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 The Jane Eyre Affair

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Kate
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PostSubject: The Jane Eyre Affair   Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:16 pm


Quote :

Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.

Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.

How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

This is out second book for the mont
h, and if you haven't read- do so now! In fact, read all the books in the series- which I know is what I want to do.

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bittner29
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PostSubject: Re: The Jane Eyre Affair   Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:46 pm

I just want to say that it completely cracks me up how different Kate and I are when it comes to liking books Laughing
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book, but I would insist that others read it and I don't plan on reading the sequels.
There were parts of the book that I really liked and made me laugh, however there were other parts that bothered me and I just felt weren't needed for the story.
Let me start with the negative to get it out of the way and then focus on the fun parts.
I hated when Fforde brought in the character of Daisy. She was really bitchy and having her in the story made me not like Landen. I understand she was there to complete the triangle for that story that was a reflection of the one in Jane Eyre, but I mean what kind of guy does that make Landen? The kind of guy who apperently falls for his best friend's sister, purposes to her right before he knows he is going to do something that will hurt her (no matter how justified it was he had poor timing for the purposal) then they seperate for 10 years, he meets another girl, purposes to her, yet before they get married he finds out the first girl is coming back home, so he apparently tells the current fiance that he has to go and make sure she doesn't still love him before he can marry her??? What a jerk!!! I mean I completely understood why Daisy upset but she was a bitch to Thursday on the phone it wasn't Thursday's fault that her financee is a jerk! I also felt that the way Fforde ended Daisy's character in the book, read like a quick fix.
The only other thing that I didn't like was when he changed point of views. If a story is being told in the form of limited omniscient and changes what character is being focused on per chapter, I can handle. But to go from first person point of view and switch to limited omniscient, personally I feel like it was bad story telling. I mean he needed to do it to show what was going on with Mycroft and Polly, but if that was the case he should have just made Thursday's parts in limited omniscient as well. Maybe I am being to picky but I'm just saying it bothered me.
Also I just felt that all the stuff about the war and the dodo's were unnecessary. I understood why they had the war in the beginning but I don't really see what it added to the story to still be going on. And the dodo's were cute but were really only mentioned in the beginning and then just forgotten about.
Also the whole part where Thursday and Bowden traveled through time was just confusing. I mean it made sence once they would stop in a place but when Fforde was trying to describe them traveling I just couldn't follow it and would have to skim through it.
I liked the idea of the Baconians, the guys who went door to door trying to convert people into believing that Bacon wrote the plays that Shakespeare is credited for. I thought that was really funny.
And I liked the idea of SpecOps especially the Lit-techs. I liked the part when Victor Analogy was introducing Thursday to everyone in the office and he points to two guys, Malin and Sole, he says that they deal with all crimes regarding Shakespeare including forgery, illegal dealing and "overtly free thespian interpretations". I thought that was really clever.
I did think it was funny when Acheron was irritating the bookworms, "the bookworms responded by belching out large quantities of unnecessary capitalizations" and then the next few paragraphs would have a bunch of capitalizations in it.
I liked the time traveling dad. I thought he was funny, but I did wonder why nobody ever thought to ask him to find out the answers to the much debated topics. So I liked it when he went to find out about the plays of Shakespeare at the end, but also why didn't anyone think to have someone from the Chronoguard go back and ask Charlotte Bronte why she ended Jane Eyre the way SHE did, that is before Thursday changed it?
Speaking of which, I have never read Jane Eyre, although I bought the book almost 9 years ago, still have it, it is even on my list of books to read this year that I mentioned in my resolutions. So I was really confused in the beginning, I couldn't understand why if everyone agreed that the ending to the book was a cop-out and was anti-climatic, why would this book be such a big deal. Not only in Thursday's world but also in ours because in the beginning of reading this book, I just assumed that that was the true ending to Jane Eyre. So I understand now why people in our world love that book so much, but I still don't understand why everyone in Thursday's world loved it if the ending sucked so bad. I'm really looking forward to reading it this year.
In conclusion I loved the aspect of traveling through books, it was fun to read and think about, but I thought the relationships in the book were kind of bland and I still say the ending felt like a quick fix all around. Personally I think that Fforde should have filled out Bowden's character and had him end up with Thursday. I liked him way better then Landen that's for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: The Jane Eyre Affair   Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:22 pm

I didn't get the impression that he proposed to Daisy until after Thursday turned him down, but I could be wrong about that, I had to return the book to the library, where I traded it for it's sequel.

I loved this novel! I thought it was funny, clever, and absorbing. The writing style was quite good! I agree that the Thursday/Landon romance was a bit off, but I'm okay with it. The time travel had my head a bit wonky too. XD

I loved Thursday's family, especially her aunt and uncle. I even enjoyed the villain, but was happy with the way they stopped him. I too was a bit confused about the Jane Eyre plot, because while I am ashamed to admit that I have never read the book I have seen the movie, but then I realized fairly early on that the plot of the story was going to be changed.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world where people actually felt that passionate about literature? I think its a shame that more people don't read, and that so many people don't give books a chance. That's what I love about our little group. We actually do expand our normal book horizons. Yay, us!

Out of the two books this month, this was the one I adored. I felt like I had discovered a small treasure, and it's nice to fine an author that can so easily win me over with his style.

To get back to the Daisy issue, that really didn't bother me. It was obviously a mirrored plot, and she didn't come off to sympathetic to me. And you know I'm normally against the breaking up of a relationship.

I could have done without the whole war background- it for some reason reminded me of Starship Troopers- which was an okay movie, but not my favorite. Also the parallels to our involvement in Iraq made me a bit uncomfortable, despite the fact that this book was written way before we started the Iraq war.

I can't wait to learn more about the secret level of the agency, it was fascinating. And I'm sorry, Bittner, but I loved the Dodo storyline. The first book I can remember ever checking out from the library was a children s story about the last Dodo on earth, only he didn't realize he was practically extinct. I think he wore an Hawaiian shirt.

So, in summation: Loved the story, loved the writing style, loved the characters!

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