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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 15 December 2013
another good book not much else I can say if u like the author u will love this book and read it again
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on 27 June 2006
After enjoying all Thursday Next books, I was a bit reluctant to start reading the final volume, as it often happens to me with series I really love. I guess I feared the author could not possibly tie all the loose ends and finish the story in a way to match the previous volumes, without abandoning some of the subplots. After finishing the book in a single day (and night) I admit I was very wrong to doubt Jasper Fforde. It is quite amazing how a writer can mix together time travel, "fictional" characters, cartoonish science projects, apocalyptic prophecies and cloned human ancestors and still write a consistent story. Until now, whenever I was reading books of comic fiction I would inevitably compare them to Pratchett, but not this time. Jasper Fforde with this series sets his own standards and I am pretty sure I will find myself comparing new authors to this work in the future.
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2005
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
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on 6 June 2006
I am not sure how many adjectives I can use about the Thursday Next series as I feel I have used them all up in reviewing the past 3 books. Actually to be fair it really should be superlatives I am talking about as I have found this series one of the most delightful works of fiction to come out of Wales in a long time... Nuts to that, lets go the whole hog and say all of Britain even, dare I say it, the world!

Something Rotten follows on from Thursday's stint in The Well of Lost Plots where she ended up heading Jurisfiction, a role she carries on in this novel but soon on realises she cannot stay in fiction forever and a role back at SO-27 with her partner Bowden awaits her... How will Thursday adjust to life back in the real world? Will Plickwick's new baby "Alan" get an ASBO? Will the `Thals get their right to procreate agreed? And finally, will Hamlet make it back into, well Hamlet? These and many other questions will be attempted by Thursday but her success is largely upon, well her (in more ways than you can imagine...).

Thursday is really growing into a well rounded but fallible heroin, the kind that you can really fund yourself routing for but laughing at, at the same time; just imagine the haircut at the beginning of the tale and you will know exactly what I mean. The development of the other characters in this book is what sets it apart for me though, St Zvlkx is absolutely priceless and Emperor Zhark is such excellent fodder to Thursday's stirring belief in everything being done the "right way".

My feeling with this book is that this is the end of the road for Thursday Next, at least in the direction it has been heading thus far but that said Jasper Fforde hasn't failed to surprise me in one page throughout this series and I don't doubt he will manage it again.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 September 2014
This is the fourth in the Thursday Next series. Do not attempt to read this book without having read the previous ones in the series. It will not make any sense at all.
In this book Thursday returns from the literary world to Swindon with her son, Friday, Hamlet The Prince of Denmark, Pickwick the Dodo and Pickwick's son, Alan. She is desperate to have her husband, Landon Parke-Laine de-eradicated and is still on the trail of Yorrick Kaine.
This is a brilliant book and by far the best in the series so far. In fact, if you look back at my review of book 3 in the series you will see that I said pretty much the same about that one! This is a series which gets better with each passing book. The reader is now comfortable with the alternative 1980s England which features in this book. We have got used to the literary world being rather real, Wales being an independent country, Thursday's father popping in and stopping time as required and the great many other unusual happenings. This enables the author to have a lot of fun with the characters and plots without totally confusing the reader.
This is an amusing book which made me laugh outloud in several places. In some places it is quite absurd and in others very clever. The characters are wonderful. I am especially fond of little Friday who I can see becoming a very important character in future books.
I don't want to say any more about this book as I really will spoil it for those who have yet to read it. All I can say is settle back and be prepared to be entertained!
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"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.

Fforde seems more comfortable than ever in his literate-spoof world. His writing is assured and detailed, with a few dizzy puns and plenty of English-major humor, like Hamlet being a Mel Gibson fan. He wraps dozens of seemingly random threads together, tying them off neatly at the end. The climactic fight between Thursday and Kaine is both funny and brilliant, as they set one literary creation against another, including Beowulf and the Jabberwock.

The smart, tough-yet-loving Thursday is joined by a bunch of characters both lovable and infuriating, including her Latin-spouting tot Friday and a bunch of Neanderthals. Gran Next has a secret identity revealed, and Landen returns... spasmodically, on and off. Most winning are the exuberant Hamlet and Thursday's brother, the Irreverend Joffy. Oddly enough, the villains -- such as Mr. Goliath and hit woman Cindy -- tend to be two-dimensional, but fictional ones (like Emperor Zhark) are enormous fun. Oh, the irony.

Jasper Fforde returns with "Something Rotten," a solid entry in the ongoing fantasy-detective series. For people who don't mind a spoonful of satire with their classic literature, this is a must have.
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on 2 November 2004
In Jasper Fforde's latest "fiction within fiction" book, Something Rotten, Fforde offers up more literary devices, stock characters, wishy-washy Danes, and violent bouts of croquet than you can shake a stick at. Something Rotten is the fourth book in the Thursday Next series, and it appears to be the final one. Ongoing plots are wrapped up and the novel seems to have a definitive ending for once. The other books have ended their particular story, but there have always been plot threads hanging for the next book to pick up and run with. Not this time. Fforde also returns to form as this is the best book since The Eyre Affair.
Thursday Next, intrepid literary detective and now head of the Jurisfiction organization (the official police force of fiction everywhere), has a lot on her plate. Her husband, Landon, has been wiped from the timestream by the Goliath Corporation in an effort to get revenge on her. Nobody remembers him but her, even though she has a son by him (Friday, of course). Two years of being head of Jurisfiction has taken its toll, though, and she wants out. She officially resigns (though everybody just sees it as taking a leave of absence) and comes out of the fiction world and into her own real one again. Sadly, her problems are just beginning.
First, her time-travelling father visits her and tells her that if the Swindon Mallets croquet team doesn't win the tournament next week, then the world will end three weeks later. She has brought Hamlet with her from the fictional world, just in time for a wave of anti-Danish hysteria to sweep Great Britain (not to mention the fact that Hamlet discovers he's seen as a helpless ditherer in the real world). Clones of Shakespeare are turning up dead all over the place, plus Thursday has to figure out how to smuggle ten truckloads of banned Danish literature into neutral Wales before the government can burn them. A lot of this is being caused by Yorrick Kane, the decidedly fictional (but tell him that) man who wants to become the dictator of all England (and, perhaps, eventually ruler of the world). With all of these balls in the air, can Thursday help but drop a few? If she does, everything she knows and loves will come to an end.
The last two books have dwelt largely in the world of fiction, thus neglecting the truly interesting world that Fforde had created. Something Rotten changes all that, taking place almost completely in the real world, but with enough fictional elements and ideas to keep the book fresh. Characters from the Jurisfiction organization continue to pop up and ask for Thursday's advice. Hamlet is always an ongoing concern, especially when some of the other characters in the play rebel and create their own story, which causes Thursday to have to find a Shakespeare clone in order to write another original copy of Hamlet. Thankfully, one of the things she's investigating is the death of Shakespeare clones!
This brings me to one of the faults of the book. There are just too many coincidences for my liking. In a novel about literary devices, there are bound to be some coincidences. However, Thursday is juggling many things at one time and the resolution of some of them just seems too convenient for me. It would be different if there was a reason for them within the book (as there is a reason for the piano just happening to fall on the right person at the right time), but there's not. It all seemed a bit too convenient. Probably the worst example of this is the Wellington clones that just happen to show up at the perfect time to take care of the Napoleon clones running about. It was just too much.
For the most part, I was able to ignore these problems with just a roll of the eyes, as the rest of the book is a delight. Fforde's trademark wit is fully evident, as he parodies bad political talk-shows and creates a full-contact version of croquet that makes it seem like American football. Even the blurbs at the beginning of each chapter are usually hilarious. In fact, not only is Something Rotten the best book since The Eyre Affair, it's also the most fun. I haven't laughed out loud this much in ages.
While I did find that Thursday had her problems solved a little too easily, it was still fun watching her deal with all of them. She is characterized very well in this book, from her dedication to Jurisfiction (despite having left) to her love and devotion for her eradicated husband. She gets more development here than she received in the last two books combined. Unlike even The Eyre Affair, there are actually other characters as well who are fairly well-rounded (if a bit silly at times). Hamlet comes off the best, as he's just enough like the character in the play to be recognizable, but he wants to be remembered as a man of action. It hurts him that people see him as wishy-washy and he becomes determined to change that image. His interactions with Thursday as she tries to prevent this are very amusing.
The book ends with revelation after revelation that brings the previous books into a whole new light. These almost come a bit too fast, as my head began to throb by doing double-takes, but they do make sense. Some of the long-standing questions are finally answered, and we (and Thursday) come full circle. It's a perfect place to end it, and I really hope Fforde decides to leave it. Forcing more adventures after this would just seem extraneous. Plus, he has gone out on a good note, and it would be shame to ruin that. Something Rotten isn't rotten at all. It's bloody wonderful.
David Roy
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on 30 August 2004
Having read and adored Jasper Fforde's three previous books in the Thursday Next series, I was eagerly awaiting the fourth instalment - especially as the man himself was holding a book signing in the area. I told him as he signed my copy that I would be awake all night until I finished, as I always am with his books, and that is exactly what happened. It was as if the book was glued to my hands.
The story joins Thursday as she returns to the 'real world' after a two year spell as the bellman of jurisfiction, and follows her struggles with Goliath, SO-1, a lethal assassin and Swindon's premier croquet team. Something Rotten has the bewildering, incredulous and highly ironic storyline I have come to associate with Jasper Fforde; and I was delighted with the return of many characters from the previous novels including Spike Stoker, Emperor Zhark and the wonderfully named Brik Schitt-Hawse. I was also ecstatic to discover the mystery of Millon de Floss. Comments from the previous novels which seemed strangely random fall seamlessly into place with delightful irony; and on looking back through the first three novels, many seemingly innocent remarks have gained a fresh irony.
The final chapters of the novel astounded me, and also baffled me for several days. Jasper Fforde is nothing short of exceptional; he has done classical literature a great service by making it electrifying and, literally, bringing its characters to life.
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on 28 July 2004
As a fan of Jasper Fforde I was really looking forward to the 4th installment of the Thursday Next series and I wasn't disappointed.
All the characters continue in this book and you really do get swept along with them.
It is well written, intelligent, witty and a must read for any book lover - just make sure you read the other three first!
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on 27 July 2004
I'm not disappointed with Thursday Next's fourth outing. She returns to Swindon where she is reunited with friends and family after spending two years living inside the cover of books. She's back to try and un-eradicate her husband Landen Parke Laine. Oh, and save to world as she knows it! (It does help if you read the previous titles in order. The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book and The Well of Lost Plots)
She brings with her: her son Friday, two dodos and Hamlet. Hamlet is a ditherer even ordering coffee is very much a challenge for him.

The mixture of the sublime to the ridiculous is deftly woven with an ordinary life seems unnervingly acceptable to the reader. The return of familiar characters was a joy and new ones with names to make you do a double take and then make you smile or even laugh out loud. Being able to visualise the places visited in my own beloved Wiltshire is also a great pleasure.
I don't pretend to be a book buff, but Mr Fforde is very knowledgeable and well read. His descriptions and take on the classics would encourage anyone to read them and view them in a new light.
I cannot praise this book enough.
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