The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde

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Here is one of the more entertaining books I've chanced across in a couple of years. Uncategorizable--one might refer to it as science fiction, as there are elements of its narractive technique and sense of the world. But perhaps the closest one can come to descirbing it is to refer to the work as dissonant metanarrative in which disparate elements combine to produce a rather surrealist and yet oddly coherent and compelling narrative.

Welcome to the world of Thursday Next, veteran of the 130 some-odd year Crimean war and Litertec Special Operative. This is a world in which forging a Byronic lyric is a major offense; in which the entire audience for a Shakespearian drama is filled with actor who hop up on stage or from the audience willy-nilly and act their parts; in which hundreds of John Milton's gather to celebrate his poetry; in which some people can enter the world of novels and some characters from novels can emerge into the real world and affect events. This is the world in which the completely amoral Acheron Hades operates. Using the Prose Portal invented by Thursday's uncle Mycroft Acheron spends a bit of time kidnapping and ransoming minor characters from a Dickens Novel, and finally makes an assualt on Jane Eyre herself.

There's no way to adequately describe the wonders you are likely to find in this marvelous work. The prose is sprightly and sinuous. The author appears to have had a great deal of enjoyment in the composition of the work and he shares that enthusiasm with the reader. It is fill with puns and allusions and all sorts of gimmicks that make the novel just thrum along. You will encounter the People's Republic of Wales, time travel, chronological storms that can be harnessed with a basketball, and all manner of interesting metanarrative and "breaking the frame."

A very, very fine and entertaining beach book, or a work for serious consideration. Either way, an overall entertaining romp through a highly interesting, inventive, and imaginative universe. If you are up for a challenging read, consider this work--it will be worth your time.

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New Thursday Next Book from The Commonplace Book of Zadok the Roman on June 7, 2004 7:54 AM

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 7, 2004 6:48 AM.

Prayer Reqeusts 7 June 2004-Monday 10th Week of Ordinary Time was the previous entry in this blog.

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