Boulder City Magazine® December 2009/January 2010 Issue
by Fran Haraway
Boulder City Library
The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde
Your humble book reviewer doesn’t usually read science fiction unless the novel has a literature component, so for years, all I’ve had is Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, but things are looking up! Along comes the Eyre Affair, a lively mix of sci-fi and fantasy with a protagonist who would be described by The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Lou Grant as having spunk!
Boulder City Magazine®
|This lady, named Thursday Next, is a thirty-something literatec (aka literary detective) assigned to an elite group - SpecOps 5 - whose task is to catch the bad guy who stole an original copy of Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit. She lives with a reconstituted pet dodo named Pickwick and has a father whose face can stop a clock - literally. He’s a rogue Chronoguard member on the run, and when he wants to visit her he just makes time stand still.
Thursday is a veteran of the Crimean war, a conflict which has been going on since 1854 with no end in sight. Britain is a police state run by a corporation dedicated to keeping the war going because its existence boosts the economy. Gangs fight over literary authorship, people change their names to those of their favorite authors, and revisionist history is the order of the day.
In addition to the problems such an environment creates, our heroine is looking for the thief - Acheron Hades - a man who was her professor but gave up academia in favor of crime. This baddie’s main talent is that he is not visible on film. The security cameras don’t register him at all!
Thursday’s attempt to capture Hades has several disastrous components, and she ends up in her hometown, Swinton, to continue the search. In addition to locating Hades, she becomes involved in finding the murderer of a SpecOps agent who was “ . . . shot dead in the old town during a bookbuy that went wrong,” and she has to discover why characters are disappearing completely from classics. In Thursday’s world, “The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think.” Sounds a lot like our world too!
If you are interested in this book or would like to learn more, contact me at info@bouldercity magazine.com.
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