January 24, 2006

Lost In A Good Book

by Jasper Fforde

At eNarrative 6, George Landow brought down the house with a passage from The Eyre Affair, the first book in the series of which this forms the second. Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, is an operative in a secret British agency that patrols reality (and happens to inhabit a reality where the dodo is a popular housepet and revived wooly mammoths are a protected species and a hazard to suburban gardeners). In this world, it is sometimes possible for people to jump into books and interact with their characters when off-duty. The books, it turns out, have their own police force which protects the integrity of literature from outside agents, form such vermin as the notorious adjectivore, as well as from bored characters who try to slip into adjacent novels. It's quite a romp, with abundant zaniness, some side-splitting moments, and some interestingly sideways views of text and textuality.