The Eyre Affair


Although The Eyre Affair was Fforde's first novel, and he had amassed 76 rejection slips from publishers for several earlier novels,[2][3] the book was generally acclaimed, with critics calling it "playfully irreverent,"[4] "delightfully daft,"[5] "whoppingly imaginative,"[6] and "a work of ... startling originality".[5]

The "genre-busting"[6] novel spans numerous types of literature, with critics identifying aspects of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, satire, romance, and thriller.[7][8] This led one critic to jokingly suggest that Fforde "must have jotted a bundle of unrelated ideas on slips of paper", and, "instead of tossing them in a hat and choosing a few topics as the focus of his story, [he] grabbed the whole hat."[9] Fforde's quirky writing style has led to comparisons with other notable writers, most frequently Douglas Adams,[3][6][7] for similar "surrealism and satire",[10] and Lewis Carroll,[7][11] for similar "nonsense and wordplay".[10] Reviewers have also made comparisons with other authors, including Woody Allen,[8][11] Sara Paretsky,[7] and Connie Willis.[10] One critic wondered if Fforde was more "Monty Python crossed with Terry Pratchett, or J.K. Rowling mixed with Douglas Adams."[3]

The novel was praised for its fast-paced action,[7][11] wordplay,[7][12] and "off-centre humour."[3] However, some reviewers did criticise it for "convoluted"[6] plots and "dangling details",[11] as well as inconsistent dialogue that "can veer from wittily wicked to non-sequitur"[7] and minor characters that "drift in and out of scenes".[6][11]

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