July 23, 2014
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Review)
Author: Jasper Fforde
First published: 2001
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
I've been eager to read The Eyre Affair for a long time, especially after Riv's recommendations, and I'm glad I finally did! However, the book turned out to be less awesome than I had expected. There may be spoilers ahead, as I wanted to discuss certain things in particular, but I don't think they are dangerous for you, as most plot twists are kinda obvious long before they happen.
The most fascinating thing about The Eyre Affair is the setting: the world is so similar to ours, but not quite. For one thing, literature is super-important! People are not divided into politically left or right, but according to their opinions about Shakespeare's identity. And the fights between the sides are much more heated! Time travel and other incredible things are an every-day matter in this world. And Crimean War has been going on since 1800s. Sounds menacing in the light of the recent events... But I digress. Exploring this world was like visiting Wonderland—you never know what will happen next. But it's also a problem, as I like to know how a fictional world operates. When some difficult situation is resolved with some plot twist you couldn't imagine was possible, well... I call it cheating.
The plot itself was a bit weird, as the main bad guy's motives were hard to grasp, but everything to do with Jane Eyre plot is awesome! The explanation of that strange plot twist fits so well into the story! No “Gothic romance convention” can explain Jane hearing Rochester calling for her quite as well!
I really liked the main character. She's kinda cool, if maybe too militaristic to my taste. Which makes the sugar-sweet ending so much worse. I mean, seriously, they just go and live happily ever after? After all their problems and 10 years apart? I don't believe. I'd also like to have more witty dialogues in the book. You have so many awesome characters—let them speak and amuse the reader! Which brings me to the main reason why I gave the book just three stars in spite of great plot, characters and world-building: the writing. It just didn't grip me. I could put the book down in the middle of some dangerous situation and go make some tea. Although I like tea, it's not a good sign at all.
In my book:
It's a nice summer read, especially if you wish to be able to put the book down and actually enjoy the summer around you.