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KINDLE î The Eyre Affair ⚷ Great Britain circa : time travel is routine, cloning is a reality dodos are the resurrected pet of choice, and literature is taken very, very seriously Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and Impressionists, and thousands of men are named John Milton, an homage to the real Milton and a very confusing situation for the police Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that's just a prelude Hades' real target is the beloved Jane Eyre, and it's not long before he plucks her from the pages of Bronte's novel Enter Thursday Next She's the Special Operative's renowned literary detective, and she drives a Porsche With the help of her uncle Mycroft's Prose Portal, Thursday enters the novel to rescue Jane Eyre from this heinous act of literary homicide It's tricky business, all these interlopers running about Thornfield, and deceptions run rampant as their paths cross with Jane, Rochester, and Miss Fairfax Can Thursday save Jane Eyre and Bronte's masterpiece? And what of the Crimean War? Will it ever end? And what about those annoying black holes that pop up now and again, sucking things into timespace voids Suspenseful and outlandish, absorbing and fun, The Eyre Affair is a caper unlike any other and an introduction to the imagination of a most distinctive writer and his singular fictional universe I loved this book when I first picked it up and remember giggling the whole way through (It was passed over to me by the Mum, of all people We do not, normally, share the same taste in literature.) It has a charming irreverent take on well everything from literature to history It's set in an alternate reality where literature is, if not kind, at least very very significant. I read this years ago, I think it was back around 2005 or so I remember liking the book fairly well, even though I'd never read Jane Eyre, and a modest part of the book's plot touches on that story But I also remember being irritated at the book Something made me bristle when I read it Some elements of the storytelling rubbed me the wrong way I remember talking to the person who recommended the book to me I held it book up and said, rather disdainfully This is probably really popular, isn't it? My friend, who worked in a bookstore, said that no, actually, it wasn't all that popular And as soon as she said that, I liked the bookThinking back, this memory disturbs me And not only because it revealed a disturbing tendency towards the bullshit hipster Ionlylikethingsnobodyelselikes mindset Worse than that, I think it shows that I was getting a bit twisted up inside because of my inability to get my book published You see, by the time 2005 rolled around, I'd been working on The Name of the Wind for about 11 years 3 of those years I'd had an agent, and had been really *really* trying to get published And it wasn't going so well Well actually that's not true It was going well because I was on the road to being the published author I am today But I didn't know that in 2005 Back then, all I knew is that I wasn't published *yet* and because of that, I was getting a little bitter Well to be fair, I was probablythan a little bitter I was twisted up enough inside that even the perceived success of a book was enough to make it unpalatable to me Which is a real shame, because jump forward to now, and I've been listening to the series as an audiobook and enjoying it immensely It's well written and quickly paced There's both humor and wit in ample supply And the world is a delightfully toungeincheek wish fulfillment alternate earth where the entire populace is passionately engaged in literature There are museums dedicated to authors, political parties court the Chaucer block of voters, and Baconians go door to door, trying to convert people to their philosophy: namely, that Fredrick Bacon is the man who *actually* penned the plays credited to Shakespeare Short version: If you're a recovering English major, or if you're just well read, odds are you're going to enjoy this book Ditto if you're a writer provided you're not the sort of twisted up bitter type of writer I was back in 2005. I had the same feeling after reading this as I had after reading The Looking Glass Wars Fabulous idea, terrible execution I was going to give it onestar than I gave that because it's not quite as badly written And I liked the idea of doortodoor Baconians and Rocky Horrorized Richard III But I changed my mind because theI think about it, theI didn't like it.It was so smug and cutesy and in need of better editing And it would have been better served by not being written in first person, especially since it kept slipping into other people's heads when it should have been in Thursday's Also, Thursday is really boring and doesn't have an interesting voice, and I didn't care about her at all (and, ick, that moment where she gets out her mirror and contemplates her looks) The same goes for most of the other characters The only one I really liked was Thursday's father, and he barely had anything to do with anything And the villain! How utterly boring Villains are only interesting if they're something beyond mwahahaa so evil.And it was just a mess So much random crap was going on that seemed to have nothing to do with anything And I could have lived without the romance which was just yawningly boring and tacked on And the names Ugh I wanted to stab my brain out having to read some of those awful names Most people seem to adore this book and the rest of the series, but I thought it was pretty terrible Maybe the writing gets better in later books, but I don't think I'll give them a chance.Very disappointing. Hardly an author has styled the parallel universe tropes with breaking the wall elements to such perfection as Ffjorde did.The integration of living literature in a parallel universe as a plot device is ingenious and a potentially endless source of innuendos, connotations, and options forand similar novels Imagine the same with video games, movies, or all mixed and it could get big quick, depending on the main inspiration and idea of the chosen genres and works I´ve rarely ever chosen such a comparison, but I would name similarities to Adams, Pratchett, Robbins, and some others because of the humor, character development, and uniqueness It´s really tricky to get an emotion out of me, but this amazing series did it several times.It´s an unconventional piece of literature, a true crossover hybrid that dances at many weddings, integrates, steals, persiflages, and makes me wonder why its quality is controversial I see very much cherrypicking regarding the often average character and plot development of comedy and fast told stories that are necessary and essential for telling such a piece of literature It smells for me like an aversion against too progressive, unconventional writing style, because I could hardly name a series that had both such a great idea, realization, and universal acclaimed greatness by everyone I recommended it too If we start bashing each author who dares to explore completely new land of storytelling without getting artistic, boring, Nobel pricy, and bad, but instead keeps using the rules of the telling game in a brilliant new setting, many ideas will get lost It shocked me to hear how long it took Ffjorde to get published and I think that many of the reasons for it lie in this grievance, in the tendency to troll true creativity because it´s too unfamiliar and strange to read.To make it clear: I don´t mean people who just can´t get warm with his writing style, what is a question of taste and personal preferences and completely ok, I am avoiding many genres too.I amreferring to people who rate very good, but stereotypical and always the same telling as usual high and are against progressive endeavours Or the extreme other side, who love and read much high brow, socalled literature, that is often trash in my eyes, but bash popular fiction because of its predictability, popularity, and stereotypes or, if this is not the case as in this case, because it´s different Nothing to talk about in academic circles, but something out of the line they can´t and don´t want to understand Both groups are enemies of too progressive authors and it´s quite a shame that they, instead of staying in their own territory and not poaching in foreign lands, try out new things and don´t realize that their problems with the writing could be related to them and their subjective conditioning and thereby aversion and not a fault of an author It´s so clear if someone interested in characterbased, 3 setting novels reads HardSci Fi space operas and vice versa, she/he won´t be happy with it and don´t like it because it´s not their thing, but in this case, the own reading preferences seem to have been forgotten It´s like listening to music one hates and saying that the artist is bad, etc.This first part of this series has the only problem of infodumping and explaining the world a bit too much instead of directly jumping into action, but that´s a widespread issue.Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: