The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
We have three of Fforde's books, and I was looking forward to diving into what sounded like a great book. Last year I opened the front cover and began reading. Before I got very far, I ascertained that I had never actually read Jane Eyre. (As an English major, I read many classics and had read Wuthering Heights, but never Jane Eyre.) So I decided that I needed to read the source book first. I think its reputation as a classic led me to be a bit disappointed when I finally read it.
Onto Thursday Next. Knowing my history with this book, I hope you will understand why I was disappointed. I had read Jane Eyre in preparation! Throughout most of the novel I kept wondering when we were going to end up in Jane Eyre. It didn't happen until the last section of the novel.
I am not a great lover of fantasy; I loved the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, and others but I gave up halfway through the second in the Lord of the Rings series. I love historical fiction and time travel, and as mentioned before, I was an English major. I also read thrillers occasionally. Seems like I would be the perfect reader for Fforde's fiction.
Instead I found my mind wandering, wondering when the plot was going to move along. The book was cleverly written--but I found Fforde to be too fascinated with his own cleverness. The characters were one-dimensional and I didn't particularly care about any of them, even Thursday Next. I certainly don't care about her enough to read any more of Fforde's novels, and I was relieved to be finished with this one.
Granted, the book did get more interesting when Next FINALLY went into Jane Eyre, but I found many bits of the book just too strange for my liking. Japanese tourists in Jane Eyre?
The one redeeming feature of the book is that Bertha Rochester is a hero! (Read my review of Jane Eyre for my thoughts on her.)
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