I discovered Jasper Fforde through my ongoing attempt to read through the top 100 books of 2007 (so far I’ve read 68 of them). The Eyre Affair has been a constant on the top 100 until recent years, but I’m sure it will be back because it is a great book. A really great book.
I was so in love with The Eyre Affair that I wanted to immediately buy Jasper’s entire back catalogue, so convinced was I that I would love them all. Fortunately I was poor, so instead I kept putting them on hold at the library and slowly made my way through every Fforde book I could get my hands on…
Until I got to The Well of Lost Plots. I did not enjoy this book. In fact it was so disappointing it made me afraid to pick up another Jasper Fforde novel. Maybe I just wasn’t clever enough to get it, I’m sure the idea of writing a book without a plot was a challenge that some people really did like. I did not. I like story and this book had no story. None. It was plot-less.
There is no doubting that Jasper Fforde is a very talented, intelligent writer. He did stuff in his books that left me in awe and made me wish I could write like him. As weird as this sounds he jokes about grammar and it is really funny. Better still, you have to know the grammar rule to realise it is a joke. Maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy the Lost Plots?
Whatever may have become of my relationship with Jasper, I loved the nursery crime series, I loved the Dragonslayer series and The Eyre Affair will always rank in my favourite books of all time. And if you can, do what I did, read it both before and after you have read Jane Eyre, you’ll get a lot more out of it. Just don’t buy the entire back catalogue once you fall in love with it, limit yourself to one book at a time. Unless you are rich, then buy them all, authors need to make money too!