Sunday, September 05, 2004

Something in the Eyre

I know the Thursday Next novels have been out for some time, but I just got around to reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. If you are heare reading this site it's a fair bet that you like books and since you like books you will like The Eyre Affair. The novel takes place in 1985 England and Thursday Next is SO-27, that's Special Operative level 27. SO-27 is LiteraTech. LiteraTechs investigate literary crimes. Thursday's world is full of them, forging literature by famous folk is a big money business. All this is pretty routine until Hades Acheron makes an appearance and kidnaps Jane Eyre right out of the book. Thursday must find and stop Hades before it is too late for Charlotte Bronte's beloved character. I don't want to tell too much because the book is delightfully detailed. It is a literary romp, an action adventure in a world where the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred. Jokes abound and character's have names like Paige Turner and Victor Analogy. The Ritz only ever puts on one play every Friday night, Richard III, and the house is always packed. That's because Richard has been turned into a sort of Rocky Horror Picture Show. The actors are chosen form the audience about a half hour before the play begins, and from the get go the audience is involved. Before Richard is able to speak his first line the audience shouts out "'When is the winter of our discontent?'" and of course Richard begins, "Now is the winter of our discontent." Richard continues, "made glorious summer by this son of York." And on the word 'summer" everyone in the audience puts on sunglasses and looks up at an imaginary sun. The play ends with a battle in which the entire audience partakes. Now that is good Shakespeare! I have Lost in a Good Book standing at the ready but don't want to jump in just yet. I'll save it for later in the week when I need a pick me up.