Friday, February 10, 2006
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde (January/06)
This is a mystery series by Jasper Fforde, and I am not a person that reads many mysteries because they do not generally appeal to me. This series does, though. I had first heard of it on a message board that I visit and then promptly pushed to the back of my mind. I actually saw this novel twice at a second hand store before my mind registered where I had heard the title before and picked it up. It was amazing to me, also, because it is the first book in the series and me and second hand store history states that I am meant to find the third or fifth book, never the first. But, this time I was in luck and decided to give the mystery a try.
It is not your general run-of-the-mill mystery story because it is a literary mystery. The main character, Thursday Next, works for a section of the justice department that is concerned with literature. Most of the time they just check novels to see if they are forgaries, but once in a while something big comes across their table. This happens to Thursday when a professor of hers turns out to be involved in a big literary case and she is pulled into the middle of it.
Her uncle has made a machine that will allow people to go inside of books and interact with the characters, and the "bad guy" gets ahold of it. He has been stealing ancient manuscripts, another thing that it is the literary teams job to protect, and one of those manuscripts is the famous Jane Eyre. Imagine the excitement when he actually goes into the novel and takes out the main character. Literary freaks go crazy because the story is told entirely from Jane's point of view, so without her there is no story.
This adventure sends Thursday on a lot of missions. Firstly, she finds herself moving back to her hometown, a town that she had turned her back on because of all the bad memories it held for her. There she finds herself working for a man that is more concerned with his budget than solving a case and the true leaders of the world, a section of the "government" that controls them all. A lot of things happen in this novel, both with a character from Jane Eyre being able to come easily to her rescue from outside the pages of a book, a time travelling dad, and a period of time spent in the pages of one of the most famous novels of all time. It is extremely wonderful reading, even if you are not the type that likes mysteries, this book has things in it for everyone.