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The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  87,718 Ratings  ·  7,808 Reviews
Alternate cover edition here.

There is another 1985, where London's criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave's Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the
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Paperback, 373 pages
Published July 19th 2001 by Hodder and Stoughton (first published 2001)
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Ready Player One by Ernest ClineMr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin SloanSnow Crash by Neal StephensonLittle Brother by Cory DoctorowThe Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Nerdventure
5th out of 91 books — 152 voters
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Underrated Book Project
16th out of 190 books — 143 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
Nov 21, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago, I think it was back around 2005 or so.

I remember liking the book fairly well, even though I'd never read Jane Eyre, and a modest part of the book's plot touches on that story.

But I also remember being irritated at the book. Something made me bristle when I read it. Some elements of the storytelling rubbed me the wrong way.

I remember talking to the person who recommended the book to me. I held it book up and said, rather disdainfully. "This is probably really popular, is
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Jojo
Sep 25, 2007 Jojo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2007
I had the same feeling after reading this as I had after reading The Looking Glass Wars. Fabulous idea, terrible execution. I was going to give it one more star than I gave that because it's not quite as badly written. And I liked the idea of door-to-door Baconians and Rocky Horrorized Richard III. But I changed my mind because the more I think about it, the more I didn't like it.

It was so smug and cutesy and in need of better editing. And it would have been better served by not being written in
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Danielle
Jun 12, 2008 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I've been storing up some venom for this review, so be prepared.
First of all, I want to unleash my fury on whoever in the Rory Gilmore Book Club suggested this book as February's pick. To go from such a brilliant read as Jane Eyre to this was frustrating to say the least. It highlighted all the amateurish contrivances of Fforde's writing. I rolled my eyes so many times in the first four chapters, that I nearly gave myself a headache. And no, I'm sure it doesn't get better after that, that's jus
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Cassy
Have I become a jaded reader? I sometimes catch myself muttering in the middle of a long series of yawns, “Haven’t I read this plot/character/technique before?” Or when the author describes their setting, I will lazily flip through my mental inventory of backdrops until, sure enough, I find an old one that it is a good enough fit to reuse.

Then Fforde comes along and throws the literary equivalent of a bucket of Arctic cold water in my face.

I found myself having to actually work to keep up with
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Manny
Sep 24, 2014 Manny rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who's read Jane Eyre
Recommended to Manny by: oriana, notgettingenough and others too numerous to mention
This is so much fun. I want to play too! And, as it happens, I have a surprisingly good opening. So, with the usual perfunctory apologies, may I present

The Meyre Affair: a Thursday Next story
The hardest part is telling them they're fictional. After that, the rest is usually easy.

- Thursday Next, A Life in SpecOps
I could start this story at any number of points, but I will choose the moment when I knocked on Manny Rayner's front door. Nothing happened, so I knocked again. He opened it.

The rest
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Gail Carriger
Apr 29, 2015 Gail Carriger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book when I first picked it up and remember giggling the whole way through. (It was passed over to me by the Mum, of all people. We do not, normally, share the same taste in literature.) It has a charming irreverent take on... well... everything from literature to history. It's set in an alternate reality where literature is, if not kind, at least very very significant.
Evgeny
Feb 26, 2015 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Jessica, Robin, Catherine, Kristi, Asya and Tanya. I apologize if I missed somebody; in case I did please let me know and I will add you.

The book version of mid-eighties England is a fine dystopian society. The literature is a very serious business, time travel is nothing of the ordinary which comes with all the fun and paradoxes and cloning works wonders making people's favorite pets out of these guys:
dodo
The heroine Thursday Next is a special operative working for literary detecti
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Lisa Vegan
Mar 15, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy the following: humor, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, literature & language
This is a thoroughly delightful and brilliant book. I chuckled and chortled all the way through this book; it’s hilarious. There are many interesting characters and I am eager to read the rest of this series. I’m not sure that the successive books will also get 5 stars from me: the clever premise might get a tad old; I’ll have to see. This unusual story is a bit difficult to define. It fits multiple genres: sci-fi, mystery, humor, fantasy, and fiction. And the author manages to create an entire ...more
Krista
Feb 02, 2008 Krista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
(Violence alert: The body count is high, plus some grossness factor.)
It’s a spy thriller. No, wait — it’s science fiction. No, wait — it’s literary criticism. No, wait — it’s art history. No, wait — it’s historical-political commentary. No, wait — it’s romantic comedy. No, wait — it’s an epic war drama. No, wait — it’s — oh, look — Japanese tourists!

While I applaud the spirit of many of the directions this novel takes, you kind of have to wonder if the author could have focused just a tad bit mo
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Brad
May 28, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, mystery
Close the prose portal, the worms are about to start hyphenating!

Hey! Everyone! This is a pretty awesome literature nerd's playground. :)

I kinda expected something like a UF first-person mystery novel with magical elements where characters jump out of the pages of books and make a mess of things, or vice-versa, where we jump in and make a hash of a perfectly good story, but I didn't expect the novel to have a lot of complicated character elements in our main characters, a nicely complicated plot
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Cecily
I didn't enjoy this. It tries too hard to be clever and to cover many different genres (humour, sci fi, horror, detective, literary and more) whilst also being annoyingly silly. After 100 pages I ditched it - something I rarely do.

Thursday Next is a woman who is a literary detective in one of several alternative realities round about now. In hers, the Crimean War is still going. Somehow, in her society, manuscripts are stolen and guns are involved; she also manages to get into books and meet cha
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Carlos
Mar 18, 2012 Carlos rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
Sadly, I found this book to be a major disappointment. I'm huge fan of British comedy and science fiction--Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Dr. Who, Neil Gaiman--and something of an autodidact lit geek, so this novel which promises the exploits of a special agent who has to travel into the novel Jane Eyre in pursuit of a villain sounds right up my alley. So, what went wrong?

Let's start with the world building. While Fforde's alternate universe England is quite inventive, it's also tonally weird. Eng
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Jason Pettus
Oct 20, 2007 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].)

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the literary genre known as "speculative" fiction; for those not familiar with it, the genre primarily concerns itself with historical questions of "what if?" What if the South had won the Civil War, for example, or the Nazis World War II? What if computers, robots and nuclear weapons had been invented in the 1840s instead of the 1940s? It is a gr
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Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddy read with the ever amazing Jessica, Evgeny, Catherine, Kristi,, Asya & Tanya and running commentary with oOSarahOo and Ashley who announced they are stalking our thread (not very good at stalking since we know they are there) over at Buddies Books and Baubles

 photo Eyre Affair 1_zpsb94acdgm.jpg

Think about your favorite book…the one you would live in if you could…the one you would never ever get tired of or want leave. Do you have it firmly in your mind??? Now imagine a world where others love books as much as you and th
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Sfdreams
Jun 08, 2008 Sfdreams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially those with a sense of humor
Recommended to Sfdreams by: Lisa Vegan
Shelves: reviewed
I resisted reading this book for quite awhile, but thankfully, my friend Lisa (LisaVegan), kept bugging me about it! I thought that I would not appreciate it as I have never read Jane Eyre. But, Lisa is right, you do not have to know anything about Jane Eyre to understand this book.

I am thankful to Lisa, and to Goodreads, because I probably would have never stumbled upon this delightful book otherwise, as I rarely visit the SF shelves at the library.

I only found one annoyance while reading--"the
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Algernon
Apr 26, 2015 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This is not a noir style detective story set in a big city underworld. This is a fun romp set in a Thatcherless Britain complete with time travel, genetically resurrected dodo birds, a Crimeean War that has been going on for more than 100 years, huge zeppelins instead of planes, crazy inventor uncles and lost in time fathers, street gangs made of bookclub members fighting for the good name of their favorite author, costume opera archenemies and about 30 secret police organizations. One of them i ...more
Mimi
Jun 19, 2016 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of British lit, history, and humor
In theory, this book is the prefect fit for me--alternate universe, a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, time travel, a world that heavily features books, plenty of pop and lit references, plenty of book puns, wry humor.

But in actuality it fell short, or rather, the execution fell short, and was more tedious than it was fun. The writing felt heavy-handed at several points in the story and that made it a slow read for me.

Even though I finished it only a couple of weeks ago, I'm having trouble recalling
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BrokenTune
Nov 06, 2015 BrokenTune rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"Somehow ‘Fucked up’ made it seem more believable; we all make mistakes at some time in our lives, some more than others. It is only when the cost is counted in human lives that people really take notice."

This book was a recommendation that arose from a discussion about a non-fiction book about extinction. I have a slight obsession with dodos and had to read The Eyre Affair because of it.

"I had been with Boswell and SO-27 for eight years, living in a Maida Vale apartment with Pickwick, a regene
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Mike (the Paladin)
I wanted to like it, it sounded like a good idea, but I didn't.
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Okay, I've tried to read this three times before and could never get into it. My wife liked it and so did several others I know so....got the audio this time and I'll try again.

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I can't say I like this book. As noted before I have tried at least 3 times to read it because some of it's fans are so thrilled with it that I keep having
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Abdulrahman
Yesterday, the most amazing thing happened to me: I was walking around in Jareer bookstore, browsing books, when all of a sudden I heard a pop. I looked in its direction, and saw a woman in her thirties, standing in front of me.

I stared at her for a minute, not believing my eyes, for she looked very familiar.

"Ex-excuse me, are you Next?" I asked her astonished.

"Next for what?" She replied politely.

"No, no, Thursday Next," I corrected myself.

"What about next Thursday?" She asked looking anno
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Siria
The idea behind the Thursday Next series is really fantastic—an alternate universe where the Crimean War still rages, the People's Republic of Wales has achieved a full and socialist independence, and LiteraTecs work to stop crimes against literature—but unfortunately, the execution is lousy.

What charm the book has, which is derived mostly from its literary allusions, and a kind of surreal invention that wouldn't look out of place in a Monty Python sketch, is unfortunately undermined by how am
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Sarah Anne
This was my third read and first listen, and it's still a five star read for me. Part of it is my love of Jane Eyre but part of it is just that it's clever, witty, occasionally cheeky, touching, fast-paced, adventurous FUN.

The parts of the narrative that cross over with Jane Eyre are done with a great deal of love towards that particular book. Because of this, they feel not only real, but like you're meeting old friends in new and unexpected ways. It couldn't have been done better and I had happ
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It is 1985 and the world isn't quite as we know it. Nor is history the same. There's a lot of odd things going on, otherwordly creatures are real, some people can go back and forth in time, literature is BIG, and the Crimean war has been going on since the 1800s. Thursday Next, a veteran of this war, now works for SpecOps (Special Operations) 27- the Literatec division. She's a kind of literature detective, and when the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit vanishes, she is brought into a muc ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
«Ci sono cose più importanti delle leggi e dei regolamenti. Le mode e i governi vanno e vengono, ma Jane Eyre è per sempre. Darei qualunque cosa pur di portare in salvo quel romanzo».

Corteggiavo questo romanzo – Jane Eyre fa già parte del mio corredo cromosomico – da molto tempo, ma non avevo il coraggio di acquistarlo, per paura di una delusione. Così, dove non arriva il portafoglio, arriva la biblioteca. E, dove c’è biblioteca, c’è gioia. Una gioia vieppiù accresciuta dalla lettura di questa
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 ~Geektastic~
Dear Mr. Fforde,

You are a very clever writer, and I’m sure you know it; your plotting, however, leaves something to be desired. I have had some difficulty reconciling the witty, bantering tone of your novel The Eyre Affair with its hardboiled plotline and tendency to shift focus without warning. Also, you should note that just because you inserted exposition into the beginning of each chapter and labeled it as an excerpt from an imaginary biography or memoir does not for one second make it anyth
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Jon
Jun 19, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Alternative World Book Club June 2009
Amy
Mar 31, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strange-magic
What a delightful read! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book but as Goodreads friends began to comment on how much they loved this book series I knew there was a treat in store!

Clever and snarky throughout, Thursday Next finds herself in increasingly surreal situations which her training in the military and her job as a literary crime fighter have helped to make her the perfect candidate for the job.
(view spoiler)
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Wanda
An eccentric but charming book. I read it on my way to Mexico—there was plenty of time, we missed our connection in Mexico City and had to buy a new ticket for much later in the evening. The tour leader who was expecting us is a charming Welshman, who had recommended Jasper Fforde to me a couple of years ago (on an earlier tour). It was time to be able to say that I had given it a try.

I do think that a passing familiarity with Jane Eyre would be a good thing before picking up this novel, but eve
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Stephen
4.0 Stars. I am a huge Jasper Fforde fan and this is another superb book. The first in the Thursday Next Series which is basically crack for literature fans. A different, funny and very intelligent read.
Erica
This turned out to be a fun story, perfect for former English majors who never bothered to take literature all that seriously but loved it in their own ways.

It gets a tad over-the-top silly here and there, but that's ok. I thought it was cute, not bothersome.

I found myself smirking through most of the book, getting many of the references along the way. The names of people and things cracked me up.

As a reminder to myself, more than anything, the synopsis: (view spoiler)
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde 11 52 Jul 14, 2016 12:29PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "The Eyre Affair" - Finished Reading *Spoilers* 21 61 Jul 06, 2016 07:31AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "The Eyre Affair" Initial Thoughts *No Spoilers* 50 117 Jun 26, 2016 04:20AM  
June Book: The Eyre Affair 1 20 May 20, 2016 01:24PM  
June Book: The Eyre Affair 1 8 May 20, 2016 01:21PM  
Jasper Fforde's B...: Books mentioned in The Eyre Affair 11 62 Jan 05, 2016 09:08AM  
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
  • Deep Secret (Magids, #1)
  • Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books
  • Farthing (Small Change, #1)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
  • Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2)
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
  • The City of Dreaming Books (Zamonia, #4)
  • Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1)
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove (Pine Cove, #2)
  • Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess (Girl Genius, #5)
  • The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle, #1)
  • Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable
  • Gil's All Fright Diner
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
  • Making Money (Discworld, #36; Moist Von Lipwig, #2)
  • The Grand Tour (Cecilia and Kate, #2)
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Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on sterling banknotes, and is cousin of Desmond Fforde, married to author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment.

H
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More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Thursday Next (8 books)
  • Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)
  • The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3)
  • Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4)
  • First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6)
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot (Thursday Next, #7)
  • Dark Reading Matter (Thursday Next, #8)

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“Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.” 1077 likes
“Don't ever call me mad, Mycroft. I'm not mad. I'm just ... well, differently moraled, that's all.” 341 likes
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