Jojo's Reviews > The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
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Sep 25, 07

bookshelves: read2007
Read in September, 2007

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 first person, especially since it kept slipping into other people's heads when it should have been in Thursday's. Also, Thursday is really boring and doesn't have an interesting voice, and I didn't care about her at all (and, ick, that moment where she gets out her mirror and contemplates her looks). The same goes for most of the other characters. The only one I really liked was Thursday's father, and he barely had anything to do with anything. And the villain! How utterly boring. Villains are only interesting if they're something beyond mwahahaa so evil.

And it was just a mess. So much random crap was going on that seemed to have nothing to do with anything. And I could have lived without the "romance" which was just yawningly boring and tacked on. And the names. Ugh. I wanted to stab my brain out having to read some of those awful names.

Most people seem to adore this book and the rest of the series, but I thought it was pretty terrible. Maybe the writing gets better in later books, but I don't think I'll give them a chance.

Very disappointing.
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Tina (new) - rated it 1 star

Tina Wow. This was my EXACT REACTION, basically.


Karla A perfect summary!


Jennifer That's how I felt! It's so good to read that some one else had problems with the editing! All the typos, all the little errors drove me batty! And every time we suddenly knew a little thought in someone else's head, when it was in first person POV, I wanted to scream. Nothing is more annoying. But my two friends who read it just shrugged and said they never noticed any of that and asked "didn't I think the idea was cool?" Well, a good idea does not make up for poor execution.


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike Totally agree. Very disappointed. Brilliant idea, terrible "story". As you said.




Kathi-sass My thoughts exactly! I think I gave it two or three stars (can't remember right now) just because I really liked the idea behind this whole series, but I was soooo disappointed about the execution. Bad writing, uninteresting characters, just as you wrote ... glad to know I'm not alone with this opinion, though :)


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 1 star

Dan Good call on both Thursday AND the villain - I failed to include that in my review. I'm disappointed I didn't get into this, but glad to hear I'm not alone!


message 7: by Ka (last edited Mar 12, 2012 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ka Great review! Well, I gave it 3 stars for the fun ideas, but I agree with you on many points despite that (I happen to like awful puns and literary jokes, although the whole "jack schitt" thing struck me as very juvenile). I think I liked it mainly because I enjoyed the idea (as well as the lit jokes and door-to-door Baconians, etc). As a standalone book I think it's fun, if not particularly well-done in terms of characters. I thought they were mostly a bit boring too, and I couldn't decide if Thursday was just not-very-girly, or if it's that it's a first-person female viewpoint written by a guy, or if she's just very serious. I didn't dislike her, because I like to see women shooting people without hesitation or doing other unpleasant things which women are traditionally not supposed to do easily (or at all) due to how weak and emotional they are (you know), but she's not someone I felt much affection for either. She moves the plot along and doesn't do anything outrageously stupid, what can you say.

As for the series in general, I've read the sequel and am trying #3 just in case, but I really am not sure if I can stand the pretentiousness any longer than that. XD I mean I like literature, but...

EDIT: Okay, #3 was okay I guess, Thursday is now a book cop (fun idea) who has hooked up witha bunch of fictional charas who are also book cops, like Ms Haversham of Great Expectations, and that is an idea which is both fun and irritating at the same time (fun as an idea, irritating in execution because basically it reads as a giant crossover fanfic). BUT!! Before those of you who aren't really into this series give up on the author, I have to say his "Nursery Crimes" series is way way better IMHO, or at least I thought it was much more fun to read and much more entertaining and likable. Very similar premise, except it's in 3rd person, the main chara is a detective, and it's all fables/fairy tales/mother goose/etc, but I think this time it worked out. Recommend to: anyone who likes "Fables" (comic book), anyone who really likes nursery-type stories, or anyone who liked the general idea of the Thursday books but not any of the characters.


message 8: by Moose (new) - added it

Moose The review isn't wrong, although I will say I really enjoyed the book. The premise is a good one, and it kind of made me wish you could step into the story in a book.


Sasha Agree. Flabby and badly edited. The novel was all over the place and I couldn't be bothered to finish it.


Soupcan Umm... and you... didn't... perchance... find it... uh.... funny?


Shasta I was going to write a review but I didn't need to because you nailed it.


message 12: by Nico (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nico I'm reading it now on the recommendation of a friend, and was surprised to see it has an average of almost four stars. This review pretty much nails how I feel about it too. Disappointing.


Helen F spot on! This book is all over the place, i lack too little interest to track what on earth is going on!


Rachel Houghton I really agree with the random crap going on, really wanted to like this book more that I did but kept getting lost in all the subplots and funny ideas that were never fully explained if at all.


message 15: by Coco (new)

Coco The average rating is high, and across the series, too.
It's not a demanding novel, reading-level wise, but I've enjoyed many meh-worthy books.

I'm on page 45. Stick it out, or is it really that bad?


message 16: by Brian (new)

Brian Cramer Tack me onto the "agree list". It blows my mind that anyone would find this readable, let alone funny. Perhaps you have to do a lot of drugs first?


message 17: by Ma (new) - added it

Ma I did notice the point of view problem. That should have been fixed in the editing process. Perhaps the book should have had an omniscient narrator. Seems a book aimed at "recovering English majors" ( as another reviewer said) would have been more conscious if mechanics. But, though I noticed the point of view issue, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story. I found it fun and light-hearted.


message 18: by Ma (new) - added it

Ma I did notice the point of view problem. That should have been fixed in the editing process. Perhaps the book should have had an omniscient narrator. Seems a book aimed at "recovering English majors" ( as another reviewer said) would have been more conscious if mechanics. But, though I noticed the point of view issue, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story. I found it fun and light-hearted.


Robert Bryant My fiancée and I tried listening to the audiobook, and just couldn't even get through the first half. The writing was bad, and the narration was just as bad. We found ourselves drifting out of the story into our own conversations, and it just wasn't worth trying anymore. She has an English degree and loves literature, but this was just really bad!


Robert Bryant My fiancée and I tried listening to the audiobook, and just couldn't even get through the first half. The writing was bad, and the narration was just as bad. We found ourselves drifting out of the story into our own conversations, and it just wasn't worth trying anymore. She has an English degree and loves literature, but this was just really bad!


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