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SOMETHING ROTTEN Hardcover – 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340835583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340835586
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 20.5 x 3.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,174,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 25 2007
Format: Paperback
"This is fiction. Odd things are MEANT to happen." That remark, coming from galactic tyrant Emperor Zhark, sets the tone for Jasper Fforde's fourth book in the still-fresh Thursday Next series, "Something Rotten." Funny, literate, and sometimes quite poignant, this proves that Fforde still has the spark.

After a disastrous incident in the Wild West, Thursday Next decides to leave Jurisfiction, and goes home with her two-year-old son Friday. But things aren't more peaceful in the real world: The Goliath Corporation has become a religion, there's a politician named Yorrick Kaine blaming the Danes for everything, and a croquet match is set to determine the fate of the world. If they win, the Goliath Corporation (and Kaine) are finished. If they lose, the world has a 22% chance of Armageddon.

Thursday's personal life is no easier. Her husband has been "eradicated," and her mom's house is full of guests from Hamlet to a 13th-century seer. Now her only hope lies in somehow getting the Goliath Corporation to give her husband back, and in winning the cricket match (with the help of Hamlet and a bunch of Neanderthals). But Kaine and the Corporation aren't about to go down without a fight... and they might take Thursday down with them.

Jasper Fforde won readers' hearts with the comedy/mystery/fantasy/satire "The Eyre Affair," and kept winning them with the two sequels. Though "Well of Lost Books" was a bit shaky, "Rotten" gets its footing quickly. Any book that has Ophelia staging a coup and taking over the play must be a winner. But Fforde also wraps up some threads from the earlier books, such as Landen's eradication. The question of Thursday's punishment (for changing the end of "Jane Eyre") is also dealt with, in a poignant and unexpected twist.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This product looked just as I had expected it to look. It also arrived in a good amount of time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d55b744) out of 5 stars 120 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d584414) out of 5 stars "Things are just so much weirder than we can know." Aug. 13 2005
By E. Bukowsky - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jasper Fforde's unique brand of inspired insanity makes "Something Rotten" a welcome addition to his enormously entertaining and often hilarious Thursday Next series. Thursday is the head of Jurisfiction, the policing agency that "safeguards the stability of the written word" in literature. However, she is tiring of her hectic, stressful, and often dangerous job and she needs a break. Thursday takes her two-year-old son, Friday, and decides to head for the Outland. She returns to her home town of Swindon, England, determined to bring back her "eradicated" husband, Landen Parke-Lane.

Thursday's return home, unfortunately, brings a new set of problems to plague this beleaguered heroine. She is saddled with Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who is unhappy with the indecisive manner in which he has been portrayed by actors. In addition, the Council of Genres wants Thursday to do something about the dictatorial and ruthless Yorrick Kaine, an escaped fictionaut who is planning to dominate the world. To make matters worse, a mysterious and deadly assassin is out to get Thursday, and she has to watch her back constantly.

"Something Rotten" is filled with puns, literary allusions, slapstick, dizzying time travel, ribald humor, naughty words, brilliant satire, and non-stop action. Often, the wacky plot makes little sense, and the many characters enter and exit so often that the unprepared reader may be left with a migraine. However, Fforde rewards the patient reader in many ways. The author entertains us with his large cast of colorful and varied characters. Thursday Next is an appealing heroine who is smart, courageous, warmhearted, determined, and resourceful. Melanie Bradshaw, the gorilla wife of Commander Bradshaw, provides Friday with much-needed child care in a pinch. Yorrick Kaine is Thursday's fearsome and frightening opponent, and his backers, the men behind the colossal Goliath Corporation, represent all of those reprehensible conglomerates that gleefully and heartlessly trample on human rights. Lady Emma Hamilton is a boarder who stays with Thursday's mom, and she proves to be a handful. Emma is a lush who has the hots for Hamlet. Colonel Next is Thursday's dad, and he travels through time, meeting up with and helping his daughter now and then. It is no accident that several characters from "Alice in Wonderland" also make key appearances in this whimsical and imaginative novel.

Thursday's adventures are funny, poignant, and sometimes dazzling in their complexity. There is even a no-holds-barred "SuperHoop" croquet match that is as wild and unpredictable as the Quidditch matches in the Harry Potter novels. "Something Rotten" may confuse devotees of linear literature. However, if you like a creative and daring author who loves wordplay, creates timebending and mindbending escapades, and who inserts timely and pointed social commentary into his narrative, then you will find Jasper Fforde's "Something Rotten" as delightful as I did.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d584468) out of 5 stars Give me two Danish and call me Thursday Aug. 20 2005
By Amanda Richards - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The latest Thursday Next saga is certainly the best, providing that you've read the rest of the series. If you haven't, you'll find it difficult to follow the exciting adventures of Thursday in the Outerworld, as she fights to save her eradicated husband, raise their paradoxical son Friday, stop Yorrick Kaine and the dastardly Goliath Corporation, foil an assassin, capture the Minotaur, bring about world peace, and win an un-winnable croquet match in the process.

Taking a leave of absence from the Bookworld, Thursday reappears in the real world to find that the Goliath Corporation has ascended to new heights of mind control, Yorrick Kaine has inexplicably risen to power, her bosses are not particularly happy about her unauthorized 2 1/2 year absence, and she's got a downtrodden Hamlet, an amorous Emma Hamilton and a dashing Otto Bismarck to contend with.

More than up to the task, but not quite sure how to sort anything out, she makes a deal with Goliath, visits the netherworld with vampire hunter Spike, and somehow ends up managing the local croquet team in an all-important championship match.

One of Fforde's most imaginative novels, this one is highly recommended for fans of the Thursday Next series.

Amanda Richards, August 20, 2005
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d584744) out of 5 stars Something Brilliant in the State of Fforde Aug. 14 2004
By RCM - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Fforde's brilliant detective series continues in the fourth installment, 'Something Rotten', which ties in all the classic elements of his beloved stories. His wit is as sharp as ever and he continues to cleverly tie in various characters/scenarios from several works of literature. The world he has created for Thursday Next is a treat for any bibliophile who has ever dreamed of being able to enter their favorite work of literature.

'Something Rotten' finds Thursday Next tired of hiding out in the Book World, so she returns home in order to have her erradicated husband un-erradicated. This isn't as simple as it may seem, and Thursday is forced with defending herself from various attempts on her life, resolving a coup in 'Hamlet', and stopping the ruthless Yorrick Kaine, a fictional character, from becoming a vicious dictator in the real world (well, a Nextian world). She also has to take care of her two-year-old son Friday, get her job back at SpecOps, and most importantly of all, prevent an armageddon from destroying the world. These might seem like insurmountable tasks for the ordinary detective; but as a literary detective, Next is more than equipped for whatever comes her way, real or imagined.

Fforde has created an entire world for Thursday Next and is comfortable in her shoes. As she travels between the real and the written world, Fforde's imagination is vibrant and alive, painting an unusual depiction of what really goes on in the books we read. He has given new voices and perspectives to beloved literary characters and has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, in both the literary and 'real' worlds.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d584c60) out of 5 stars Another Thursday Next winner Aug. 16 2004
By Eileen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Thursday Next is back again at last, and her hands are fuller than ever. The story begins 2 years after her last adventure ended, and she is weary of her time as the head of Jurisfiction. She decides to take a leave of absence from Bookworld and return to Swindon and a job at SpecOps. Accompanying her are her young son Friday and Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Thursday's trip out of Jurisfiction leaves her little time for relaxation, however. She tries to get her husband Landon uneradicated. She searches for a Shakespeare clone to save the play "Hamlet" from a hostile takeover. She must ensure that the Swindon Mallets win the SuperHoop-88 World League Croquet tournament to keep the world from imminent Armageddon, as is prophesied by 13th-century Saint Zvlkx, whose revealments always come true. She must find a way to thwart an anti-Danish book-burning by smuggling books across the border into Wales. Needless to say she must also battle the evil Goliath Corporation, along with the fictional Yorrick Caine, now Chancellor of England, who wants to become world dictator. Then there's the assassin who is repeatedly attempting to do away with Thursday. The reader can never say that Thursday's life is boring!

There are many interesting and amusing details in the book, including the finer points of croquet law, a closer look at Neanderthals and Chimeras, the problems inherent with uneradication, the reasons behind Hamlet's dithering, and Friday's use of Lorem Ipsum, a typesetter's dummy language. Many characters from previous books make their appearance here, including the Minotaur, the Cheshire Cat, the Jurisfiction operatives, and Thursday's coworkers from SpecOps. There are plenty of chases, close calls, and time travel paradoxes. There is even a touching scene with Granny Next that might have you wiping away a tear or two. Unlike with the previous books, all the loose ends have been neatly tied up in this one. Author Jasper Fforde himself admits that the interconnectivity of the first four books can be a bit frustrating, but that he plans his future books to be more "stand alone."

"Something Rotten" has all the typical Fforde trademarks, including abundant literary references, satire, and silliness. This book did not have quite the impact on me as previous books in the series. Perhaps this is because the uniqueness of Thursday's alternate universe has lost its novelty, or perhaps this is because Fforde is beginning to rehash a few older gags and concepts. But I still enjoyed the story very much and recommend it to all Thursday Next fans. Besides the book itself, the author also provides a link to a web site with special features on this title and the series in general. By answering a question about a detail from the book, you can enter the site and find additional background material. There's a lot to keep you entertained and laughing here!

Eileen Rieback
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d584c78) out of 5 stars My favorite Thursday so far Oct. 18 2004
By bensmomma - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In "Something Rotten," Literary detective Thursday Next finally returns from two volumes taking place almost entirely outside the "real world" of Fforde's imagination, during which Thursday policed the world of fiction (running interference in Wuthering Heights, for example). Here, Fforde again shows his comedic knack for throwing together anomalous characters from history and fiction and letting them play off each other. Thursday's Mom has become landlady to Otto von Bismarck (19th-century Chancellor of Germany), Lady Emma Hamilton (the often-inebriated paramour of Lord Nelson), and Hamlet himself. Several flirtations ensue, with riotous consequences.

The main plot again involves Thursday trying to avoid a certain Armageddon by outwitting her corporate foes. While trying to prevent the end of the universe, Thursday tracks the Minotaur through trashy wild-west fiction, having scented him with Slapstick; the sporadic appearance of banana peels and falling pianos in the plot prove it.

There's also a delicious undercurrent of modern cultural references; for example, Thursday's hunt for a secret producer of Will Shakespeare clones eventually leads her to a distant walled-in enclosure straight out of "Jurassic Park," only populated by rampaging herds of Napoleon clones. Thursday must also temporarily become a champion player of "Superhoop," a kind of violent croquet-like sport with rules that are surely meant to parody Harry Potter's quidditch scenes.

In the previous two volumes of the series, a lot of things were on frustrating hold: Thursday's husband Landon had been "eradicated" (someone went back in time and worked it so he'd never been born) and, although she was pregnant, almost two volumes of the series had passed without the appearance of her child. In this volume, Fforde ties up these loose ends in brilliant style. All is resolved happily (I find Fforde is quite good at writing the romantic passages as well), but so neatly that I fear we won't hear from Thursday again.

Perhaps we can convince Fforde to go back in time to give Thursday a 2nd (or is it a fifth?) chance.

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