Sunday, December 4, 2011
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
A very original book about a literary detective in alternative 1985 where Crimean war is still going on, the charge of the light brigade is recent history (and the main protagonist, Thursday Next not only took part in it but lost her brother during the charge), Dodos are popular pets, Wales is a communist dictatorship and literature is much more important than in our world, so important that there is a special branch of secret police solely dedicated to crimes involving literature. Not a very important branch, but more prestigious than ordinary police. The first editions and original manuscripts are more valuable than anything and something master criminals crave. Thursday Next is drafted to a higher branch of secret service as she is one of the few people who can identify a master thief, Acheron Hades. Their first encounter is pretty much a disaster…and soon the barriers between books and real life apparently start to weaken, at least characters seem to disappear from books and appear in the real world.
A very entertaining and amusing book with nice characters, dry humor, a lot of action and a huge amount of literary allusions – some of which I surely missed. (I haven’t ever read Jane Eyre – a book which is very important for most of the plot, but reading the Wikipedia synopsis of the book helped a lot). The world was interesting and usual, something I would like to hear more about. Everything might not have been extremely logical, but the tone was light and entertaining that it didn’t hurt. I probably must pick up the next part of the series sooner than later.