The Eyre Affair  - Jasper Fforde

Charmingly overplotted, this book is the definition of a fun romp. 

 

A good friend has been bugging me for ages now to start this series because she adores it, and I'm glad I gave this one a try. I loved the sheer force of Thursday Next's personality, the way she just gets things done, the more than just slightly askew look at the world as we know it, the 80s feel (including postmodernist naming conventions), the brief instances of time travel, the book travel. The way actions had consequences and various shenanigans had to be hidden from major characters so they wouldn't show up in the text. 

 

Some spoilers ahead. 

 

I also enjoyed how there was so much going on. In recent years, it sometimes seems like every brain fart is turned into a trilogy, so it was refreshing just to delve into so much plot. There's a first stand-off with the major villain about 50 pages in, and if that isn't some generous writing, I don't know what is. The only thing I could have done without is the romance subplot. You're a male writer, and you create a kick-ass heroine who has her colleagues swooning over her, and then you give her a long-lost love interest. His occupation, of course? Writer. I haven't seen such an unnecessary author stand-in in a while. 

 

Blatant fetishism of the main character aside, this book is lovely. I cackled when the ChronoGuard tries to make Thursday believe she's been gone for over 30 years, and while I wasn't as convinced by the next installment in the series, I can definitely recommend this. 

 

Read in January 2017.