Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

(10.0/10) It is sometimes hard to convey how special these stories are.

Something Rotten is the fourth novel in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. If you have not read the previous novels in order please go and start with The Eyre Affair, followed by Lost in a Good Book and then the Well of Lost Plots.

The resourceful literary detective Thursday Next returns to Swindon from the BookWorld accompanied by her son Friday and none other than the dithering Hamlet. But returning to SpecOps is no snap - as outlaw fictioner Yorrick Kaine plots for absolute power, the return of Swindon’s patron saint foretells doom, and, if that isn’t bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she vanquish Kaine and prevent the world from plunging into war? And will she ever find reliable child care?

*** Reading this review further may contain plot spoilers for the previous books ***

In the Well of Lost Plots, Thursday had decided to hide out in the book world so that she could sort herself out after her husband Landen had been eradicated. This book starts two years after the ending of that novel and Thursday has decided that she has to go back to the real world, Swindon 1988, to begin living again.

Swindon 1988 (not our reality's 1988) is still as fantastical as we remember from books one and two in this series: with cloned Shakespeare's, power mad politicians (wait that does sound like our world), resurrected saints and all sorts of twists and turns during the course of the story.

With a whole cast of characters both real and fictional, Thursday’s life cannot get busier. Looking after her two year old son, Friday, she is trying to get her old job back whilst also being the "go-to person" at Jurisfication. She also has her family and friends, who support her almost unquestionably, mostly as they are too busy living their own lives to look beyond the surface. What makes this book and Jasper Fforde’s writing so well thought out is the fact that all these characters, from Thursday’s Mum to Hamlet, all have lives of their own ,so it feels more like a real life than characters who are written in just for plot filler.

There is so much detail to be found in these novels that it is sometimes hard to convey how special these stories are. There are so many layers which keep you reading, that also remind you of parts previously mentioned in the other books and you are never sure where the story will take you next or where the journal will end. There are not many authors out there who can achieve this, especially when they are also taking you not only into their stories but through previously written well known fiction from across the ages.

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Our interview with Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on Sterling banknotes, and is cousin of the author, Katie Ffor [...]

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All reviews for Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series

The Eyre Affair

Thursday Next: Book 1 written by Jasper Fforde

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of a new crime wave’s Mr B [...]

Published: 2001

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

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Lost in a Good Book

Thursday Next: Book 2 written by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed, is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of fou [...]

Published: 2002

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Well of Lost Plots

Thursday Next: Book 3 written by Jasper Fforde

Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent famil [...]

Published: 2003

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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Something Rotten

Thursday Next: Book 4 written by Jasper Fforde

The resourceful literary detective Thursday Next returns to Swindon from the BookWorld accompanied by her son Friday and none other than the dithering Hamlet. But returning [...]

Published: 2004

Our rating: 10.0 | positive reader reviews

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First Among Sequels

Thursday Next: Book 5 written by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next is back. And this time it's personal… Officially, Literary Detective Thursday Next is off the case. Once a key figure in the BookWorld police force [...]

Published: 2007

Our rating: 9.6 | positive reader reviews

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One of our Thursdays is Missing

Thursday Next: Book 6 written by Jasper Fforde

It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace t [...]

Published: 2011

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Woman Who Died a Lot

Thursday Next: Book 7 written by Jasper Fforde

The BookWorld's leading enforcement officer Thursday Next is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindo [...]

Published: 2012

Our rating: 9.6 | positive reader reviews

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Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy [...]

Series: Shades of Grey Trilogy #1
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