Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Something Rotten is book # 4 in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. As far as I can tell, this is the final book in this series I've enjoyed so much.

Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the Bellman in Jurisfiction, enough with Emperor Zhark’s pointlessly dramatic entrances, outbreaks of slapstick raging across pulp genres, and hacking her hair off to fill in for Joan of Arc. Packing up her son, Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the dithering Danish prince Hamlet. Caring for both is more than a full- time job and Thursday decides it is definitely time to get her husband Landen back, if only to babysit. Luckily, those responsible for Landen’s eradication, The Goliath Corporation— formerly an oppressive multinational conglomerate, now an oppressive multinational religion— have pledged to right the wrong.

But returning to SpecOps isn’t a snap. When outlaw fictioneer Yorrick Kaine seeks to get himself elected dictator, he whips up a frenzy of anti-Danish sentiment and demands mass book burnings. The return of Swindon’s patron saint bearing divine prophecies could spell the end of the world within five years, possibly faster if the laughably terrible Swindon Mallets don’t win the Superhoop, the most important croquet tournament in the land. And if that’s not bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she prevent the world from plunging into war? Can she vanquish Kaine before he realizes his dream of absolute power? And, most important, will she ever find reliable child care? Find out in this totally original, action-packed romp, sure to be another escapist thrill for Jasper Fforde’s growing legion of fans.
Something Rotten is good, but not my favourite in the series. I'd rate it a B.

It's terribly ingenious and clever and funny. There are numerous different plotlines, all intertwining perfectly and unpredictably, and the resolution of each is brilliant, leaving not one single thread hanging.

We also get definition in the "Landen eradicated" saga, which was just about time. And if this resolution is a bit anticlimactic (and it is), it's also quite sweet and romantic.

But... to be completely honest, I missed the BookWorld, so prominent in the previous book, The Well Of Lost Plots. As clever as this book was, the BookWorld sections in the previous books were cleverer and quite addictive.

Probably unfair of me to feel this way, but there it is.


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