Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just Go With It

The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde

Sometimes we just need a good yarn, a reason to suspend disbelief. For this reason, I have been casually interested in the Fforde books for awhile. The Eyre Affair does not disappoint, but neither does it set the literary world on fire. The book is set in Great Britain in the mid-1980s. The protagonist, Thursday Next, investigates crimes in the world of books and writing - usually frauds and forgery. In The Eyre Affair, though, her vocational life gets more exciting when she winds up trying to prevent a literary homicide.

Clearly, we have to open our minds in a major way to even get through this. Thursday's uncle, a mad scientist inventor type, figures out a way and builds a device that will transport people into works of fiction. If a person gets into a first edition copy of a book, that person has the chance to change the plot. The story involves time travel and other mind benders that make it highly confusing. I finally quit trying to take it literally and just enjoy the clever allusions, interesting puns, and repartee between the witty characters. That's when it got fun. If you are a fan of Jane Eyre, as I am, you will like the recreations of some of its more famous scenes.

For people planning summer vacations, this is a good beach read. I will probably read more of the Thursday Next series later, but am not rushing out to buy the boxed set (I doubt there is one). This is an airport mystery with a dash of intellect thrown in. Nothing wrong with that, but not a diet that would sustain us for long. If you're looking for a snack, pick this up.

One of the best parts of The Eyre Affair is the funny names of the characters - some examples are Paige Turner, Braxton Hicks, and Acheron Hades. Hilarious.

Reverent Reader


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