Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 


The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde
ISBN: 0142001805
Publisher: Penguin USA
Pub. Date: February 2003


If Kurt Vonnegut, Mel Brooks, Agatha Christie, Anne Rice and Dr. Hurley (my college English professor) had a literary love child it would look quite similar to "The Eyre Affair" an uproarious read-in-one-sitting ride by Japer Fforde. The novel is set in the eighties, but don't let a fear of tube socks and Gary Coleman keep you away from reading this book, because it's not our eighties, but rather an of entirely new world, one that, like Billy Pilgrim, has become unstuck in time. The world that Thursday Next, a Special Operative for literary detection, inhabits is a strange upside down version of what a college intellectual might think of as utopia, a world where literature and intellect is everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Shakespearian ranks with Catholicism, and instead of insistent Jehovah Witnesses knocking on your door, you will find adamant Baconians or Marlovians, that will claim, armed with pamphlets, our genius Will was hardly a genius at all. It's a world where violent gangs stab each other on the streets, Surrealists attacking Impressionists (think West Side Story meets Art History Class). It's a world where resurrected dodos are the popular pets, and the government agencies are so secret that not even members of them know what they are.

Fforde's story thrives due to many things, the first being his ability to create vivid distinct characters whose interactions, no matter how brief they might be, are laid out along the pristine plot like perfect latticework. The second reason Fforde's imaginary world is so compelling is in its brilliant parody of our society. The government always seems slightly confused while a large corporation is really running the country. A war has been going on for 131 years only ten of which involved actual fighting, and no one seems to remember why it started. Murders, riots, overly aggressive media, blood-sucking vampire janitors, literary characters being captured and killed, a man's face being passed down from generation to generation (literally) and all this in a comedy? Fforde's novel does what many cannot, and that is avoid concrete classification. Call it a mystery, an adventure, a satire, a science fiction, a tale with more turns that a stomach after Taco Bell…

The only thing that disturbed me was the cover of the book which proudly had a tag that proclaimed "A Thursday Next Novel". Too many authors have taken brilliant story ideas and beat them into the ground by persistent use of the same protagonist. Where is the suspense in a Miss Marple tale? Agatha Christie might be one of the greatest mystery writers ever (See "And Then There Were None" if you disagree) but there is never a doubt, reading a Miss Marple, that the frumpy old detective is going to solve the crime and of course, come out of it scratch free. I fear "Thursday" will become the next in a mass market lineup of predictable detectives, turning what is now a heroine whose wit, faults, and intellect rank up with the Jane Eyre she intends to save in this novel, into a mere caricature of the invincible feisty female cop. If I want that I'll just watch the WB. Fforde if you are reading this, you've done good, no you've done GREAT…now please slowly step away from the book.

Colleen AF Venable - Staff Features Writer


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.