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Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Hey all, Dani here.

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I’m in the middle of working a 12 hour shift right now, but it’s okay, because I’m hoping to get in quite a bit of reading time while I’m here. I have been in such a reading mood, but I had several days last week where I ended up not even reading a single page, which was a bit sad, so I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time a little bit. I planned a huge TBR for February, and we’re almost halfway through the month and I’ve only picked up a few books from my actual TBR. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading though, because I have, just not books on the TBR for the month.

Anyway, let’s jump into today’s review, because this is a book I’ve been wanting to talk about since I finished reading it.

The Eyre Affair

Book Details

Format: paperback

Pages: 374

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: February 25, 2003

ISBN: 0142001805 (ISBN13: 9780142001806)


Suspenseful and outlandish, absorbing and fun – a novel unlike any other and an introduction to the imagination of a most distinctive writer and his singular fictional universe.

Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and Impressionists, and thousands of men are named John Milton, an homage to the real Milton and a very confusing situation for the police. Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that’s just a prelude . . .

Hades’ real target is the beloved Jane Eyre, and it’s not long before he plucks her from the pages of Bronte’s novel. Enter Thursday Next. She’s the Special Operative’s renowned literary detective, and she drives a Porsche. With the help of her uncle Mycroft’s Prose Portal, Thursday enters the novel to rescue Jane Eyre from this heinous act of literary homicide. It’s tricky business, all these interlopers running about Thornfield, and deceptions run rampant as their paths cross with Jane, Rochester, and Miss Fairfax. Can Thursday save Jane Eyre and Bronte’s masterpiece? And what of the Crimean War? Will it ever end? And what about those annoying black holes that pop up now and again, sucking things into time-space voids . . .

Suspenseful and outlandish, absorbing and fun, The Eyre Affair is a caper unlike any other and an introduction to the imagination of a most distinctive writer and his singular fictional universe.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

I had heard about this book for several years before I picked it up, and even then it ended up sitting on my bookshelves for something like two years before I finally decided to read it…and I definitely feel bad about that, because this book is worth reading.

It’s like a alt-history magical universe of our world where so much is different. I liked the sort of magic and the science of it all. I especially enjoyed the massive importance of literature in this book.

It was weird and whimsical and had plenty of action, which was fantastic. I think the romantic element was actually the weakest. Thursday’s relationship with her new co-worker–in my opinion–was much stronger than the lost love of her life who she eventually ends up with.

But the hierarchy of the government organizations was ultimately very intriguing, and I couldn’t help but become invested in the life and work of Thursday Next as she gets pulled into adventures that were technically above her pay grade, but I think she handled them all pretty well, and showed off her intelligence and capabilities.

Honestly, I need to pick up the next books in this series, because this is just enough literary caper fun that I really want to keep going. Yes, this book came out like 17 years ago, and I’m just now becoming a fan of the series, but if you haven’t checked out the Thursday Next series and you like reading books that are pretty focused on books and literature, then definitely pick up this book. It is absolutely worth the read.

Where to Get a Copy

You can grab your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

9 thoughts on “Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde”

  1. The second time around I noticed a lot of significance with Thursday’s dad time traveling and the alternate history. He would come back from the past and ask her about things, then go “hmm, that’s not right”. I like to imagine that the alternate history elements are a direct result of her father meddling in the past and screwing everything up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed the weirdness a lot, but it was the literary detective part that intrigued me most. I’m definitely going to have to continue with the series, though it’s sad that the most recent one was released in 2012 but according to Goodreads he’s supposed to be working on another one. It’s sad to know that the series isn’t complete and that it has been years since the last release.


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