The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

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Hachette Australia

AUG 9, 2001 | 9780340733561 | RRP $19.99

Earlier in the year I reviewed what I have said was my read of the year – The Constant Rabbit – and while I knew of Jasper Fforde and the huge impact he’s made along with the rave reviews particularly from my Welsh friend, that book was my introduction to this author’s delightfully absurdist fantasy style. So naturally, his other titles promptly went on my TBR list.

The first is this, Fforde’s debut novel, which was in our library collection and I have just spent my compos mentis bedtime reading enjoying every word and phrase for the past week.

Set in an alternative UK, 1985, where the Crimean War still rages, extinct species are cloned as domestic pets and Wales is a fiercely independent and closed republic, the reader meets Thursday Next and a cast of wonderfully bizarre characters most of whom are heavily involved in either pursuing the criminals intent on making money from the lucrative literary market but also those intent on milking it. Specifically, one Acheron Hades, a strange and shadowy figure who is totally committed to evil for its own sake is bent on disrupting the entire canon of classic English literature by kidnapping fictional characters for ransom and altering plots.

It is totally bonkers, hilarious, at times poignant and ultimately a thoroughly satisfying adventure of epic proportions. You can read more about Thursday and Spec Ops on Jasper’s website. I, for one, now am on the trail of my next Fforde read.

If you want something completely different (thanks Python!) why not try out some of Jasper Fforde’s writing as a NY resolution!

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