The problem with reading a lot of clever books is if you start thinking that the reading has made you clever. It hasn't. At least not necessarily, and not all by itself.
Jasper Fforde thinks he is way, way cleverer than he is.
So that makes this book a lot like holiday dinner with that one uncle who stops just shy of affecting an English accent and puts "neo" in front of words. You know what guys like that love? Puns. They can't get enough of puns. Why? I don't know! Puns are terrible! Real talk: even Shakespeare's puns were mostly dumb.
Anyway, so here's your pretentious uncle. He wrote a book. (Of course
he wrote a book.)
I'm bumping it from two to three stars because I have a cheerful disposition, and also because there are two enjoyable things here. The first is the climax, which takes place inside the pages of Jane Eyre and is legitimately clever; the second is the central joke of the book, which involves some confusion over the ending of Jane Eyre and is legitimately funny. Two good parts and a whole bunch of eye rolling at your little sister when the uncle turns away for a sec. Mouth it with me: Oh my Gooooood, what a douche.