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Byline: Jeff Johnson
THE EYRE AFFAIR. By Jasper Fforde. Viking. 374 pages. $23.95.
Fforde's delightfully daft first novel, "The Eyre Affair," which went from minor paperback release to the best-seller list in England, is a work of such startling originality that, like "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," most publishers turned it down.
Fforde, himself, has provided the best capsule description of his work: "'The Eyre Affair' is a literary detective thriller with romantic overtones, mad inventor uncles, aunts trapped in Words-worth poems, global multinationals, scheming evildoers, an excursion inside the novel of Jane Eyre, dodos, …