The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel
by Jasper Fforde
I tried to finish this before heading to Europe but ended up taking it on the plane to finish. Thank goodness my offspring had room for one more book in his carry on. Though I had my e-reader loaded with other books, this one was still a nice old-fashioned paperback. You really can’t beat the joy of traveling with a paperback book, but they do add a lot of extra weight to already overstuffed luggage.
The Eyre Affaire is an odd blend of science fiction, fantasy, murder mystery and maybe just a hint of romance. Though entertaining and written well enough that I wanted to know the end, it did at times leave me confused and wondering where the author actually wanted to go. Or what the book was supposed to be.
It features a female protagonist, Thursday Next, who tracks down people who tamper with books. A Literatec investigator, and a veteran of a very protracted conflict in the Crimea with Russia. So an altered history timeline has been thrown into the mix as well.
A master criminal has taken a rare original manuscript and using an ingenious device designed by the protagonist’s uncle, adding a personal stake to the mystery, is lifting characters from the book and killing them.
The first half of the book was better than the second where I felt the author rushed the story and didn’t do the characters justice. Or maybe I was reading it too fast in between the turbulence bumps on the flight across the Atlantic. Either way, I’ll give the sequels a miss. Though I will admit that I did enjoy the literary in-jokes and was pleased to find I had read enough classics to keep up.