In "The Well of lost plots" we left Thursday Next as Jurisfiction`s Bellman. Now, in "Something rotten" she has already had that job for quite a few months, and even though it certainly isn`t boring, she wants something different. Thursday needs something more similar to real life, and she also misses terribly her husband (Landen Parke-Laine), erradicated by the Goliath Corporation. As a result of that, she hands in her resignation as Bellman to the Council of Genres. However, the Council doesn`t accept it and instead gives her an unlimited leave with the hope of her return, if actualizing her husband doesn`t "work out" :)
Thursday returns to the real world, accompanied by her two-year-old son Friday, her two dodos (Pickwick and her somewhat aggressive son Alan), and an over-anxious Hamlet who cannot wait to know what the world thinks about him. They all stay in the house of Thursday`s mom, with Lady Emma Hamilton and Otto von Bismarck, while Thursday attempts to get her job as a Litera-Tec back, uneradicate her husband and find reliable child care.
Thursday Next has more than a few surprises in store for her, though. To start with, the previously down on his luck Yorrick Kaine is now Chancellor of England, and he is intent on dictatorship. Secondly, the Goliath Corporation is trying to change to a "faith-based corporate-managed system". And finally, the Seventh Revealment of St. Zvlkx ("Swindon will win the 1988 Super Hoop") must be fulfilled, if the Armageddon is to be avoided. As a result, we get to see a crocket game unlike anything you can imagine :)
Thursday must be careful, though. Someone is trying to kill her, and she has discovered that the famous assassin "the Windowmaker" (no spelling mistakes here) has a contract on her. As if that weren`t enough, she has to keep repeating to everyone that she hasn`t been in prision for the past two years, find a solution for the anti-Danish frenzy that Kaine motivated, discover what on earth is an "ovinator", and win the most important crocket game ever!. Thankfully, she has Hamlet`s "wise" advice: "Pretend to be mad and talk a lot. Then -and this is the most important bit- do nothing at all until you absolutely have to and then make sure everyone dies".
In "Something rotten" we meet again some of our favorite characters, not only from the real world but from the Bookworld too. Who could imagine that merely because Thursday is out of the Bookworld its problems won`t follow her?. You want some examples?. Well, Emperor Zhark seeks her advice on how to scare the author of his books from "killing" him off, and she needs to put to rights "Hamlet", after an unauthorized Book Merger with "The Merry Wives of Windsor" results in "The Merry Wives of Elsinore".
Thursday also has to agree to be the SO-14 Danish Book Seizure Liasion officer in order to get back her job as a Litera-Tec, but she doesn`t exactly perform her duties well, since she arranges with her friends to smuggle illegal Danish books to the Socialist Republic of Wales... Do you need more in order to get interested and read this book?. Well, I suppose that I can also tell you that Thursday gets to meet her personal stalker and future biographer, Millon de Floss, and that she has to solve the mistery of several dead clones of a famous deceased writer :)
On the whole, I believe that this book is as original as the others, and every bit as engaging. I love Fforde`s "Thursday Next" series, and I think that this book is an excellent addition to them, so I highly recommend it to you. Enjoy it!!!.