Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Eyre Affair

I enjoy reading Jasper Fforde books, yet feel no urgency to read more. The books have plots, but they are not particularly engaging. The characters have their interesting points, but they are not the types you would want to get to know better. The strength of the books lies in the style. This makes them fun to read, but doesn't leave an urgency for more.

In the Eyre affair, the characters inhabit the "real" world, however, a few things are different. Britain is still fighting the Crimean war. Wales is an independent republic. Certain people can travel in time (or make time stand still.) And their are also some inventions, such as a machine that lets people travel in books. Of course, the bad guys get hold of this and use it to remove characters from original manuscripts, thus changing the novel.

There is also a giant corporation that dominates the control. It seems to play the role of nuisance. And of course, the hero has a love interest, a father that pops in and out, and plenty of other side interests.

However, all of this stuff is secondary to the bizarreness of "life" in the universe. I'm often stuck wondering - "is this a real event?" or "is this how the novel really is?" Historical fact and fiction are weaved in and out of the novel. Characters often bear names of "pop-culture" objects, whether they be games, scientific procedures or expressions. It makes for plenty of fun bits in the Monty Python/Douglas Adams tradition, but alas doesn't quite maintain interest.

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