A crime novel set in an alternate world where some parts of history happened different from ours while others didn’t The Eyre Affair manages to utilise both archetypes and tropes in a highly entertaining way.
We follow the adventures of Special Agent Thursday Next, part of the section for crimes against literature, as she tries to track down diabolic arch-villain Acheron Hades. As we go we are presented to a world were England is on war with it’s Welsh neighbour, not to mention the 100+ year armed conflict with Imperial Russia over the Crimea, and where classic English literature is an integral part of what shapes the English national identity.
The result is an absurd but well written and very witty mystery cum comedy. I didn’t laugh out loud but I smiled almost continuously for all of the nearly 400 pages.
It helps if you’re well read on the English Classics, including Shakespeare, but it’s not a prerequisite. I recommend reading it!