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This one is Fforde’s first book in the Thursday Next trilogy; I had read the third one (“The Well of Lost Plots”) previously and then decided to get the other two as well.
I was somewhat disappointed in this one; it seems that Fforde is only getting up to speed for the other two parts of the trilogy. In comparison to “The well of lost plots", “The Eyre affair” is rather tame, and not as surreal or phantastic. The story takes place before the protagonist (literary detective Thursday Next) gets transferred permanently to the BookWorld; it describes her first journey into “Jane Eyre", in pursuit of a master criminal who holds Jane for ransom.
It is basically a detective story with some science-fiction/alternate reality elements. But the detective parts are not very good, and the science fiction elements aren’t very convincing either. The pacing of the story did not win me over either; this is something you do not notice in the third book, but becomes readily apparent when the surreal elements are lacking.
A good introduction to the storyline, but I’m counting on the second part of the trilogy to make up for it.