I was looking forward to this month's book club discussion. Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair was on the agenda and I knew that most of my book club members hadn't been exposed to Fforde or Thursday Next before. The Eyre Affair is the first book in one of my favorite series and I was wondering how everyone would react to Fforde.
My initial reaction to The Eyre Affair:
"I'd heard great things about this series and I was not disappointed. I loved the literary references, the crazy 'history,' and the all-round zaniness of the book. Not to mention the dodos!" (journal entry 10).
In preparation for the meeting I read my Illustrated Jane Eyre (blog post) and reread The Eyre Affair. It's a good thing that I did because I'd forgotten how different The Eyre Affair is from the other books in the series (it's much more self-contained) and exactly where Thursday's story left off at the end of the novel (to some extent, the books in the series do run together for me and it just would not do to spoil something from a book later in the series).
Only one other person in the book club had read the book before. And, I'm happy to report that all the others did seem to like the book (a few of them are planning on getting book 2!). I think some of Fforde's zaniness and side-stories were a bit much for some of them, but they all seemed to like the main plot line, the way Fforde envisions the world of books, and interaction-with-text aspect of the story.