The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0142001805 Global Overview for this book
Registered by talkland of Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on 6/13/2003
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15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Friday, June 13, 2003
This is set in a parallel world to ours, one where we are still fighting the Crimea War, have dodos as pets, fly around in air ships, a world with vampires and werewolves, the time police or 'ChronoGuard', and Wales is a Socialist Republic! It is a totally bizarre and bewildering place but one which makes perfect sense. Thursday Next is a literary detective who is sworn to protect the written words of great and not so great works of literature.

There is an arch villain with strange powers, literary characters falling in and out of their stories, a pack of John Miltons, a genius of an uncle, the Goliath Corporation, all mixed up with Shakespeare, Martin Chuzzlewit and Jane Eyre. I could explain the plot but I will leave it to you to discover this delightful world where time is fluid and reality is blurred with fiction.

Journal Entry 2 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 17, 2003
This is going to be my first bookray that I have organised. I hope it is a success. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the way a bookray works here are some instructions (not many). I compile a list and send it out to the first person. The first person reads and journals the book. Then they PM the next bookcrosser on the list for the postal address. This procedure repeats until it reaches the last person who then can release into the wild or do whatever they want with it. I hope that is clear enough for everyone. Any questions at all about anything please PM me and I will do my best to answer them.

Journal Entry 3 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 24, 2003
The bookcrossers who are going to be taking part will be listed below. As no one has sign up yet it is empty. So if you have made this far and can read this: PLEASE SIGN UP! I don't want my first book ray to be a non-event.

Journal Entry 4 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Well my fears of a non-response were totally unfounded! Thanks to everyone who contacted me to participate. The order the book is travelling in is below.

YowlYY [London, England]
Theresa-A [Nottingham, England]
Starry-Starry [Powys, Wales]
Xana [Lisbon, Portugal]
Bookhogger [Nova Scotia, Canada]
Wandeca [Ontario, Canada]
Ecoboy [British Columbia, Canada]
Minerswifebb [British Columbia, Canada]
Spark [California, USA]
Tamster33 [California, USA]

16stepper [Arizona, USA]
Aaratnayake [Minnesota, USA]
Baaic [Iowa, USA]
Kikimasu [Florida, USA]
Kayters [Georgia, USA]
Genevalove [Maryland, USA]
Greeble [Maryland, USA]
Rhenium03 [Romania]
Tara-K [Oegstgeest, Netherlands]
Bilbi [Chambery, France]

Some guidelines to help the book on its journey:

1 The names in bold will indicate who has received the book with the last one obviously the current possessor.
2 On receiving the book write a journal entry so we can all keep track of where it is.
3 The person with the book PM's the next one on the list for their address.

Journal Entry 5 by talkland at == by post or by hand == in Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Released on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 ~ Postal Release in Eastbourne, East Sussex, United Kingdom.

'The Eyre Affair' is a day later than I said would be, sorry YowlYY!
I was having a Ditzy Day yesterday. I was more Scatty Sarah than Super Sarah!!!

Journal Entry 6 by YowlYY on Saturday, July 05, 2003
Wow!! Back from Cardiff and found a nice jiffy bag with a book inside in my pigeon hole at the office... what a wonderful way to start a weekend :-)
Cheers to talkland.. I will start this on Monday and pass it to the next on the line asap :-))

Journal Entry 7 by YowlYY on Tuesday, July 15, 2003
A very good novel...and I really didn't expect it to be so good! Firstly, I was slightly annoyed by the strange references to history events of the past mixed up and thrown into the "current happening" of the novel, but then I got used to it (in the first 50 pages) and got more and more drawn into the story. It's amazing! The first comparison I can make is the HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY because of the absurd content in it, but then there are all the literary bits and pieces, and an heroine who is surely not a "yes-sayer"... I like that!
Best bits: the Prose Portal and dodos as pets ;-)
I am sending off the book tomorrow to Theresa-A, next on the ray, and will look forward to reading the two sequels...

Journal Entry 8 by Theresa-A on Saturday, July 19, 2003
The book has arrived, along with a lovely little postcard from YowlYY - Thank You!!! I'm a bit under the weather at the moment, but hope to start reading it as soon as I'm up and about again.

Journal Entry 9 by Theresa-A on Sunday, August 17, 2003
I really enjoyed this book – it was great, much better than I expected (and very different to what I expected, too!). This was fun to read, and I’m thinking of getting my own copy now, along with adding the two sequels to my wish list. Highly recommended!!!

Journal Entry 10 by Theresa-A on Tuesday, August 26, 2003
'The Eyre Affair' is on its way to Starry-Starry. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

Journal Entry 11 by Starry-Starry from Llandrindod Wells, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, September 04, 2003
Received today, thanks very much Theresa-A. Will start it this evening.

Journal Entry 12 by Starry-Starry from Llandrindod Wells, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, September 07, 2003
I loved this book, Jasper Fforde has an amazing imagination. I was completely transported from the first page of the book into a wonderful, magical world where tourists visit famous works of literature, time-travel is an everyday hazard and your pet has a version number. I loved that literature and reading in this world is Important and that kids were swapping cards of famous characters.

I think that Jasper Fforde must live somewhere near me, because some of the places in Wales he mentions are in my area, including a mention of my own little town, and with its shortened local name.

Now I'm really looking forward to reading Lost in a Good book, which serendipitously arrived at the same time as this.

I'll be sending this on to Xana as soon as I have her address.

Journal Entry 13 by Xana from Genève, Genève Switzerland on Monday, September 15, 2003
Received it today. Will post back when I've read it. Thanks Starry-Starry =]

Journal Entry 14 by Xana from Genève, Genève Switzerland on Saturday, October 04, 2003
I’m sorry to go against what seems to be general opinion, but this book was a major disappointment. Good imagination, but not enough writing skills to pull it off.
Interesting concept of the British society being so keen on literature (loved the discussions about Shakespeare) but then we have a novel trying too hard to be funny with all these war traumas and memories going on.

I just couldn’t take the Crimea war serious... or swallow Thursday as a veteran… or her love for Landen… or take a liking to the absent father.

But thank you for the opportunity to read it, it will make a nice discussion theme with other BCers, and we’re having a Lisbon meeting tomorrow.

(I’m not a Jane Eyre expert but I doubt that she would cry “ Edward! My Edward! I wont leave you, my love!” if she was being kidnapped...)

Journal Entry 15 by bookhogger from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Monday, October 20, 2003
Just recieved this in the mail (thanks for the postcard!)
Will likely get it read this weekend.

Journal Entry 16 by bookhogger from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Sunday, November 02, 2003
I really liked this book. It was a bit of every thing - fantasy, mystery, literature- so interesting. I loved the concept of entering a book - which is what we kind of do when we read, it just takes it much further. And Thursday was an excellent heroine. It is a thinking and ideas book, not so much an emotional-feelings book.

I do agree with some of the statements about the Jane Eyre - i don't think she was portrayed very well at all. annoying since the rest was so good, , , though the significance of the dodos was over my head.

Hope the next in line enjoys it!

Journal Entry 17 by bookhogger at -- Controlled Release in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada on Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Released on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 at A fellow bookcrosser in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.

It is now on to Ontario

Journal Entry 18 by Wandeca from Kitchener, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, November 11, 2003
The book arrived safely to Ontario...Thanks bookhogger, I'll be trying the muffin recipe...and thank you talkland for sharing the book. I'm planning on reading it in the next couple of weeks.

Journal Entry 19 by Wandeca from Kitchener, Ontario Canada on Monday, November 17, 2003
I tried reading this book about five months ago, but I couldn't get into the story, so I returned it to the library. When Talkland put it up for a bookring, I decided to give it another try...

I'm glad that I gave it another chance. I really enjoyed it. I love Thursday, she's strong, intelligent and very human. I love her family, her time traveling father, her quirky mother, and her "mad" uncle. I enjoyed the names of the characters, Jasper Fforde must have a wonderful sense of humour. I love the inventions, I wish I was able to travel into my favorite novel and stay there for a while....

The next time I'm at the book store, I'm going to buy my own copy, and share it with my friends. I can't wait to read "Lost In A Good Book".

Thanks again for sharing Talkland!

Journal Entry 20 by Wandeca from Kitchener, Ontario Canada on Saturday, November 22, 2003
The book is continuing its journey! Just mailed it off to beautiful British Columbia, for a nice visit with Ecoboy...Enjoy!

Journal Entry 21 by ecoboy from Prince George, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Arrived this afternoon from Wandeca. I did a bit of a double take when I saw the package in the mailbox... I had forgotten that Wandeca had sent a PM requesting my address so she could send this book and only yesterday I sent her a Book Ring copy of ORYX AND CRAKE... when I saw the return address, I thought... "What...???"

This sounds intriguing. Thanks, talkland, for turning the dodo loose...

Comments to follow...

November 29...

Finished the book. It will go in the mail to minerswifebb this afternoon.

Lots of fun. I already have LOST IN A GOOD BOOK on reserve at the library and Fforde's latest, THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS on my "wish list". Thanks for the tip, talkland.

There were a few rough spots in the book -- the section where we meet Thursday's brother could have benefited from a bit more editorial vigour, I thought and a few of the time paradox bits didn't work, but by and large the nonsense had a satisfying internal "logic".

I usually find myself being wary as soon as an author starts giving his characters broadly punful or silly names, but Fforde mostly gets away with it. The pun name for the Goliath baddy was a joke that wore thin very quickly, though. And "Braxton Hicks" was driving me crazy... I knew that I had heard the name somewhere in some context, but I couldn't make a connection... fortunately, my daughter knew what it referred to...

I have never actually read JANE EYRE... I have seen the movie... and I couldn't remember the whole plot, so it wasn't until I was about two thirds of the way through that I twigged to the bad ending joke...




Journal Entry 22 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Friday, December 05, 2003
What a nice surprise waiting in my mailbox today after a week away in the *big city*. Looking forward to reading it soon. And thankyou ecoboy for the surprise book, *the ice cream bucket effect*, written by Richard Thomas, why that's ecoboy himself!..It looks like it will be a fun read and a good addition to the books I keep in the guest rooms for people enjoy.Thanks for your thoughtfullness!

Journal Entry 23 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Monday, December 29, 2003
I just could not get into this book! I love the premise and have been looking forward to reading it. I gave it the 50 page test, but nada, zip, boo hoo. Will be mailing to Spark tomorrow.

Journal Entry 24 by minerswifebb at post office in Greenwood, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Released on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 at post office in Greenwood, British Columbia Canada.

Mailed to spark a couple of weeks ago...should be there soon I hope!

Journal Entry 25 by spark from San Francisco, California USA on Saturday, January 31, 2004
A kind of satiric smart book that is really not my cup of tea -- but there is no doubt that Jasper Fforde is a skilled writer and I would peek into any more of his books just to see what he's up to ....

sending this on to Finland.

Journal Entry 26 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 24, 2004
I don't know what has happened here or why the book is going to Finland rather than to the other participants on the bookray. Maybe all will be revealed... or Spark will tell me!

Journal Entry 27 by spark from San Francisco, California USA on Saturday, February 28, 2004
Okay, I appear to be tripping! This is NOT the book I sent to Finland. I have no idea what I sent to Finland! Yikes... Anyway, THIS book is right here in front of me about to be wrapped up and sent to Tamster -- who lives much closer to me, indeed, than my comrade in Finland! :=)

I might be a character in this book myself!!!

Journal Entry 28 by Tamster33 from San Francisco, California USA on Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Received last week. Really looking forward to this one. Will read after the 4 books I'm currently in the middle of. Thanks :)

Journal Entry 29 by Tamster33 from San Francisco, California USA on Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I finished this book last week and really enjoyed it. It took me a long time to get into as I was confused by a lot of the events in the beginning, but I just let myself go and read the last half of the book in 2 days (well, I needed to finish it for my book group anyway). The stuff about Jane Eyre had me confused a bit since I had read it more than 20 years ago when I was in junior high and all I really remembered was the climatic ending, which was different than the manuscript in this book (at least at the beginning). I pulled out my copy and looked up the parts mentioned in this book - that was a lot of fun, especially when when we got to Jane Eyre's ending in this book.

My book group had a great discussion centered around the questions on readinggroupguide.com. Most of the members of my group had the same reaction - difficult at the beginning but really really funny. We had a great time discussing the characters names (my favorite was Braxton Hicks, but everyone else seemed to like Jack Schitt), which books we'd like to jump into if we could (generally centered on books we loved as children), whether we'd rather be able to jump into books, travel through time, or be immortal (we decided that if you chose the last one, you were probably evil...fortunately, none of us chose that one ;), and all the other little details that made this book so memorable.

We had a few new members at this group and a few who hadn't read the book because of new babies - they were highly amused by our discussion, especially because it was so weird - Prose Portals, Plasma Rifles, Pet Dodo's, etc. They definitely wanted to read the book after that.

I hope to read the next 2 (3?) books in this series as soon as I can get my hands on them. Thanks!

I sent this off to 16stepper yesterday.

Journal Entry 30 by Tamster33 at on Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Released on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at Mailbox in San Francisco, California Controlled Releases.

Sent to 16stepper via media mail

Journal Entry 31 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Tuesday, August 31, 2004
The Eyre Affair has landed in Gilbert. Will add to the stack and keep reading!

11/15 Should be starting to read this one by week's end if not before. Hang on! There's hope!

Journal Entry 32 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Friday, November 26, 2004
This is a delightful romp, not at all what I was expecting, which made it all the more delicious. I would rate this a 10
if I hadn't

Spoiler







spent several chapters screaming at Tuesday, "Use the silver bullet you idiot!" Other than that one thing, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'll be PM'ing Aaratnayake and, should be mailing it out Monday. Thanks for sharing this book, Sarah! I'll be looking for the next books in this series. I like Tuesday - great character.

12/22 Aaratnayake has passed on the book, so I'm PM'ing the next person in line.

Journal Entry 33 by baaic from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Sunday, March 20, 2005
Received and half way through. I can see how the book is fun, but there are a lot of details that trip me up.

Journal Entry 34 by baaic from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Sunday, March 27, 2005
There were some enjoyable bits to The Eyre Affair but I'm afraid that it didn't add up to much for me. In many ways, it reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton's increasingly mediocre "Anita Blake" books in that there is an interesting concept for some world building, but, in the end, it all seems bound up with sticky tape. That would be okay, but Thursday's romantic conflict seems like an add-on to show that she has real feelings. It also suffers from Hamiltonian shotgun-style plotting leading to Thursday going on a romantic date to see the Richard III Horror Picture Show the same afternoon that she finds out that her beloved relatives have been kidnapped by a unspeakably cruel nutjob.

But, it was funny and clever in a lot of interesting way. I ended up giving it an AlexLit "enjoyable" which was, I think, the lowest reading it had received among my literary neighbors.

The back blurbs includes Terry Pratchett: "Ingenious -- I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously." I wouldn't say that Terry has too much to worry about, except that early Discworld books felt much like this in quality. So, I guess there is hope that Fforde will similarly improve.

Journal Entry 35 by Genevalove from Fairfax, Virginia USA on Wednesday, April 27, 2005
This just arrived in Shanghai yesterday evening--I'm so excited! I've heard such good things about this book, plus a friend has the second and third books in the series. It looks like I was still in Maryland when I signed up for this bookray, so it must have taken a pretty massive detour. I'll try to get it on its way again as soon as possible.

Thanks, talkland, for starting this bookray, and baaic, for sending the book on to me!

Journal Entry 36 by Genevalove from Fairfax, Virginia USA on Sunday, May 01, 2005
What a hoot! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. My only quibble is that I constantly felt like I was missing the joke on some of the names. Were they all funny names or literary allusions? Or just some of them? Either way, the Prose Portal is a highly original invention, and one I could use from time to time myself. This book will be moving on as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 37 by tara-K from Oegstgeest, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Got this yesterday from genevalove all the way from China!!!Still have about 300 pages to read in the book I'm reading now then I'll get started with this one.

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