Englischsprachige Literatur

Fforde Jasper

The Eyre Affair

Hodder, London, 2001


This was my most pleasant Christmas surprise. What a fantastic story! And it´s a first novel by a writer, who says he wrote “purely for his own pleasure” for the last ten years. How good, that he has found a publisher, after all. This book is a wonderful mixture of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, the Time Bandits and at the same time it´s quite original.

How nice to hear about some future society, where “Will speak” machines on the road recite Shakespeare´s poems, if you insert a coin. People commit crimes to get a first edition of  a Bronte or Austen. Literary characters step out of novels to interfere in everyday life and vice versa. A complicated hierarchic administrative system controls all that.

Thursday Next, the heroine, is an agent for “Literatec” and has to hunt down the evil Acheron Hades, who has kidnapped the first edition of “Jane Eyre” and threatens to destroy it. Thursday´s father, a former agent for “Chronoguard”,is changing in and out of time, her uncle invents a portal through which you can become part of a novel.

If all that sounds weird and fairly confusing, yes, that´s true. But Fforde tells this story strictly logically, doesn´t leave any loose ends. How very good to hear, that this is the first book of a trilogy.