February 24th, 2007

Reading to Dragon

"The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde

"The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde

Finally! I started this book a couple of years ago, but when I realized that parts of it centered around characters from "Jane Eyre," I put it down again, deciding that I wanted to read that book before tackling this one. I finally managed to read "Jane Eyre" a few weeks ago, and quickly picked this one up again.

Our protagonist is Thursday Next, a government agent (SpecOp-27, or LiteraTec) who specializes in literary crime. It's also worth mentioning that this isn't exactly the world as we know it . . . it's 1985, and the Crimean War is still being fought, Wales is an independent republic, time travel is a fact of life, and Thursday's uncle has invented a machine which allows people from this world to travel into books - and vice versa. Things are bad enough when the world's third most-wanted criminal steals the original manuscript for "Martin Chuzzlewit," but when the well-beloved Jane Eyre is kidnapped, well, it's clear that Thursday and her associates will have to go to great extremes to make sure no harm comes to Jane.

What a fun book this is! I didn't love it as much as others seem to have, but I definitely enjoyed it. Funny, and with as many humorous names and quirky little things thrown in that I caught (the story was absolutely peppered with hilarious things), I have to wonder just how many I didn't catch! A selection of my favorites: department head Braxton Hicks, the Richard the III Horror Picture Show, the neo-surrealists and the Miltons (OMG I loved the way people fought over art movements in the book the way they fight over footie in our world), and, of course . . . WALES! I will also say that I am really glad I read "Jane Eyre" before reading this book. The whole thing was much funnier, and made a lot more sense to me, because of it.

A fun, satisfying book. It looks like I'll be reading "Great Expectations" soon, though, in preparation for Thursday's next adventure. ;)
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