~Geektastic~'s Reviews > The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, alternate-history, series, owned, 2011
Read from June 28 to July 07, 2011

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 anything other than exposition, and rather dull exposition at that.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, because there were a lot of things I liked, even loved, about your book. The idea of an alternate history steeped in literary and artistic tradition so strong that it influences government policy-making and triggers riots is a wonderful concept, and your ability to convey this with a wink and a nod is great. And Thursday Next, your strong-but-conflicted protagonist, is a good foil to the silly Baconian door-to-door pamphleteers and reverse-engineered pet dodos. But that still leaves the problem of plot, which I don’t think was quite as high up on your list of “things to do in my book.”

Much of the story was well-paced and enticing, but then we reach the actual “Eyre affair” of the title, nearly four-fifths of the way through the book , and things get problematic, and not just for your spunky heroine. After Thursday’s foray into the novel, which was very original and fun to read, the reader is suddenly thrust into a tangle of loose ends with astoundingly abrupt solutions. Thursday left the man she loves ten years ago? Of course they can get back together on his wedding day with less than a page of dialogue and a sorta-clever-but-really-cheesy plot hook stolen borrowed from Jane Eyre! Thursday needs to escape the Goliath Corporation after she “lost” their leader? Send a car that cleverly deposits her at the closing of another frayed plot string!

These things really needed a little more effort, sir. I am willing, out of appreciation for your obvious love of literature, to give the next book in your series a try and hope that it resolves itself in a more coherent fashion

Before closing, I will say that (view spoiler) was a stroke of genius.

Yours Truly,

Moderately Entertained in VA
21 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Eyre Affair.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

06/28/2011 page 20
07/01/2011 page 107
29.0% "Wasn't interested much at first, but it seems to be picking up. The tone is a little odd, though."
07/05/2011 page 265
71.0% "Tone is resolving itself into something cohesive. Much darker book than I was expecting, even with the pet dodos."
02/18/2016 marked as: read
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Sarah Very well said! He definitely has an inflated sense of his own cleverness.

back to top