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, and 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.


Amanda said...

This is the first one you've given an A+ to, isn't it? I'm glad to hear this one's good. I've got to read The Well of Lost Plots first, which I have at home now but haven't gotten around to because I'm trying to finish up all these challenges first. Sigh.

L said...

Woo-hoo, I just got The Eyre Affair from the library! That is the first one right? This series sounds just great...anything that makes a man admit he's gushing must be.

hamilcar barca said...

Hey Lula, i look forweard to your review of The Eyre Affair. You're right - it's the first Thursday Next book, and i think this is a series that you definitely want to read in order.

Amanda, yeah it's my first A+ rating. i debated whether to give it just an "A", since there probably isn't any difference between the two ratings. but since i couldn't even come up with a quibble, i decided to "go gushy".

Amber said...

This sounds entirely wierd, thus, to me, interesting.

I just realized that I like to use the word "thus" a lot in my blogs.

:/ hmmm.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I've only read The Eyre Affair, but I'd really like to read his other ones as well. It was just too much fun! I wanted to thank you for the link to my post of The Lost City of Z on twitter, but I'm not Trish of Hey Lady. :) Just Trish (no twitter account yet...).