Review of 'Something Rotten'

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
4th book in the 'Thursday Next' series

something_rotten.jpg Thursday Next is an employee of the literary police force Jurisfiction whose job it is to “maintain the continuity of the narrative within the pages of all the books ever written.” She is able to freely enter the world of books whenever she wishes as part of her job. Thursday is still recovering from events in previous instalments including attempting to restore her husband Landen who was removed from the time line by the evil Goliath Corporation (therefore, only she can remember him…despite having a 2 year old son with him by the name of Friday). Yorrick Kaine, an escaped literary character, has joined forces with Goliath to oust the ageing English president. Yorrick has managed to stir up public hatred of Denmark, passing several bizarre laws against them. He has also put a contract out on Thursday's head. Meanwhile Hamlet has left his book with Thursday as he explores the “Outland” to understand what people really think of him leaving the play to merge with The Merry Wives of Windsor (creating “The Merry Wives of Elsinor”). A prophesy delivered by a time travelling monk seems to dictate the fall of the Goliath *company* so they are determined to avoid this by becoming a religion. It is up to Thursday to (1) recover her husband (2) save the world (3) return Hamlet, though not necessarily in that order.

Mind bending to say the least this is a great lot of fun from the satirist Jasper Fforde poking fun at everything you can imagine from literature to politics. It took a while for me to get into it particularly as I had not read the previous novels but once I did I really enjoyed it. There is the obvious slapstick but much of the novel relies on the reader understanding what is being satirised so therefore I think may leave a few readers puzzled. The premise is just so manic with more and more unbelievable things happening - hilarious.

Easy to read and a good chuckle, not laugh out loud but certainly enjoyable for any fan of reading and ironic humour.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-02-18

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Hodder

Publication Date: 2004

ISBN: 9781444784299

Other reviewed books in the 'Thursday Next' series: