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By the Chapter, Day 3 | The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde

February 18, 2009

theeyreaffairWelcome to By the Chapter. This week’s featured book is The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde. Sharing hosting duties with me this week is Jeanne from Necromancy Never Pays.


If you’re not familiar with The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel here’s a little background on the book from Fantastic Fiction:

In Jasper Fforde’s Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde’s ingenious fantasy-enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel–unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.


I’m picking up where I left off Monday then having finished through Chapter 5. I’m now up to Chapter 18 which puts me about half-way through the book. So for today…

Thursday has taken a new assignment, still with the Litera Tec division, in her home town of Swindon. Why? Well two reasons – 1) the vision she had of herself while in hospital and 2) because she believes that Hades is still alive and Swindon has become his base of operation. Swindon is a complicated place in Thursday’s life. Not only does her family live here but the man she loved once also lives here.

Thursday’s new partner is Bowden Cable. Bowden’s partner, Jim Crometty, has been brutally murdered on the job and Bowden is determined to bring the killer to justice. Thursday’s new division commander, Braxton Hicks, is convinced that Thursday has ulterior motives for taking her new assignment – namely tracking and finding Acheron Hades. Mr. Hades is the alleged thief who lifted the manuscript from the museum where Thursday was responsible for the security setup. Mixed up in all of this is Jack Schitt, head of internal security, for the Goliath Corporation. One of Goilath’s many branches is advanced military weaponry. Mr. Schitt would like nothing more than track down Acheron Hades and he sees no reason not to use Thursday to accomplish his mission. Why Schitt would like to track down Mr. Hades hasn’t been made clear yet but I’m betting it has something to do with his extraordinary abilities. Thursday, of course, wants absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Schitt. To thicken the plot just a touch more it seems that Hicks and Schitt are in bed together, so to speak.

Yet even more characters come into play such as Thursday’s uncle, Mycroft. Mycroft is an inventor and one of his more interesting ones is the Prose Portal. Using the Prose Portal one can be transported into a book’s storyline. Handy for someone like Acheron when there’s something of value to him in the manuscript he’s accused of stealing.


OK folks here it is honestly: I’m three reading days and 17 chapters into this book and if I didn’t have the commitment of By the Chapter I would have set this book aside by now. Actually I’m finding that my reading background, or lack of in some areas, is hindrance to my enjoyment of this story. That said even the mystery part it isn’t capturing my interest. I’m not the slightest bit captivated by any of the characters. Also parts of it I’m finding too ‘British’ for my tastes.

But don’t turn away yet. I thought Jeanne wrote an absolutely wonderful post on Tuesday and captured the true essence of this book. Please stop by her blog to read the Tuesday post and stop by again on Thursday when I’m sure her second post will be just as fabulous. She does a much better job than I’m doing this week of getting the feeling of the book across to readers. It almost makes me wonder if we’re reading the same book. I know we are but we’re coming at from such opposite directions and viewpoints that you’d swear that mine must differ from hers.


If you’ve read, or are currently reading, The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel please share your thoughts with us.


This week’s reading scheduling:
Monday: The Printed Page
Tuesday: Jeanne from Necromancy Never Pays
Wednesday: The Printed Page
Thursday: Jeanne from Necromancy Never Pays
Friday: The Printed Page/Jeanne from Necromancy Never Pays



  1. February 18, 2009 6:46 am

    One thing you don’t mention is the names–do you get the same puerile kick I do out of silly names like Braxton Hicks (as in the contractions pregnant women get just for practice) or Jack Schitt, as in “you don’t know jack shit about that”?
    I thought I’d picked up on the Braxton Hicks name but never having been pregnant I wasn’t completely sure it was correct. I’d picked up the Schitt part but didn’t put the Jack part with it. I’m pretty hopeless with book. I’m finding I’m pretty much oblivious to anything that’s happening in this book which is due in large part to a complete lack of interest. I intended to keep plugging away. My goal now is to see if I finish it.

    Your post was wonderful and I’m really looking forward to reading tomorrow’s. It’s good thing your hosting this week. At least the readers have something of interest and intelligence to read.

  2. February 18, 2009 6:32 pm

    I’m sorry you’re not enjoying it. Maybe reading it while drinking wine or after hearing some jokes would help–it’s really a very silly book.
    I actually went back and re-read chapters 15-17 and then started fresh with chapter 18. I’m now up to chapter 24 and moving right along. I’ll probably finish it tonight or tomorrow.

  3. February 18, 2009 9:25 pm

    I love this series but my sister didn’t make it through the first book. Maybe it takes a certain amount of weirdness . . .
    It most certainly is different. I’ll finish this book but doubt I’ll be reading the others in the series.


  1. By the Chapter, Day 4 | The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde « The Printed Page

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