Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.
The Eyre Affair  - Jasper Fforde I didn't enjoy this. It tries too hard to be clever and to cover many different genres (humour, sci fi, horror, detective, literary and more) whilst also being annoyingly silly. After 100 pages I ditched it - something I rarely do.

Thursday Next is a woman who is a literary detective in one of several alternative realities round about now. In hers, the Crimean War is still going. Somehow, in her society, manuscripts are stolen and guns are involved; she also manages to get into books and meet characters in them, though I was never convinced as to why any of it happened.

WHO... WHY...?
I don't understand who this book is written for. You need a love and knowledge of classic literature to know what is our reality and what is an alternative (e.g. whether or not Jane Eyre does marry Rochester), but having those characteristics would seem to me to make one unlikely to enjoy this, though as that is clearly not the case, I am in a minority and evidently missing something.

It has a surprisingly colloquial narrative style for a self-consciously "literary" book; jarring Americanisms (a "parking lot") for a British book; basic grammatical errors (using "flaunt" instead of "flout"); too much exposition is delivered in clichéd ways (e.g. a police interview); ludicrous names (Jack Schitt, Acheron Hades (a baddie), Thursday Next, Victor Analogy, a vampire called Stoker, Edmund Capillary and Landen Park-Laine) and even sillier futuristic inventions (pizza by fax and a 2B pencil with built in spell check).


Anthony Trollope had a penchant for jokey names, but at least he restricted them to minor characters and made up for it in other ways. This book doesn't.

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China Miéville, Mervyn Peake
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake