While I preferred Fforde's YA title, The Last Dragonslayer
, and its consistently light adventure, The Eyre Affair
was a different kind of story and rather entertaining in its own way.
Thursday Next is a Spec-Ops LiteraTec in a alternate 1980's Britain where classic literature is beloved by all, William Shakespeare's plays are a worldwide craze and forged copies and unauthorized sequels are criminal offenses requiring professional investigation. Next gets caught up in a manhunt for her old professor, now the third most evil person in the world. This leads to several shootings, internal reviews, time travel, stolen manuscripts, murdered literary characters and ultimately beating the bad guy while dodging the greedy fingers of a corrupt, all powerful corporation.
Next is somewhat impulsive, increasingly bends rules and has held a grudge against her once fiancee for 10 years. That is to say, she was an enjoyable protagonist who never let the plot sit still. My only issues with the story were these: for taking the care to explain most other "scientific" matters, I was never satisfied with Next's and/or Nakajima's traveling abilities. More importantly, if a ruthless murderer isn't going down with normal bullets, wouldn't you try every kind available at the start?
The writing was full of inside jokes for those familiar with the classics ... which means I only got half of the references, if that. Thus, I am debating whether to attempt more classic literature before tackling Next's next mystery. Regardless, there are so many strange and inventive aspects to this world, I'm pretty sure I'll be back for more.