Title: The Eyre Affair
Series: Thursday Next, Book One
Author: Jasper Fforde
Published: 19 July 2001
Publisher: The Penguin Group
Awards: New York Times Bestseller
Genre: Metafiction, Alternate History, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery
Recommended by: Sue Moro at Sue's Book Nook
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is a novel set in an alternate world of 1985 where literary allusions abound. In this alternate world setting, England and Russia have been involved in the Crimean War for 131 years. Our protagonist, Thursday Next, is a veteran of this long-standing war and now works for SpecOps' special unit known as SO-27 which is known as LiteraTec. As a LiteraTec, Thursday is responsible for investigating the counterfeiting and theft of the world's great literary masterpieces. Thursday inhabits a literary-centric world where people rename themselves after literary characters, dress in literary constumes, adore literary characters, revere authors, turn productions of Shakespeare into a cult following similiar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and divide themselves into various, opposing literary camps.
As the novel opens, Thursday is investrigating the theft of the original Martin Chuzzelwit manuscript from the Dickens' Museum at Gad's Hill. Thursday's eccentric uncle, who also is a technological genius, has created a machine which allows anyone to enter any literary work and interact with the characters and plot line. This invention in an intregal part of the plot because it is used by Hades Acheron, our antagonist, to enter the original manuscript of Jane Eyre with the idea of kidnapping Jane Eyre and holding her for ransom.
I loved my first foray into the world of Thursday Next and I will be returning to the series. This novel has inspired me to read Jane Eyre and I appreciate Sue Moro for recommending it.