Saturday, June 20, 2009

Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde

2004; 383 pages. But read the 'Credits' page too. Book #4 in the Thursday Next series. Genre : Alternate Timeline. Overall Rating : A+.

   .Set two years after the previous book, Thursday returns to the "real" world with her toddler son, Friday, in tow; so that she can concentrate on getting her husband uneradicated.
    Fforde once again interweaves a dizzying number of plots. Yorrick Kaine is chancellor of England and working hard to become its absolute dictator. An assassin is trying to kill Thursday. There's a professional croquet game that has to be won against overwhelming odds, and a Shakespeare-clone to locate so that the Bard's plays can be untangled. A wave of anti-Danishism is sweeping the country, and Goliath Corp. has inexplicably switched to "Faith-Based Corporate Management". Then there's the small matter of saving the world from Armageddon.

.What's To Like...
    Everything. The plot's fast-paced and the writing is witty. Mycroft Next is back. Pickwick the dodo is raising her son. Otto von Bismarck is wooing Thursday's mom; and Hamlet and Emma Hamilton (who?) behave similarly, after an initial bout of mamihlapinatapai (what?). Fforde has Friday Next speaking in Lorem Ipsum (eh?), which is a nice touch. The penultimate duel between Yorrick and the Cheshire Cat is outstanding.

  .Finally, there's the ultimate ending to this 4-book series itself. (*) Clever, unexpected, and touching. Something Rotten could serve as a textbook example of how to perfectly wrap up a series. What more can you ask for?

You're gushing. Isn't there anything wrong with Something Rotten?
    I went out to and read their reviews. The only negatives seem to be from folks who hated the voice on the audio-book or hadn't read the first three books. So the worst I can say is that you really should read these books in their proper order.

   .I give Something Rotten an A+ cuz I can't find anything to even quibble about. The book, and the series, will appeal to just about everyone, and it is even suitable for the kiddies.

(*) : Yeah, I know there is a fifth Thursday Next book out - "First Among Sequels". But in looking at it (it's on my TBR shelf), it takes place 14 years after Something Rotten, and is probably the start of another series of Thursday Next adventures. Here's hoping that's what's happening.

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