The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde I read Jane Eyre specifically so I could read this book. I'm sure most people want to read Jane Eyre because, you know, it's a classic and all. Regardless of my uncultured motivations, reading Jane Eyre prior to the The Eyre Affair is something I'd consider more of a prerequisite than a recommendation. Especially having read one after the other. I found references in The Eyre Affair I'm sure I would have otherwise missed had more time passed between readings. (For example, I'm sure that the French Chronoguard's untranslated comments are a nod to Bronte's excessively annoying tendency to include Adele's untranslated French exchanges with Jane).

The idea behind the book carries it a long way. An alternate Earth where people drop change in street corner "Will-speak" machines that churn out Shakespearean dialogue and drunken bar debate centers around whether Francis Bacon was the true author of Hamlet calls out to those of us bracing to face another round of endless dissection on whether Brett Favre should retire.

But the most enchanting notion is the idea of simply entering a novel. Taking that engagement in reading and turning into a physical transformation. Fforde not only brings about a novel idea in his novel, but executes it well. Its tongue-in-cheek approach, eye-rolling pun-ish quality and airy feel makes it a quick and enjoyable read.