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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel (Thursday Next #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  76,020 ratings  ·  6,849 reviews
The first in a series of outlandishly clever adventures featuring the resourceful, fearless literary detective Thursday Nextâ”a New York Times bestseller!In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, 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 a ...more
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Published December 30th 2009 by Penguin Audio (first published 2001)
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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
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
Sep 24, 2014 Manny rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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:
The heroine Thursday Next is a special operative working for literary detecti
Lisa Vegan
Mar 15, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
(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
Jason Pettus
(The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)

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
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
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
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
Jun 08, 2008 Sfdreams rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Jun 19, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Alternative World Book Club June 2009
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
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
The cover of my trade paperback copy of this book has this snippet of a review from The Wall Sreet Journal: “Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, 'The Eyre Affair' combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But its quirky charm is all its own.”

Now Harry Potter and Buffy I am most familiar with, so after reading this book, I must say that I would have to agree. I think I also ought to add that I've never read any author
Jan 14, 2008 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English lit buffs, Terry Pratchett fans
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series is an awful lot of fun for English lit geeks who cherish their classics. It is set in an alternate England where people have cloned dodos for pets, croquet is the national sport, time travelling is a regular part of life and literature enjoys the kind of position that beer, football, cricket and TV have today, meaning that the country eats, drinks and breathes literature. It would be a perfect place to live, if it weren't for the fact that (1) it is run by a ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I wanted to like it, it sounded like a good idea, but I didn't.
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 the audio this time and I'll try again.

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
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
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)
Christopher H.
The Eyre Affair is a witty, whimsical, slightly daft, inventive and very entertaining read. This is the first novel in a series of five featuring the "literary detective," Thursday Next. While certainly not a prerequisite, it would help the reader's enjoyment to have a good reading background in British literature of the 19th Century; particularly the poetry of Wordsworth, Charles Dickens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit, and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. In my opinion, Jasper Fforde has written an enga ...more
I've been noticing that many of my GR Friends are reading these delightful books.

I'm not overly familiar with 19th century novelists (of any country) -- this may irrevocably tarnish my reputation in the eyes of some, but I've never read any Austen and have avoided Dickens like Typhoid Mary since Oliver Twist so I'm sure many of the literary references go right over my head -- but Thursday Next and the alternate Earth she inhabits is a marvelous conceit and Fforde is a very good writer.

Even us po
May 28, 2014 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
England, 1985. Thursday Next is a Special Operative and a veteran of the Crimean War, which is still ongoing after about 150 years. The world presented here by Fforde is very literary. People, average, everyday people are extremely well-versed in Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte, and Poe. Criminals steal first edition manuscripts and demand ransoms. Terrorists burn them. Thursday is a LiteraTec, a detective who solves crimes dealing with literature. People get into fistfights on who Shakespeare reall ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3* of five

The Book Report: Thursday Next, middle aged and middling happy, lives for her job defending the Prose Portal, the gateway between reality and fiction. All novels, all stories in fact, are real, and the universe where they are fact is accessible from Swindon.

Swindon? The British Peoria?

Things only get madder from there, with Thursday leaving her beloved dodo Pickwick to follow miscreants into Jane, the real one, where during the unwritten entr'actes the characters eat

Alright. I'm leaving the five star ranking. I've been waffling back and forth to changing it to four, but really, for the creativity alone, this book deserves notice.

The Eyre Affair is Jasper Fforde's first novel, and what a novel it is. For starters, this is a dream for the average person who calls themselves a book lover... a literary fantasy where the boundary between the world in books and the "real" world is decidedly thinner than we think. For instance, in this novel, Thursday Next
Ingenious plot, the most 'I-want-to-go-to-there' world ever (Seriously, why, why isn't this real?! Richard III Rocky Horror Style and tourist trips to Thornfield ... YES PLEASE!)fantastic characters (and names, Mr Fforde is the master of creating names. I would read one, stop, read it again, then read it out loud and chortle and then immediately went and searched for this. And that's when my demure chortle went completely out of the window and was replaced by a full on belly-laugh that ended wit ...more
A book set in an alternate reality where a literary detective chases after a criminal into the world of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, sounds like an awesome idea for a book. I love books about books, and adding a detective should have been a recipe for success. Sadly this wasn’t the case for The Eyre Affair, which is book one in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. While some people like the mix between fantasy and humour, I could never really get into this book. It was a light read with n ...more
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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.

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)
Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4) The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1) Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron (Shades of Grey, #1)

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“Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.” 1004 likes
“Don't ever call me mad, Mycroft. I'm not mad. I'm just ... well, differently moraled, that's all.” 314 likes
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