Bodecia Book Club review: The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Bodecia Book Club members review their latest book, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

This is the first novel in Jasper Fforde’s cheeky sleuth series featuring a book-loving, gun-toting, wit-slinging heroine named Thursday Next.

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously.

England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense.

All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature.

When Thursday’s eccentric uncle Mycroft and Aunt Polly are kidnapped along with their Prose Portal, an ingenious device that allows readers to physically enter the world of any book, the SpecOps literary division uncovers a dastardly plot to kidnap and murder characters from everyone’s favourite novels.

The criminal operation is helmed by Acheron Hades, the third most evil man in the world, a supreme villain who bends minds, shifts shapes, and remains impervious to most mortal weapons.

Thursday and her SpecOps cohorts’ mission to capture their slippery adversary is further complicated by the meddling of the pointedly named Jack Schitt, the despotic head of security at the hegemonic Goliath Corporation, whose investment in Hades’ capture seems suspect.

When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Bronte’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

Two of the main plot devices – time travel and book jumping – illustrate the infinite possibilities of alternate endings.

What a great opportunity if this was real!

If you could travel through time, is there anything in history you would go back and revise? What endless possibilities!

If you could jump right into any novel, which novel would you choose to visit?

What classic novel endings have left you unsatisfied? What endings would you change if you had the power to do so?

I would definitely jump into the new Bridget Jones book and not kill off Mark Darcy! (Read our book review soon!)

This book was a breath of fresh air, in that it was something different to read and really stretched the imagination.

We had this as part of World Book Night 2013 and we were not disappointed.

We gave The Eyre Affair 7/10

The book we are now reading is Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

Visit the Bodecia Book Club website for more reviews.