Saturday, 20 August 2011

Guest Review: 'The Eyre Affair'

When I began
The Eyre Affair, it felt a little uncomfortable and was difficult to understand what alternate reality I had stepped into. This is probably because I knew pretty much zilch about the author, the setting or the main character prior to reading. The setting seemed futuristic, but then claimed to be the 80's. I found this unsettling until I realised that I was in a parallel universe with society built entirely around literature! What an amazing concept - people changing their names to John Milton, trading in currencies of rare manuscripts, crimes against literature are considered the major crimes in society, ordinary folk off the street coming to fisticuffs and joining cult groups about who the real author of Shakespeare's plays was. This world... was comforting! How good would it be to live in a world where, to help solve crimes, you have to read a book?! I was hooked.

I like the way that 'prequels' are coming out now to 'explain' occurrences in classic stories eg Wicked for The Wizard of Oz. I wonder if I'll ever read Jane Eyre again and not think about Hades throwing Bertha off the roof rather than her jumping. Luckily, I don't think this phenomenon ruins the originals.

I found the writing style easy to read and liked the quotes at the start of each chapter, which give the story depth. I thought Thursday was 'definitely written by a guy' at first, but by the end of the story, I was relating to her well. As a sciency person, I really liked the gene-splicing of extinct species and Mycroft's inventions. Boy, does this author have a colourful imagination.

Also, bonus points for the cover design. I like it.

A little bird tells me that this is a series, so I am planning on becoming delightfully embroiled in Fforde's world again.