Something Rotten

Something Rotten

Thursday Next Book 4
by Jasper Fforde
Publisher: Penguin Putnam
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Price: $17.00

After two years working for Jurisfiction in the Book World, Thursday Next has had enough. With her now two-year old son Friday she decides to return to the real world in the hope of re-actualizing her eradicated husband Landen. Tagging along with her is Prince Hamlet, who wants to verify for himself the reports that he's thought of as a "ditherer" in the real world.

But the real world has changed while she was gone. Yorrick Kaine, the escaped Book World character turned politician, is stirring up a wave of anti-Danish sentiment while he waits for President George Formby to die. Meanwhile, the Goliath Corporation is transitioning from a business to a religion, and offering restitution for their previous crimes—the eradication of Landen Parke-Laine among them. But their real motive may be more complicated than that.

To add to the growing list of troubles, the thirteenth-century saint Zvlkx is scheduled to reappear very soon. Among his many eccentric but true prophecies was the prediction that Swindon's own professional croquet team, the Swindon Mallets, is destined to win this year's Super Hoop thereby (somehow) bringing down both the tyrant Yorrick Kaine and the Goliath Corporation. But the prediction takes a more serious turn when Thursday's father turns up to reveal that if the Swindown Mallets lose the Super Hoop, the world will be demolished into radioactive cinders in less than a week.

It seems that Thursday Next cannot catch a break on her never-ending quest to save the world. Something Rotten is one of the best books in the series, featuring all the Jasper Fforde trademarks, from his clever and slightly frenetic writing to his dry and biting satire. Among these is the hilarious re-imagining of croquet as a brutal professional sport, complete with Garden Party and hedge obstacles.

The Goliath corporation-turned-religion is an amusing jab at those brands (Apple comes to mind) that promote and gather a fanbase that amounts to something of a cult or a religion. Nothing is really sacred to Jasper Fforde, and though this can sometimes be a bad thing (such as when he tends to be rather mocking of religion) it can also be thought-provoking—while simultaneously delivering a really funny story.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating
Flaws Fighting/violence, Language, Sexual, Worldview.
Summary: Thursday Next attempts to recover her husband, find proper babysitting, and help the Swindon Mallets win the Superhoop.

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