Why I Read The Eyre Affair

3 years ago

 The first time The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde came to my attention, I made a note to track it down and then forgot about it. The next time I heard about it, I read this review:

The Eyre Affair is a silly book for smart people: postmodernism played as raw, howling farce." - Charles Shaar Murray, The Independent

Okay, I might have looked closer because, hey, who doesn’t want to be thought smart? So I took a look at the actual book, not just people writing about the book. I’m big into “first sentences need to grab me” and this one does:

“My father had a face that stop a clock. I don’t mean that he was ugly or anything: it was a phrase the ChronoGuard used to describe someone who had the power to reduce time to an ultraslow trickle.”

If you know me at all, then you know I LOVE time travel. I was hooked. I bought and started to read. There was a period of adjustment, no question. This is alternate-history-bat-crap-crazy-laugh-out-loud. I have no idea if I am one of those “smart people,” but I totally enjoyed this “silly book.”

And I started watching and waiting for the next book and the next. The order of the books is as follows:

The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book
The Well of Lost Plots
Something Rotten
First Among Sequels
One of Our Thursdays is Missing (my copy of that went missing when I ordered it from Amazon UK LOL)
The Woman Who Died a Lot
Dark Reading Matter (forthcoming)

The series is not for everyone. I wandered lonely in my devotion to the series for a few years before I found other fans (for a long time one child couldn’t believe we’d ever like the same series, but she came around). I’ve cautiously suggested it to friends and family. Some loved it. Some went, “What?” They are still my friends. (The only author devotion that might cost us our friendship is Danielle Steele. I can’t read her. But I’d try not to let it come between us.)

So have you experienced author bonding that not everyone can understand? Had a book you were dying to share but couldn’t find anyone who felt the same?

Perilously yours,


Pauline Baird Jones


Perilously romantic fiction for armchair adventurers

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