The new year couldn’t have started in a better way. With the first book of the year turning out to be so good, I am looking forward to the literary journey this year.
Jasper Fforde’s ‘The Eyre Affair’, as the name suggests, has the book Jane Eyre at its center. Thursday Next is a literary detective who handles security of original manuscripts, piracy and other crimes related to the literary world. Acheron Hades is set out to destroy an original manuscript, or worse, change it and it is up to Thursday Next and her team to stop him.
Fforde’s book is science fiction and humor mixed into one. With elements like Chronogaurd, plasma rifles, Prose Portal, this book is as close to science fiction as any book can be. The part where Next visits her hometown and her uncle gives her a tour of his laboratory is very interesting.
Some parts of the book are just hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading the incident where bookworms expel apostrophes, hyphens and em-dashes. Even the choice of name for his leading lady goes on to show Fforde’s sense of humor.
The book moves fast and doesn’t let the reader stop and think. Writing is charming and characters are lovable. Thursday Next wins your heart as the no-nonsense, independent woman who has her head over her shoulders. Hades is a villain with an evil mind and a smart brain. His thoughts about crime are definitely different from that of any other villain.
Fforde could have written this book with a serious note and the book would have ended up as any other science fiction book about threat to mankind and such stuff. But, the touch of humor makes this book so charming and weird that you can’t help but love the book. Thank God, Fforde has a sense of humor and a good one at that. On the other hand, because of humor, I never took the story serious enough to be worried about the fate of the manuscript. I was reading the book with the certainty that Next will save the manuscript.
Kudos to the author’s imaginative powers. He gels the literary world and the scientific world together and weaves a story that is interesting and highly imaginative. Even thinking up a story where a villain tries to kidnap the leading lady of a book (she is not even real!) and thus creating panic in the literary world takes a lot of creativity and Fforde takes this simple idea forward and creates a book which is simply charming.
If you enjoy light, humor reading and do not mind a bit of science fiction, then please do pick up this book. You will enjoy it till the last page.
With this book on my good-books list, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.