Friday, 19 June 2009

Ffack you, Jasper!


I think I'm about to lose some friends here. As far as I can tell, everyone loves Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. It's considered to be one of those la-la-la, light, happy, and hilarious books that no one could possibly not like because it's the perfect beach read, but a beach read for people who really like books, so that much more of a perfect beach read. An uber-beach read for nerds who don't want to slum it too much, even when on vay-cay.

Well, I suppose it's these things but it's also (much more) full of a hell of a lot of filler (really, what was the point of all that dodo stuff?), mediocre writing (at best), a knowledge of classic literature that seems like it may well have been gathered entirely from the Wikipedia, and an embarrassingly ham-fisted handling of one seriously contrived plot.

Or, to put it another way: I like the idea of a world where the boundaries between literature and reality are blurred and literature has a living significance in everyone's lives. The problem is, I don't think Fforde is very smart; I wish someone with a much higher IQ had written this book or something like it.

And because Fforde ain't so ffriggin' smart, The Eyre Affair reads to me like the offspring of a homeless man's Woody Allen short story and a Ritalin-inspired Artemis Fowl novel. (The latter being a problem because the Artemis Fowl books are for kids and they're about a bazillion times cleverer than this (which is for adults), and the former being a problem because Woody Allen is funny, but he's not unapproachably funny; he shouldn't constitute an unreachable standard. Know what'm sayin'?)

So, yeah, unimpressed, both because this book sucked and because Ffoolish Jasper the buffle-headed book-ffucker probably has more money than Gawd at this point and is therefore an example to other young semi-literates who think (rightly!) that if they write some crap they might well get a huge following anyway.

There. Rant over. Now, back to good books and happier times.

12 comments:

Jason said...

I read one of his books once. It left me with a vague feeling that I either a) wasn't smart enough and couldn't hope to understand the brilliance behind the work, or b) was too smart to be reading something dressed up as literature that was more like the equivalent of the 9th book in a series of stories based on the video game Halo.

I can't remember what I decided, but I also can't remember the name of the book, if that's any hint.

Christy said...

This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading for a while. I am simply glad that someone else hated this book. Every reader I know raves endlessly about Fforde and the Thursday Next series, but after reading The Eyre Affair, I have no desire to continue.

heidenkind said...

Let it out. :) This sounds like something I would want to read... but now I will avoid it. Thanks! ;)

Moony said...

After just reading the first chapter I really don't want to continue it.

Nan said...

I couldn't even get through it. Same with ella minnow pea. So not my cuppa.

raych said...

I was so in love with the idea of this book, but you are spot-on about EVERYTHING. *sigh*

Sarah said...

I've enjoyed the Thursday Next series, but can see the books are something you'll either love or hate. I'd encourage others to at least try the books, I've had a lot of fun reading them and they might as well.

An Anonymous Child said...

If the cover and the title hadn't turned me off sooner, your description of it definitely did. I've never heard of this but something about it (and your description of it) makes it seem entirely unappealing. I often don't understand how some authors gain fame with kind of stupid books but I could also see how other readers might enjoy this book so...

Colleen said...

For all of you who also hated this book or another of Fforde's books, I will bow my head in a moment of silence for you, to mourn the time you've lost in the reading.

Winifred said...

Hmm, based on your review and others, Dreamqueen, I think I may cheat the book of the month and just skip it this time, I'm too busy to trudge through any more obligations.

Thanks for the heads up, and also, wanted to know I'm occasionally visiting and enjoying your blog (and your esteemed self on the Literature Junction forum, through hard times and all!).

Must say, my 14 yr old just finished ,Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which he liked a lot. I hate the cover, but am scraping up courage to read it anyway, I've certainly strongly recommended things to him over the years (ie, Little Women:))

margaine said...

lovely review! I agree wholeheartedly, and your review was truly entertaining. ;)

Colleen said...

Winifred: Thanks for dropping by! I have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies here and am also working up the courage to read it.

Margaine: Why, thank you!