the eyre affair

Just finished reading Jasper Fforde’s wonderful first novel The Eyre Affair (logged in Bookcrossing with BCID 025-608734).

I was really happy to see that this was the first in a new series featuring Special Ops 27 agent, literary detective Thursday Next.

Thursday inhabits an alternate 1985, a world where airplanes have never replaced dirigibles; where cloning of dodos is a DIY activity; and where special police forces exist for, among others, vampire hunting, time travel, good taste re-education, horticultural enforcement, and art crime and literary detection. The latter are necessary because, not only are there door-to-door Baconians who try to get you to subscribe to their theory that Francis Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, and because surrealists and impressionists function as gangs, complete with murderous gang wars, but because Thursday’s uncle has invented a machine that allows people to enter — and characters to leave — books. When enfant terrible and former lecturer in English Acheron Hades (“I always found that I could never apply my most deranged plans without someone to share and appreciate them. I’m like that. Very generous….,” from Hades’ book Degeneracy for Fun and Profit) kidnaps Jane Eyre from Thornfield and secretes her in a hotel in the socialist People’s Republic of Wales, it’s Thursday to the rescue.

I borrowed this from the local library, but it’s out in paperback. I’m looking forward to picking up book two, Lost in a Good Book, published in the U.S. this month.