Jasper Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, is a spirited sendup of genre fiction-it's part hardboiled mystery, part time-machine caper-that features a sassy, well-read 'Special Operative in literary detection' named Thursday Next, who will put you more in mind of Bridget Jones than Miss Marple. Fforde delivers almost every sentence with a sly wink, and he's got an easy way with wordplay, trivia, and inside jokes. . . . Fforde's verve is rarely less than infectious
What Fforde is pulling is a variation on the classic Monty Python gambit: the incongruous juxtaposition of low comedy and high erudition - this scam has not been pulled off with such off-hand finesse and manic verve since the Pythons shut up shop. 'The Eyre Affair' is a silly book for smart people: postmodernism played as raw, howling farce
It is always a privilege to watch the birth of a cult, and Hodder has just cut the umbilical cord. Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters
Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously
Surely a cult in the making
If you want a change from these stories of loves fractured and rebuilt there is not shortage of gloriously eccentric alternatives. Jasper Fforde's much-hyped debut next month THE EYRE AFFAIR in which a literary detective has to stop an arch-criminal kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom as well as engineering a halt to the ongoing Crimean War. Enough? I haven't even mentioned the pet dodo and the aunt trapped in Wordsworth poem.
Delightfully clever ... Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, THE EYRE AFFAIR combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But its quirky charm is all its own.
A decidedly quirky and strangely thought-provoking debut novel
The eccentric epic - A read that'll leave you breathless
The reader is catapulted in and out of truth and imagination on a hectic, humorous and neatly constructed chase that finishes by tying up every loose end in the most satisfying, novelistic way
[She's] part Bridget Jones, part Nancy Drew and part Dirty Harry
Jasper Fforde's FASCINATING FIRST NOVEL reads like a Jules Verne story told by Lewis Carroll...Forget all the rules of time, space, and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure as Thursday, with the help of Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester, fights a desperate battle in which Jane herself is in jeopardy.
Dark, funny, complex and inventive, The Eyre Affair is a breath of fresh air, and is easily one of the strongest debuts in years.
It's 1985 in England, at least on the calendar; the Crimean War is in its hundred-and-thirty-first year; time travel is nothing new; Japanese tourists slip in and out of Victorian novels; and the literary branch of the special police, led gamely by the beguiling Thursday Next, are pursuing Acheron Hades, who has stolen the manuscript of "Martin Chuzzlewit" and set his sights on kidnapping the character Jane Eyre, a theft that could have disastrous consequences for Brontë lovers who like their story straight. This rambunctious caper could be taken as a warning about what might happen if society considered literature really important-like, say, energy futures or accounting.
"Neatly delivers alternate history, Monty Pythonesque comedy skits, Grand Guignol supervillains, thwarted lovers, po-mo intertextuality, political commentary, time travel, vampires, absent-minded inventors, a hard-boiled narrator, and lots, lots more. . . . Suspend your disbelief, find a quiet corner and just surrender to the storytelling voice of the unstoppable, ever-resourceful Thursday Next."
"Fforde's imaginative novel will satiate readers looking for a Harry Potter-esque tale. . . . The Eyre Affair's literary wonderland recalls Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers series, the works of Lewis Carroll and Woody Allen's The Kugelmass Episode."
[Thursday Next is] part Bridget Jones, part Nancy Drew, and part Dirty Harry.
Delightfully clever . . . Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, The Eyre Affair combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but its quirky charm is all its own