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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

July 10, 2012

The Eyre Affair is catnip for literary nerds. In the world of Tuesday Next, the protagonist of The Eyre Affair, the whole world is obsessed with literature. They change their names to their favourite authors, there are machines in public parks that recite Shakespeare soliloquies, and the whole world is shocked and saddened by the theft of a Dickens manuscript.

Of course, there are also people who can travel through time (including Tuesday’s father, who is running through various time periods from the law), people who can enter the worlds of novels, and a villain named Acheron Hades who can take on the form of other people.

Tuesday is a literary detective, meaning she investigates thefts of manuscripts and other crimes related to literature (like Hades kidnapping of literary characters straight from the manuscripts). She becomes convinced that Hades is involved, even though he is officially thought to be dead. She takes a job in her hometown in order to pursue him, and runs into her family members as well as her former lover.

The plot is not really the reason to read The Eyre Affair – which is not to say that it’s bad – but the reason to read it is the fanciful world, where everything revolves around literature, and a Friday night consists of going to a staging of Richard III where the audience members are picked to play the parts because everyone has the entire play memorized.

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