Monday, November 14, 2011

Something Rotten

Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4)Something Rotten – Jasper Fforde
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Violence, Mild Language, High Speed Croquet, Literary Character Duels)

“If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher.  Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction and ultimately, without a major resolution.”

Why:  Time to explore another Ffantastic novel by Jasper Fforde!  We should once again state Ffor the record how Ffond we are of the Thursday Next series.  So much Ffun and Ffull of surprises...  Ffine we’ll stop it with the extra “f” thing, but he started it.....

Exhausted after a brief hiatus in the book world, Thursday Next returns to England with her infant son, Friday Next.  The pair is also accompanied by none other than Shakespeare’s Hamlet, on a journey of personal growth.  Immediately, Thursday is thrust into controversy and finds that getting her old literary detective job back is the least of her worries.  Let’s highlight some of the drama: The Windowmaker, a highly trained assassin, is on her trail.  The evil Goliath Corporation is making plans to become an organized religion in order to prevent an unfavorable prophecy.  And the only way nuclear Armageddon can be averted is if the unlikely Swindon Mallets can somehow win the Croquet Superhoop championship.  And you think your life is stressful....     

The more we got into Something Rotten, the more we enjoyed it.  Coming off The Well of Lost Plots (which is still our favorite) there was some concern over book four being a letdown.  We should have known better.  With so many new character and awkward situations thrown into the mix, it’s hard not to be satisfied.

On the character side, there was the arrival of Hamlet who added all kinds of awkwardness to the narrative.  Unfortunately, we’ve never actually read Hamlet, which blinded us to many of the references.  Still, we enjoyed this new character and loved his personality improvements near the end.  Also, while we didn’t see much of little Friday Next, it was hilarious that as a baby he only speaks Loriem Ipsum.  It’s these little things we love about this series!

From an event standpoint, we thought Evade the Question Time was a top rate political commentary show.  The literary character stand-off between the Cheshire Cat and Kaine was a rare delight - basically a duel in which both participants summon literary characters to fight their battles... impressive.  Also, we think there could be a real future in high speed croquet.  The final game was quite exciting as both teams rushed to hit their ball into the final post. 

On a slightly more serious note (let’s not get too carried away), bravo to Fforde, who, as it turns out, CAN do sentimental.  The ending caught us by surprise and was quite emotional.  Oh, and if events in your life aren’t working out as you had expected, just know that you can probably blame Denmark for your problems....   


  1. I guess I need to give these another chance -- I value your opinion. But long ago, I tried the first book when it came out and I couldn't finish it. I think it was too "tongue-in-cheek" for me? I might just need to be in the right mood.

  2. I haven't read this series. I read his Nursery Rhyme Crime Series. I really enjoyed them.

    I will need to add Tuesday Next to my TBR list.

  3. Kat, next year is the year I expand beyond the Thursday Next series. Good to know the Nursery Rhyme Crime series is worthy!