25 May, 2014

Book Review: The Eyre Affair

From Goodreads: Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

Thoughts: You know when you have heard of an author, yet you've not read one of their books, despite several people telling you to? Until a week ago, that was me and Jasper Fforde. And I now wonder why I waited so long!
I loved this - I loved that it wasn't predictable, that it made me twist my brain in ways it doesn't normally go. For me the writing wasn't smooth, but that was part of the appeal. The characters are unpredictable,  unstable and just plain hilarious at times. I love that it's almost impossible to put it into a genre - is it sci-fi, literary, historical, political, romance, time travel, comedy - reality is it's a bit of all that. The true reality is that reality in this book is very, very twisted!
The reviews of this on Goodreads are vary - there are those who love it and those who despise it. I can see why it would be so polarising and easily admit it's not for all. You don't have to have read Jane Eyre to enjoy the Eyre Affair, but it would certainly help. You don't have to have a basic understanding of literature, but again, it would help. You do need to have a twisted sense of humour and a willingness to let go of all you think you know about the world.  As far as I am concerned, it's well worth a go.