***Group Read: The Eyre Affair
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Ronincats had a good suggestion for splitting the book up--since there are 36 chapters (and it looks like the chapters are all fairly short) we could do chapters 1-10 in week one, chapters 11-24 in week two, and chapters 25-36 in week three.
Does that sound okay with everyone?
I think the reading time frame sounds perfect.
Well, I guess it's an easy enough mistake, since the two books are related!
I actually regretted being familiar with Jane Eyre when I read this book. It's one of my favorite books, and I got angry at Fforde for flattening it and removing some of the wonderful aspects of the narrative and plot in order to fit it into the Thursday Next story. I think I would have enjoyed The Eyre Affair MUCH more if I had only a passing knowledge of Brontë's book.
Thus, I don't plan to ever read another of Fforde's novels, because I don't think I could bear being reminded of my similarity to the guys who argue about Shakespeare's identity.
The first ten chapters are primarily set-up for the rest of the book. We get acquainted with the alternate reality and the major characters. After this, the action will pick up.
A good resource for non-spoiler footnotes to clarify matters that might not be obvious to Americans is here:
So far I have enjoyed getting to know the main character. She seems rather bored with her career and maybe has some unspoken regrets about her past - the man in the picture. The world Fforde has created is starting to take shape and I'm looking forward to getting a little farther in tonight.
I like the way each chapter begins with an excerpt from a book featuring Thursday and the operation she works for. It gives the book a certain anticipation that Thursday Next is going to be important sociologically (is that the right word? lol) speaking.
Also, we got to meet Landen in person! You sense he's important from the way Thursday keeps a picture of him and he is connected to her war days and brother. He's just as charming as I would expect him to be.
Roni, I think you were right in that the first ten chapters set it up. We met the hero, her family, her past romantic interest and the really, really bad guy. I'm ready for the action now! How's everyone else doing this week?
I have to say, I finished the chapter where she goes to help out her buddy Spike from a vampire. I found it to be very...random. I know the world she lives in is different from ours, but...maybe someone else can explain exactly why that was written in.
And thanks for the link above Roni. It's been very helpful. :)
I agree with you that the chapter with Spike was not tied into anything else in this book, but almost all of these characters will be showing up later on in the series in more detail, including Spike. I suspect, however, it was written in simply because Fforde enjoyed it.
I read this as part of a group read and wrapped it up a little early. The Eyre Affair was one of those books that I had heard praised a lot during 2010, so I just knew I had to read it. It has all the elements that appeal to me. A classic story wrapped up in a futuristic, alternative history sort of world. And at the center of it is Thursday Next, an agent specially meant to deal with things of a literature nature. Now that's a job I want.
That being said, I feel a tiny bit let down. While I enjoyed the book and thought it was a fun read, I just didn't feel wholly connected to it. Thursday was an interesting character, but she was hard to latch on to. And the ending felt a little wham, bam, the end. Maybe the whole thing had just been too hyped up by the time I got to it.
I think I will continue on with the series. If anyone else has, please let me know what you've thought of it.
About the ending...so, Thursday sticks around in Jane Eyre's world and changes the ending. I was okay with that. I mean, it's a book about a book and the author clearly didn't like the ending, so it was an interesting twist.
And the way Hades was killed...did I miss it, or was it explained why silver could hurt him? Was he a vampire? It did tie in the Spike chapter though because that's where she got the bullet. Lucky she had been carrying it around...
And the wedding. It was a funny scene when she goes to stop Landen's wedding, but I was surprised it ended with her own wedding. I thought maybe Fforde would stop it there and the next book would stretch it out a little longer.
How about everyone else? Thoughts?
Edited for my terrible spelling.
I liked the little Spike interlude too, although I thought it was a little random. Knowing he shows up later in other books makes more sense.
I also liked the concept of the ChronoGuard, how they affected time and how Thursday's father would show up intermittently. On the whole I enjoyed the book and I would someday like to read the others. I don't own any of them though, so it might be awhile before I do!