This afternoon Catherine and I were chatting about common interests and, of course, the subject of books came up. Now, I know I have previously stated I’m not exactly the biggest reader these days, but I was actually quite the voracious bibliophile in my youth.
That being said, my favorite book EVAR is
Currer Bell Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, so when I came across a book entitled The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde several years ago I was intrigued. I bought it on a whim and have read them in their entirety every summer, always waiting for the next installment!
It’s a bit of a challenge to sum up the series in a couple of sentences, but I’ll do my best. Set in an alternate England in the 1980’s, Thursday Next works for a literary policing agency (black market Shakespeare and Byron are hot commodities) and discovers that she has the ability to travel into the book world. In The Eyre Affair, the villainous Acheron Hades has also figured out a way to do just the same and has absconded into Bronte’s Jane Eyre, holding the characters from the original manuscript ransom—for if you change something in the original, all subsequent editions of the book are changed. In this alternate reality, Bronte’s work ended with Jane leaving the Rochester estate and never coming back (boring!!!), but, through her dealings with Acheron in the book it becomes the ending we know today. She goes on to join the policing agency within the book world under the tutelage of Miss Havisham of Great Expectations fame and in the course of the series are introduced to the “real” versions of the literary characters of lore. All that to say… I’m not promoting it to be high literary art but it’s super clever and gives me some semblance being well versed in the classics without ever, you know, actually having to read them (Oh that Heathcliff, he’s such an ass!)
These works, along with Doctor Who and Catherine Tate, are often my go-to conversation starters whenever I meet someone from across the pond. Case and point, I knew that Hester and I were going to get along famously when she too was a fan of the Ffordse’s!
At any rate, the newest addition to the series, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, came out yesterday and though I haven’t had a chance to get to a bookstore yet… it’ll happen sooner rather than later.
Come to think of it, this sounds awwwwwfully similar to my favorite game, “Um… Hey guys, where’s Hester?” Why do you Brits keep on disappearing!!!!
Artist: Clark Gesner/ Album: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown