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Something Rotten (Thursday Next Novels) Paperback – July 26, 2005

111 customer reviews
Book 4 of 7 in the Thursday Next Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Welsh writer Fforde's fourth entry in the zany, hypercreative Thursday Next detective series revisits the "Literary Detective" as she retreats to her hometown of Swindon, England, retiring from the tedious job (as Head of Jurisfiction) she held in Fforde's previous novel, The Well of Lost Plots. Joined by her two-year-old son, Friday, pet dodos Pickwick and Alan, and Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, Thursday realizes that there's someone missing: her husband, Landen, previously "eradicated" by the Goliath Corporation, a ruthless bio-tech conglomerate corporation. She wants Landen back. Aided by her father, she is reinstated into her old employ, the Special Operations Network, and begins investigating the machinations of power-hungry Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine and the mysterious disappearance of England's president. The fate of the world rests on the outcome of a major croquet tournament, with Thursday pinch-hitting on a lethal playing field as Landen is finally returned to reality (only to fade out again). More than a little wacky, the novel is packed with screwball details as characters get "written" in and out of the story, hybridized creatures stalk malls and Shakespeare clones start popping up everywhere. With humorous illustrations and curious footnotes sprinkled throughout, Fforde's latest will have hardcore fans roaring—but those new to the series might want to tackle the convoluted mayhem from the very beginning.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–This fourth book in the series continues the English detective's quest to protect her child, regain her husband, and save the world (not necessarily in that order). She decides that it's time to leave Jurisfiction and return to the real world of the Outland to resume her life. Taking her son and her pet dodoes, Thursday discovers that her actions in real life are possibly even weirder than they were in the realm of literature and certainly of more consequence. Fforde continues to pitch high, wide, and fast: only he could turn croquet into an extreme (and hilarious) sport with the fate of the world hanging on the outcome of the game. Particularly appropriate in this American presidential election year is the political debate show "Evade the Questions Time" where politicians score points for most successfully avoiding answering questions. Rotten is the concluding volume of this series and many of the subplots and characters from the first three titles reappear, floating through the space-time fiction-fantasy continuum. It succeeds in wrapping up in a most gratifying way. As Oscar Wilde's Miss Prism would say, "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means." The Robertses' illustrations and mock advertisements echo the irreverent humor. Warning: Reaching the end of Rotten may cause readers to want to start again with The Eyre Affair (Viking, 2002)and ride the manic, maniacal merry-go-round of the Nextian world again.–Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (July 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014303541X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143035411
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling Thursday Next series. He is also the author of the Nursery Crime series.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Jasper Fforde's unique brand of inspired insanity makes "Something Rotten" a welcome addition to his enormously entertaining and often hilarious Thursday Next series. Thursday is the head of Jurisfiction, the policing agency that "safeguards the stability of the written word" in literature. However, she is tiring of her hectic, stressful, and often dangerous job and she needs a break. Thursday takes her two-year-old son, Friday, and decides to head for the Outland. She returns to her home town of Swindon, England, determined to bring back her "eradicated" husband, Landen Parke-Lane.

Thursday's return home, unfortunately, brings a new set of problems to plague this beleaguered heroine. She is saddled with Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who is unhappy with the indecisive manner in which he has been portrayed by actors. In addition, the Council of Genres wants Thursday to do something about the dictatorial and ruthless Yorrick Kaine, an escaped fictionaut who is planning to dominate the world. To make matters worse, a mysterious and deadly assassin is out to get Thursday, and she has to watch her back constantly.

"Something Rotten" is filled with puns, literary allusions, slapstick, dizzying time travel, ribald humor, naughty words, brilliant satire, and non-stop action. Often, the wacky plot makes little sense, and the many characters enter and exit so often that the unprepared reader may be left with a migraine. However, Fforde rewards the patient reader in many ways. The author entertains us with his large cast of colorful and varied characters. Thursday Next is an appealing heroine who is smart, courageous, warmhearted, determined, and resourceful. Melanie Bradshaw, the gorilla wife of Commander Bradshaw, provides Friday with much-needed child care in a pinch.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The latest Thursday Next saga is certainly the best, providing that you've read the rest of the series. If you haven't, you'll find it difficult to follow the exciting adventures of Thursday in the Outerworld, as she fights to save her eradicated husband, raise their paradoxical son Friday, stop Yorrick Kaine and the dastardly Goliath Corporation, foil an assassin, capture the Minotaur, bring about world peace, and win an un-winnable croquet match in the process.

Taking a leave of absence from the Bookworld, Thursday reappears in the real world to find that the Goliath Corporation has ascended to new heights of mind control, Yorrick Kaine has inexplicably risen to power, her bosses are not particularly happy about her unauthorized 2 1/2 year absence, and she's got a downtrodden Hamlet, an amorous Emma Hamilton and a dashing Otto Bismarck to contend with.

More than up to the task, but not quite sure how to sort anything out, she makes a deal with Goliath, visits the netherworld with vampire hunter Spike, and somehow ends up managing the local croquet team in an all-important championship match.

One of Fforde's most imaginative novels, this one is highly recommended for fans of the Thursday Next series.

Amanda Richards, August 20, 2005
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on August 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fforde's brilliant detective series continues in the fourth installment, 'Something Rotten', which ties in all the classic elements of his beloved stories. His wit is as sharp as ever and he continues to cleverly tie in various characters/scenarios from several works of literature. The world he has created for Thursday Next is a treat for any bibliophile who has ever dreamed of being able to enter their favorite work of literature.

'Something Rotten' finds Thursday Next tired of hiding out in the Book World, so she returns home in order to have her erradicated husband un-erradicated. This isn't as simple as it may seem, and Thursday is forced with defending herself from various attempts on her life, resolving a coup in 'Hamlet', and stopping the ruthless Yorrick Kaine, a fictional character, from becoming a vicious dictator in the real world (well, a Nextian world). She also has to take care of her two-year-old son Friday, get her job back at SpecOps, and most importantly of all, prevent an armageddon from destroying the world. These might seem like insurmountable tasks for the ordinary detective; but as a literary detective, Next is more than equipped for whatever comes her way, real or imagined.

Fforde has created an entire world for Thursday Next and is comfortable in her shoes. As she travels between the real and the written world, Fforde's imagination is vibrant and alive, painting an unusual depiction of what really goes on in the books we read. He has given new voices and perspectives to beloved literary characters and has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, in both the literary and 'real' worlds.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Eileen on August 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thursday Next is back again at last, and her hands are fuller than ever. The story begins 2 years after her last adventure ended, and she is weary of her time as the head of Jurisfiction. She decides to take a leave of absence from Bookworld and return to Swindon and a job at SpecOps. Accompanying her are her young son Friday and Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Thursday's trip out of Jurisfiction leaves her little time for relaxation, however. She tries to get her husband Landon uneradicated. She searches for a Shakespeare clone to save the play "Hamlet" from a hostile takeover. She must ensure that the Swindon Mallets win the SuperHoop-88 World League Croquet tournament to keep the world from imminent Armageddon, as is prophesied by 13th-century Saint Zvlkx, whose revealments always come true. She must find a way to thwart an anti-Danish book-burning by smuggling books across the border into Wales. Needless to say she must also battle the evil Goliath Corporation, along with the fictional Yorrick Caine, now Chancellor of England, who wants to become world dictator. Then there's the assassin who is repeatedly attempting to do away with Thursday. The reader can never say that Thursday's life is boring!

There are many interesting and amusing details in the book, including the finer points of croquet law, a closer look at Neanderthals and Chimeras, the problems inherent with uneradication, the reasons behind Hamlet's dithering, and Friday's use of Lorem Ipsum, a typesetter's dummy language. Many characters from previous books make their appearance here, including the Minotaur, the Cheshire Cat, the Jurisfiction operatives, and Thursday's coworkers from SpecOps. There are plenty of chases, close calls, and time travel paradoxes.
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