The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair

A Novel

Paperback - 2003
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In an fantasy Britain, someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, must track down the criminal.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2003.
ISBN: 9780142001806
Characteristics: 374 p. ; 20 cm.


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Real Reading List For Fictional Characters: The Eyre Affair

Somehow, I managed not to read Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair until quite recently. I was denying myself quite the pleasure. The initial book in the Thursday Next Series, it follows the title character and her pursuit of master criminal Acheron Hades as he cuts a swathe through 19th century literature. This is an alternate reality England: in 1985, time travel is common, the Crimean War… (more)

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bethscanlon Oct 14, 2019

Try as I may, I can't get into this book. The writing is not interesting enough to continue and I can't keep going long enough to get to the meat and potatoes of the mystery. Love the concept, hate the execution.

Nicr Aug 28, 2019

Imagine a world where kids trade cards of great novel characters and vending machines recite Shakespeare for 10p, where theft of a Dickens manuscript is a $5M loss and a national security incident, where reality "bends" and fictional characters become real, where time is unstable and so is the content of books, where literature majors are in professional demand----this is the alternate reality in which Thursday Next, a Litera Tec, battles the forces of evil to right the wrong of literary crimes.

HCL_staff_reviews Oct 08, 2018

Jump into the zany world of SpecOps, the Chrono Guard, and the Goliath Corporation where our heroine, Thursday Next, will try to save the day. Fforde has created a world where people can time travel and enter books, and characters from novels, such as Great Expectations' Miss Haversham, can enter the real world. Look for characters from all those old favorites in one of the Thursday Next novels, but check your reality at the door. This is the first book in the series. — Jan G., Penn Lake Library

Jan 12, 2018

I loved Fforde's Nursery Crime Division books, but couldn't finish this. Thursday Next too down.

Jun 01, 2017

There was much in this book for a librarian like me to enjoy. The villain was a crafty and seemingly invincible adversary for our heroine SecOps Agent Thursday Next. That brings to mind the quirky names sprinkled throughout including Braxton Hicks and Jack Schitt. Add in the out-of-time pop in visits from her father, the return of the Dodo bird as a pet of choice and the many references to great literature including one of my favorite novels of all time: "Jane Eyre" and you have a book that is worth reading. I will definitely be giving this series some more attention. Without delivering any huge spoilers I must mention one of my favorite moments in the book when Agent Next is in a hospital bed and receives a visit from her future self and partner agent in a multi-colored roadster. Where can I get one of those?!

SquamishLibraryStaff Mar 15, 2017

I have fallen head over heels in love with Jasper Fford’s highly original literary world and am looking forward to his next book. Not sure that I fully approve of Thursday’s romantic choices, but hopefully that will be further fleshed out later in the series.

A note in case anyone is wondering, I might have enjoyed this even more if I’d read “Jane Eyre” first, but it’s not necessary.

Dec 12, 2016

At first I found the novel a little hard to get into, with all the war and military talk and all. But the alternate reality of a literate and literature-knowledgeable citizenry (so unlike our own unfortunate reality) held my interest. Delightful and impressively imaginative story. The narrator was really good at various voices.

Nov 25, 2016

The writing was crisp, the characters felt real, the world was...odd. I wasn't sure what to make of it, whether to take it completely seriously or completely farcical. It is a world where literature is revered to a near spiritual level (there are groups of people proselytizing about who wrote Shakespeare's plays), and whole police bureaus are dedicated to literary crimes. There is some time-travel sillyness thrown in as well, but it's entirely peripheral to the plot, adds more to the world-building and characterization than anything else.

In all, I enjoyed the story, it just made me look sideways at it a few times.

Jun 25, 2016

Playful humor and a bit of alternate history set in a world where classic literature is the hottest thing in popular culture. I'd say it's more clever than outright funny and probably not even that if you've never read Jane Eyre. And if you plan to read JE don't read this book first - it's full of spoilers.

Sep 18, 2015

It's difficult to successfully combine different genres.
Although clever and entertaining, I found the goofiness, instead of clicking with the action and drama, detract from them.

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Oct 23, 2011

"As the saying goes: If you want to get into SpecOps, act kinda weird. We don't tend to pussyfoot around."

Scooteriffic Mar 19, 2011


"Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time."


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Jul 28, 2013

England 1985: Litera Tec agent Thursday Next must solve the mysterious theft of the original manuscript to Martin Chuzzelwith, the disappearance of Jane Eyre from the book around page 187, and how both relate to the possible end to the Crimean War.

Fantastic read for literature lovers everywhere, especially if you enjoy alternative history narratives

The first in the series of Thursday Next books. Here, we start with the basics, with Thursday working for a division of law enforcement that focuses exclusively on book related crimes. All goes relatively well, until the realms of fiction and reality cross-over in all together unexpected ways, leading to the random (of sorts) of the book Jane Eyre.

Oh, and there's all sorts of other brilliantly dry British and literature related humour.


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