NESFA Members' Reviews

The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde

Penguin, 2003 [2002], ISBN 0142001805

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

This is an alternate world where literature is really taken seriously--even to the extent of kidnapping and murdering characters out of books, so that the books are permanently altered. Thursday Next is a LiteraTec who fails to recover the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit before a minor character is killed. When the villain steals the Jane Eyre manuscript and removes Jane, threatening to kill her if his demands aren't met, she's determined to prevent a disastrous repeat. This is a charming book, with engaging characters, dotty English inventors, and audience-participation performances of Richard III, but it's unnecessarily marred by an excessive cuteness of names. I originally typed Thursday's name as Tuesday. Jack Schitt definitely isn't misnamed, but it's foolish and unnecessary. It's nine-year-old cleverness in an otherwise excellent book.

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