Friday, December 30, 2011

The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair
By Jasper Fforde

I actually finished this novel a few days ago but I got a strange acting gig on a Taiwanese television program that had me on the set for 15 hours a day for a couple of days. No worries... if I ever had any delusions about being a television or film actor, they are officially gone. I have the utmost respect for those working in the industry, but the hours of tedium were too much for me to handle, even with a good book.


Speaking of tedium, I really have to start reading the second books in the series' I start lest they begin to overwhelm me and reading becomes more of a chore and less of a pastime. Don't get me wrong, I've loved many of these books but I haven't finished a series since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo this time last year and I've started five series this calendar year. The Eyre Affair, book one of the Tuesday Next novels, marks the sixth series this year and eighth series overall that I have begun without finishing. The others, in no particular order are:

1. The Bandy Papers (read book one)
2. The Hater Series (read book one)
3. Sabriel (read book one)
4. Endymion Spring (read book one)
5. Game of Thrones (read book one)
6. Sea of Poppies (read book one)
7. Twilight (read book one)

Aside for Endymion Spring and Twilight (which I wouldn't finish ever if you put me on a salary to do so), I intend to finish all of these series. Therefore, in true New Year's spirit, I resolve to read at least six book twos in 2012 (that is, if the world doesn't end). I already have the next Bandy Papers book and the second Sabriel book on my shelf and I've got an Amazon gift certificate set aside for the second Game of Thrones and Dog Blood, so this seems like a reasonable goal. Yay for reading goals!

As for The Eyre Affair is a solid piece of alternate-history science fiction that is part Doctor Who and part Monty Python... That is to say it's legit sci-fi with all sorts of tongue-in-cheek humor for sci-fi fans, history geeks and literary types alike. The story is full of sly winks to those in the know from character names to historical figures. But you'd better pack a calculator, a pencil and a protractor before venturing too far into this book because, like all good time travel novels, the chronology will make your head hurt. If there's a test later, you're screwed (probably because you already took it two weeks ago in the future).

The protagonist is Tuesday Next, a plays-by-her-own-rules SpecOp agent working for something called SO-27 (LiteraTec). While the novel doesn't expand on exactly what her job entails, she is responsible for any thing that has to do with literature, and in this world, literature is a far more dicey issue than in our own.

Jasper Fforde has supposed a very detailed world in which vampires and werewolves exist and are a nuisance for law enforcement, literature supplants television and music as the most pop of all cultures and technology exists whereby not only is time travel possible but also travel into actual novels where villains can alter story lines, characters can be assassinated or interested parties can simply wander around for weeks as a tourist (for a price though... and only in Japan). Awesome.

Which got me to thinking...

If there was a single book in which I would like to visit, what would it be? Not to alter the story line, mind you, just to wander around in the world imagined by the author. I'm sure that upon further reflection I will change my answer, but my immediate inclination is to say Island by Aldous Huxley. It's hard to pass up the chance to visit utopia as perceived by the author of one of the greatest dystopian novels ever written. Actually, I'd probably get a kick out of a visit into Brave New World as well. Or maybe Jitterbug Perfume. Wait... how about Replay or... or, or... or...

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yeah...

As for the second question... If there was a character in a book that you would love to eliminate, who would it be?

I'll have to think about that one before things get out of hand.


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