Title: The Thursday Next Collection: The Eyre Affair
Author: Jasper Fforde
There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of ‘Jane Eyre’. In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary – and a woman called Thursday Next.
I’ve been desperately searching for another eccentric author that forces me to put the rest of my life on hold in order to keep reading, and once finished have me racing to a bookshop to by the second one in the series. Previous authors have included: Andrew Kaufman (Born Weird), Kyril Bonfiglioli (Mortdecai) and Jean Teulé (The Suicide Shop). Jasper Fforde is my current one.
Fforde’s flair and intelligent smashing together of literary characters and crime presents readers with a real treat that will have you chuckling away in joy, and wonderment, as to how the man has created such genius characters and plot lines.
The main protagonist, Thursday Next, is a damaged, yet sassy, independent lady who displays flagrant disregard for authority. Instead of greasing palms she simply gets the job done kicking ass all the while. She also has a pet Dodo. Her uncle, Mycroft, is a genius inventor and the trips to the shed where he reveals his new creations are fascinating and brilliant. Her father is also a wonderfully whimsical character but his role is rather complex to explain and better to be read for yourself. Hades, the baddy, is genuinely horrible and incredibly sinister holding literary characters hostage and others who cross him trapped between a book’s pages.
A notable character, and my personal favourite so far, is saved for the second book in the Thursday Next series -Lost in a Good Book. In this crime caper we are treated to the indomitable Miss Havisham who, as characterised by Fforde, is definitely someone you’d want to be friends with and have on your side in a fight.
All in all, I was attracted by the retro front cover, seduced by the synopsis and hooked after the first page therefore, I will be buying all the author’s books and I urge you to do the same.
Rating: 10 our of 10