Hamlet. Toast. Denmark. Eradicated Husbands. Croquet. Prophesies. Neanderthals. The Windowmaker.
Something Rotten, the fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, is immensely enjoyable, funny and clever. The style is more like the first two books in the series: not as laugh-out-loud funny as The Well of Lost Plots and containing more political and social satire. Something Rotten continues the storylines begun in the earlier books, wrapping up most of the loose ends by the end of the book. It includes most of my favorite characters, including Spike and Thursday’s dad. While it technically concludes the series, Fforde has since added two encore books.
Briefly, after more than two years as the Bellman of Jurisfiction, Thursday decides that it is time to leave the bookworld and return to the real world—real being Fforde’s alternative history, fantasy world—with her two-year-old son Friday, who only speaks in Loren Ipsum. Back home, Thursday must deal with the problems that she left behind. Her husband is still eradicated, and Goliath Corporation is still trying to dominate the world. In addition, Yorrick Kaine, a fictional character who has escaped to the real world, has proclaimed himself chancellor and is trying to get himself elected dictator. Part of his strategy is to blame Denmark for everything that is wrong in the country. In addition, an obscure 13th century saint, St. Zvlkx, has made a pronouncement that if the Swindon Mallets win the Superhoop, a croquet championship, Goliath and Kaine will be defeated. Oh, and someone is trying to kill Thursday.
The Thursday series is like typeset chocolate to me; I don’t want it to end. Besides all the wonderful things I have said about it in my earlier blogs, it is also very reader friendly. Fforde gives enough backstory information so that a reader can easily continue reading the series after a long absence. He even does that within individual books, where he sprinkles in mini-summaries. I want to keep the last two books until I seriously need another silliness break.