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Description - Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, Head of JurisFiction and ex-SpecOps agent, returns to her native Swindon accompanied by a child of two, a pair of dodos and Hamlet, who is on a fact-finding mission in the real world. Thursday has been despatched to capture escaped Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine but even so, now seems as good a time as any to retrieve her husband Landen from his state of eradication at the hands of the Chronoguard. It's not going to be easy. Thursday's former colleagues at the department of Literary Detectives want her to investigate a spate of cloned Shakespeares, the Goliath Corporation are planning to switch to a new Faith based corporate management system and the Neanderthals feel she might be the Chosen One who will lead them to genetic self-determination. With help from Hamlet, her uncle and time-travelling father, Thursday faces the toughest adventure of her career. Where is the missing President-for-life George Formby? Why is it imperative for the Swindon Mallets to win the World Croquet League final? And why is it so difficult to find reliable childcare?

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340825952
ISBN-10: 0340825952
Format: Paperback
(199mm x 129mm x 26mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Hodder Paperback
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 11-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Review: Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde - Reviewed by (27 Mar 2012)

Something Rotten is the 4th of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. After 2 years as Bellman for Jurisfiction, Thursday has begun to miss the Real World, and decides to go back to Swindon with her two-year-old son, Friday, to see if she can get her husband Landen Parke-Laine, currently eradicated by the Chrono-Guard, un-eradicated. But life is never straight forward for Thursday: she is low on funds and needs her Spec-Ops job back; she wants to return a troublesome bookjumper, Yorick Kaine, back to the book he came from, before he succeeds in his campaign to leap from Chancellor and leader of the Whigs to Dictator of England; and she needs to organise Play Group and a speech therapist for Friday, whose first two years spent in the Fiction world have him talking Lorem Ipsum, the dummy text used by printers. Soon enough, Thursday also discovers she had an Officially-Sanctioned Stalker, Millon deFloss. On top of all this she has been saddled with Hamlet, on leave in the Outland to see if people really consider him a ditherer: rather untimely as Kaine is agitating for war against the Danish. Goliath Corporation, meanwhile, is attempting to switch to a faith-based operation management system. As always, Fforde peppers his narrative with wonderfully imaginative names for characters (Fawsten Gayle, Adam Gnusense, Commander Braxton Hicks, Brik Schitt-Hawse, Piarno Keyes, Tork Armada, Julie Aseizer, Alf Widdershaine, Ernst Stricknene), for bureaucratic entities (the Apologarium in Goliathopolis, St Septyk’s Hospital) and for TV game shows (Evade the Question Time, Celebrity Name That Fruit!, Toasters From Hell, You’ve Been Stapled!). The titles of the journals quoted in the chapter introductions are similarly clever (New Oppressor, The Toad, The Mole, Gadfly, Portsmouth Penny Dreadful, Swindon Eevening Blurb, Arboreal Times, Swindon Daily Eyestrain) and the context is hilariously inane. In this instalment we see more of Thursday’s family and learn more about the Chrono-Guard. Thursday survives several assassination attempts, smuggles banned books out of the country, plays World Championship Croquet, searches for cloned Shakespeares and makes a startling discovery about Granny Next. The Whigs, with their idiotic policies are way ahead in popularity, of the Commonsense Party, so in that aspect, Thursday’s world is not so different from ours, although re-engineered Dodos, Mammoths, Thylacines and Neanderthals are unlikely to ever abound here. As always, Fforde provides many laugh out loud moments in a plot that is original, thrilling and totally unpredictable. I look forward to First Among Sequels.


Author Biography - Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and sucking the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.

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