The Eyre Affair is the second Jasper Fforde book that I have read. The first JF book I read was Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron, which is one of his newest books and the start of a new series.
The Eyre Affair begins the adventures of Thursday Next, who works as a LiteraTec (or Literary Detective) for Special Operations Network department 27 (SO-27). In Thursday’s world, literature is so popular that there are around four thousand John Miltons living in London (and “two thousand William Blakes, a thousand or so Samuel Coleridges, five hundred Percy Shelleys, the same of Wordsworth and Keats, and a handful of Drydens”). Naturally, this is my kind of book: the characters have names like Victor Analogy and Hades Acheron, the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays are hotly debated (and you won’t believe the eventual answer!), and characters are casually popping out of Jane Eyre for a quick visit.
Despite all that, I didn’t love The Eyre Affair. It’s Jasper Fforde’s first book, and it shows, I think. Having read Shades of Grey earlier, I had higher expectations than The Eyre Affair was able to deliver. Of course, that’s not fair of me; you should never compare an author’s early work with their more recent. Of course there’s going to be growth and development. SoG has this perfect balance of ludicrous and seriousness that tEA just didn’t quite get to.
Still, you owe it to yourself to read The Eyre Affair. Then do as I plan to and keep reading the Thursday Next series. Thursday is a brilliant character and her world is tons of fun; I can’t wait to delve in deeper. Just do yourself a favour and start at the beginning; save Fforde’s later books for later. You’ll appreciate them more.
Current total: 5