If you’re interested in a fabulously fun romp in book land, you need to get your hands on The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I read this book in three days while returning from a very stressful trip to Mexico and I’m glad I did, because it kept me laughing out loud the whole time.
It’s an alternate reality in a mid-1980’s London where such things as dodo birds, time travel, and black holes are the norm. One other thing: literature is taken very seriously. Religions are formed based on your view of Shakespeare, the greatest villains steal original manuscripts, and wars are fought over Baconian theories. Fforde is an obvious bibliophile, and whether you get all his anecdotes, references and little jokes or not, you’re bound to have a good time.
In this fantastic new world, Thursday Next is a special ops agent for SO-27, the Literary Detective Division and as the saying goes, “If you want to be SpecOp, act kinda weird”. Her father randomly stops time in order to have little paternal chats, her aunt gets lost in a Wordsworth poem, and Thursday herself has been known to be visited by Edward Fairfax Rochester.
On a mission to thwart the evil Acheron Hades, who has stolen the manuscript of Jane Eyre and tends to do unthinkable acts to its inhabitants, Thursday is pushed to her limits as a detective, must face the demons of her past during the Crimean War, and stave off the advances of her ex, an ex who betrayed her brother to his death. On top of all this, Goliath Corporation, a company that has it’s hand in every area of British life and government, is seeing to it that she does nothing without Goliath’s knowledge thanks to the insidious Jack Schitt. (I’ll be honest, I laughed every time I read his name.)
Only when Jane Eyre herself is torn from the embraces of Rochester, possibly for all time, does Thursday do the unthinkable and step into the novel herself. Will she be able to reunite Jane and Rochester? Will she be able to stop Hades in time? Will she ever be able to return? Oh my word! This book is impossibly fun.