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The Eyre Affair

(Thursday Next #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  129,442 ratings  ·  10,852 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
Paperback, 373 pages
Published July 19th 2001 by Hodder and Stoughton
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Emma None of the author's books have a chapter 13.

On his website JF says the following on chapter 13 of book 1: "The Church at Capel-y-ffin; Capel-y-ffin i…more
None of the author's books have a chapter 13.

On his website JF says the following on chapter 13 of book 1: "The Church at Capel-y-ffin; Capel-y-ffin is a place in the Black Mountains in South Wales, not far from Hay-on-Wye; the name means 'the boundary chapel', (it is very close to Offa's Dyke, the ancient Anglo-Welsh boundary) and there is indeed a (very small) church there, as well as a youth hostel. My thanks to Ben for this information. Oh, you want to know why it's in the list of chapters? Well, I don't know for sure, but I suspect the word 'boojumed' to be relevant here."(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Nov 21, 2013 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
Sep 25, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
Hardly an author has styled the parallel universe tropes with breaking the wall elements to such perfection as Ffjorde did.

The integration of living literature in a parallel universe as a plot device is ingenious and a potentially endless source of innuendos, connotations, and options for more and similar novels. Imagine the same with video games, movies, or all mixed and it could get big quick, depending on the main inspiration and idea of the chosen genres and works.

I´ve rarely ever chosen su
J.L.   Sutton
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the inventiveness of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. The premise of the story is that original manuscripts can be stolen and then changed, not just that manuscript, but all copies of say, Jane Eyre. Thus, these original manuscripts are viewed as absolute treasures. There are also literary portals which intersect with the 'real world' which make it possible to change what happens in our favorite novel. And there's also time travel. And an alternate history which skews how we view ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book may describe my perfect job goal: to be able to enter a book and meet the characters, ensuring they are following the author's original intentions and not "on-the-loose" due to some sort of villain. How amazing would that be? Awesome kick start to this series... I read the first 4 then started to get a little disenchanted, but I'll go back one day! All book lovers need to give this first one a chance -- you'll undoubtedly love and hate parts of it! ...more
Mar 01, 2008 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
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
Gail Carriger
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Comment from April 2020
I feel bad about this old review. I have now enjoyed a Fforde short story, The Locked Room Mystery, which I gave 4* and reviewed HERE.

Review from August 2010

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 realit
Apr 18, 2009 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 o
Feb 18, 2015 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:
The heroine Thursday Next is a special operative working for literary detecti
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Kindle Daily deal $1.99 27May2021

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 w
Dec 30, 2010 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
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa Vegan
Oct 22, 2007 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
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I just did a quick scan of the reviews for this book and they are all over the place from one to five stars. Some people (like me) love it to death, others really hate it and some just sit in the middle. I guess you have to enjoy Fforde's particular sense of humour.

This was a reread for me but the last time I read it was so long ago the book, when I dug it off my shelf, had turned a yellowy brown colour. This in no way damaged my reading experience. I still loved the premise of the book whi
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
And the moral of this rerereread is: one of the most creatively original worlds ever created + delicious literary references galore + being meringued (don't ask) + most heavenly Brit humor/wit/sarcasm combo + bookworms farting apostrophes and ampersands, and belching out capitalisations (I told you not to ask) + a super extra cool, clever as fish kick ass heroine who's a war veteran and dares to be over 35 (the nerve!) + Shakespearean shenanigans + pet dodos + unnotified SpaceTime Flexations + ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

This book did sound so up my alley and I'm a bit worried because it is a very busy book , so maybe it wasn't the right book to start in a very active holiday. I'm hoping my rating is fair.

I found it very hard to get into the start -as I said busy. It reminded me of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Five Parts but the style was much colder - I just couldn't warm to any of the characters at all. That did make it a struggle for me to keep going with the read.

However, Every tim
Rick Riordan
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been sitting on the shelf for a while, and I finally got around to it. I’m glad I did. A wacky alternate reality tale for literature buffs, The Eyre Affair introduces LiteraTec detective Thursday Next, who must prevent a madman from kidnapping Jane Eyre out of her novel and destroying Charlotte Bronte’s work. Dodos for pets, vampire hunters, hot air balloon transports, time travel, Baconian extremists . . . This book is a wild, eccentric ride. If you liked The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the ...more
Feb 02, 2008 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
Jason Pettus
Oct 19, 2007 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
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 so....got 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 it recommended. There are
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 19, 2011 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
It feels weird that this has been a favourite series of mine since the beginnings and despite several re-reads, I never got round to write a review about it.

Or maybe it isn't weird at all, considering this is a book by Jasper Fforde, The Great Genre-Bender.

I also understand that this book can be a dream or a nightmare come true of a literary nerd, depending on your POV.

I still remember the day I got this as a birthday present. It was a truly happy day. Thank You, Alan, for thinking me crazy eno
Maria V. Snyder
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book set in a very unique and quirky world. It's definitely a mad-cap type book that you can't add any logic to - just take things as they are and go with it! I did feel like I needed to have read more of the classics to get some of the jokes. I never liked the classics and am probably the only person in the world who hasn't read Jane Eyre. Now I don't need to read the book - and I like Fforde's ending for Jane much better in this book! ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of British lit, history, and humor
The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think; a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning.

In theory, this book is the prefect fit for me and is almost exactly what I look for in urban fantasy--a good mix of sci-fi and fantasy, alternate universe, time travel, a world that heavily features books, plenty of pop and lit references, plenty of
Mar 20, 2008 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
Jul 14, 2015 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 rege
Richard Derus
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 Eyre...no, the real one, where during the unwritten entr'actes the characters eat
I am not sure if I am in a funk from all the Covid-19 stay at home orders, but I had difficulty reading this book. I started it 4 weeks ago and finally finished today. So was me, or was the book just not that great? A bit of both I suppose.

This book is a tongue-in-cheek mystery novel. At times instead of finding it witty, I found it juvenile. The character's names were just over the top: Thursday Next (the female protagonist), Braxton Hicks, Jack Schitt, Bowden Cable, Paige Turner, Victor Antho
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Fforde began his career in the film industry, and for nineteen years held a variety of posts on such movies as Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. Secretly harbouring a desire to tell his own stories rather than help other people tell their's, Jasper started writing in 1988, and spent eleven years secretly writing novel after novel as he strove to find a style of his own that was a no-man ...more

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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