“I was born on a Thursday, hence the name.”

eyreBook on Tap discussed Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair on Thursday, Aug. 3rd.  The book is the first in a series featuring female Literatec (literary detective) Thursday Next.  

The story is set in an alternative universe (1985 Swindon, a real town, in the U.K) where time travel is routine and classical literature is taken very seriously. The story focuses on the theft of literary classics in a world of very obvious good/evil with a bit of romance thrown in. Our readers didn’t find the romance storyline very compelling and gave the couple low chances of marital success. Also, due to invention of the “Prose Portal” there is the power to jump into books and potentially change the plots. Themes included the power of the military industrial complex, the use of science and inventions for good and evil and father/daughter relationships.

One reader felt the writing felt simplistic especially compared to last month’s book The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Three of the attendees really enjoyed the book and appreciated the “fun” of it. Readers who weren’t real sci-fi/fantasy genre fans stayed with the book due to the “book about books” theme and all the smart references. There are many witty puns as well as goofy character names such as Jack Schitt, Victor Analogy, Millon de Floss, Spike and Acheron Hades.  While most of our readers were familiar with Jane Eyre, few of us had actually read the novel and felt that it wasn’t necessary to have read Jane to appreciate The Eyre Affair.

Considering that the book was published in 2001, the members found it interesting that the Crimean War was referenced in a fictional context when that area is still in dispute in real-world 2017.

When considering books we would like to jump into, titles included Les Miserables, Gone with the Wind, Jack London books and The Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables series.

The Eyre Affair reminded some readers of The Princess Bride  and Terry Prachett books.  Also the Richard III scene reminded everyone of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  

Readers recommended this book for Shakespeare fans as well as fans of the Dr. Who series.

For Sept. 7th Books on Tap will be reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

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