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Science Fiction/Fantasy Literary Satire and Love Story,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Eyre Affair, 3 Audio-CDs (Thursday Next) (Audio CD)
Thursday Next has been working on Shakespeare-related literary crimes in London as a Special Operative when she's summoned into a special assignment with a highly classified outfit. It all relates to a run-in she had with a professor while in college. The assignment leaves her literally flat on her back, and after recuperating she's off to return to her hometown to face her past and her future. She's been trying to escape from both since her unit was decimated in a terrible lost skirmish in the Crimea during which her brother was lost, and her relations with the love of her life were terminated.
While there, important manuscripts begin disappearing in unexplained ways and she finds herself in the middle of the investigations. Helped by unexpected interventions from outside this time and dimension, she makes steady progress towards protecting Dickens and Bronte from unpopular bowlderizations.
Talk about crossing genres. Mr. Jasper Fforde literally wrote the book on this subject with The Eyre Affair.
I became interested in this book after reading and being delighted by the brilliant third book in the series, The Well of Lost Plots. Although both books can be easily understood as stand-alone efforts, you will probably be more thrilled by The Well of Lost Plots if you sneak up on it by reading the other two books first.
Ultimately, these books most appeal to those who love literature as readers . . . and for whom classic characters seem like old trusted friends. Those who like science fiction, fantasy, mysteries and adventure stories will be much less pleased. Those aspects are icing on the cake rather than the cake.
To me, The Eyre Affair seems like a literary update and enhancement of Alice in Wonderland with Thursday Next as Alice.
The Britain you will read about in this book differs substantially from the current one. Although the reason is never stated, I inferred that this one that has been influenced by time travelers to the detriment of Britain. The Crimean War has been going on since the 19th century between Britain and Imperial Russia. Wales is not part of Britain and is a people's republic that is not sympathetic to Britain. Literary debates are more important than political ones. Britain has succumbed to the military-industrial complex in ways that are usually ascribed to the U.S.A. Much technology is primitive (such as air travel by dirigibles) while other technology is very advanced (time travel, cloning of extinct animals as pets, and dimension shifting).
Although the book obviously involves Jane Eyre, please realize that the connection is perhaps slighter than the title suggests. The overall themes of the book involve the classic struggles between the light forces of good and the dark forces of evil, against a backdrop of unrequited love.
The satire is layered on with a heavy hand. The names give you a sense of this. One character is named Braxton Hicks . . . and he's just a little jumpy!! One of the villains has a name that will make you chuckle every time you read it. The overall effect is a lot like Voltaire's Candide and occasionally has an element of Rabelais.
Regardless of any temporary drawbacks in the book to your preferences as a reader, the charming moments will easily carry you forward wondering what marvelous writing innovation next awaits you.
Plan to read this one in one sitting. It's hard to put down.
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