and part Dirty Harry ( Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, on Thursday Next)
Delightfully clever ... Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, THE EYRE AFFAIR combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But its quirky charm is all its own. ( Wall Street Journal)
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2003. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The "New York Times" bestseller is the first in a series of outlandishly clever adventures featuring the resourceful, fearless literary detective Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0142001805
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Book Description Penguin USA, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2003. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. 1st U.S. Trade Paperback Edition, 13th P. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Nice, unsold, unread, first U.S. trade paperback edition, 13th printing of this offbeat parody on mystery novels, featuring Thursday Next. Ships in a box, fast service from a real bricks and mortar independent bookstore open since 1998. Bookseller Inventory # 007077
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0142001805