Sunday, July 19, 2015

Top Ten - 4. The Eyre Affair

Firstly apologies. I know I said this was going to be every week day other than Tuesday, but I had stuff on on Friday, so didn't get around to it, and I looking at the calendar and thinking of what's on for this Friday I'll more than likely miss that one as well.

That's some fan art for The Eyre Affair, featuring Thursday's marvellously psychedelic car. Seriously I want that car, with that paint job!

I think it was possibly the one line review by Sir Terry Pratchett (something about watching Jasper Fforde's career nervously) that probably made me pick The Eyre Affair up. It's odd really, because other than being quite funny, The Eyre Affair (and all of Fforde's work really) has nothing in common with Terry Pratchett.

I had never read Jane Eyre at the time I first read The Eyre Affair, although I did get the central joke, so I must have taken something of the classic in by osmosis. I have read it since, mind you. That's the wonderful thing about the Thursday Next books, they're so whacky and nonsensical, but at the same time they make perfect sense to the reader. Who wouldn't want an alternate 1985 where books are revered (they put on Rocky Horror style audience participation performances of Richard III), Wales has seceded from the UK and croquet is a full contact sport? Plus you can even have your own pet dodo.

If that weren't enough The Eyre Affair is a bibliophile's delight, especially when Thursday enters the Bookworld and finds out that it's totally different to how she as a reader may have thought it actually was.

After I'd read it I recommended it to everyone and I even gave my copy to a friend as a going away present. A wonderful wonderful book. Cannot recommend it highly enough, even though it has cheese as only available on the black market.

It isn't necessary to have read all the works Fforde references in The Eyre Affair and the other Thursday Next books to get the jokes, but it does help. Silly books for smart people.

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