The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair  - Jasper Fforde

So the plot of this was moderately convoluted and things wrapped up a bit quickly at the end, and the entirety of it was sometimes a bit difficult to take entirely seriously, but I really loved this.

 

This universe is a place I would love to live. Everybody in it loves books. Literary topics are almost the default conversation. Everyone has an opinion on the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. The plot hinges, rather evidently from the title, on Jane Eyre. Somehow, none of this comes across as pretentious, which is tricky when we are dealing rather exclusively with classics. Literature isn't just serious business (and in this world "defending the canon" takes on a whole new meaning), it's also casual fun.

 

Tuesday herself was fun to read about. She sometimes rushed in where it was foolish, and her romance issues were, as is common, almost entirely of her own making (though they were a minor point, so that is ignorable), but she shouldered on through a host of work-related mishaps, horrible people doing horrible things, and a family that rather defies description. She showed a hefty chunk of common sense, which is often more unusual in books than it ought to be, and pulled everything together in the end.

 

The plot did get a touch...tangled. It occasionally felt like there were more ideas the author wanted to toss in than really space for things, and there are a number of weird almost-but-not-quite side plots that aren't really explained (Tuesday's father? What on earth is going on there?) or are used as punch lines rather than actually explored. In a lot of ways, the main plot doesn't really get going for quite a hefty chunk of the book, despite the main antagonist getting set up pretty early on.

 

This sort of feels like what might happen if Monty Python met Doctor Who and they decided to write a love letter to literature together. It honestly probably had flaws I'm not even noting here simply because when faced with everything about this book that I loved, they paled so far in comparison as to be invisible on a first read-through. At any rate, I'll definitely be continuing on with the series, and I can't wait to see what happens next.