Alex_Smith-small.jpgA couple of years ago I was strolling through the library when I found:

The Eyre Affair.

The inside cover talked of an alternate universe where literary detective Thursday Next is hunting down a stolen copy of Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit in a world where debates about who actually wrote Shakespeare are more likely to start gangs and street fights than heated scholarly writing, until she has a run in with Rochester. Yes, Rochester–the love of Jane Eyre’s life.

Over the next five novels Thursday becomes something of a literary cop, patrolling both the real world of books and readers, as well as the literary world of characters and plot lines. She battles real and imaginary characters, even literary copies of herself. Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, the Nursery Crimes series, and his newest book, Shades of Grey, are some of the best examples of literary postmodernsim that I have encountered. Running between books, fixing twisted story lines, and dealing with the mean reality of eraser guns (text erasers that are every literary character’s worst fear), Fforde has managed to turn the world of English fiction on its head. If you enjoy hilarious, daft, and irreverent writing, and the ability to turn all the novels you were forced to read as a high school student inside out then the Thursday Next series is definitely a good discovery for you too.

Bio: Alex Smith is an intern at Guernica. Read her last recommendation of the book Elegant Universe “here”:

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