The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

On the recommendation of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Gail Carriger, I picked up Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. I had never read the author before, but the book sounded irreverently funny and with enough of an ode to the classics (without being Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) to make it something I would enjoy.

I found that I didn’t really care for the novel until about a quarter of the way through when the main character experiences the big life change and the book shakes up a bit. Plenty happens in the novel before then, but it seemed a bit disjointed. I was never really sure where the story was going until about page 100 or so.

I did, however, love the remainder of the book. Jane Eyre obviously figures largely in it, per the title, and as a fan of the classic book, I enjoyed the interplay between the contemporary novel and the book we know and love. I’ve been inspired to go back and read Jane Eyre┬ánow.

And, if you like this first book, there is a whole series that follows it.

On a related note, if you’re looking for a good literary-themed podcast, Stuff You Missed in History Class has a few on the Bronte sisters, both early lives and once they began their writing careers.

Reading Recap

One thing I did manage to do on my China trip was read. A recap of my literary travels:

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

I picked this book up mostly because I was hoping for another Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Although the book radiates with Chabon’s familiar prose that leaves me in utter awe, I was not drawn into the story in the same way as I was with Kavalier and Clay. The characters are beautifully flawed and the story is complex, but I just couldn’t find myself in the middle of it all. However, it did win a Hugo, among other things, so perhaps my opinion is way off the mark.

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