Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Something Rotten (2004) (Hodder)
Jasper Fforde
Grade: A-
Genre: fiction / crime / alternate reality
Source: own
Thursday Next: (1) The Eyre Affair, (2) Lost in a Good Book, (3) The Well of Lost Plots, (4) Something Rotten
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Jasper Fforde 

After two years as the ‘Bellman’, head of Jurisfiction in The Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is written), Thursday has decided that she’s had enough. While the work keeps her busy and certainly keeps her busy, she needs to get back to the real world to get her husband, Landen, uneradicated by the mammoth Goliath corporation and let her son grow up in a world out of books. Tasked with acclimatising Hamlet to the real world, evading both her official stalker and the assassin trying to kill her, stopping a coup against President George Formby, trying to save all Danish books from a terrible fate and preventing the end of the world with an awesome game of Superhoop, will Thursday ever have time to fix her own troubles?

The Thursday Next series is like a breath of fresh air at the moment – I can’t get enough and even though I’ve got three more books to go, I’m already sad thinking about the end. Jasper Fforde has penned several other series, but I’m doubtful that they’ll ever live up to the amazingness that is the world of Thursday Next. After all that she’s been through, I do hope that she’ll finally get her happy ever after and that it stays that way.

After two books of living inside books, Thursday returns (for the most part) to the real world where life is just as complicated, messy and life-threatening. After changing the ending of Jane Eyre to the delight of most Brönte fans, ridding the world of its greatest immoral genius, Acheron Hades, and making an enemy of the evil Goliath Corporation, Thursday is practically a celebrity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make her task of saving the world any easier. As always, I’m breath-taken by just how awesome Jasper Fforde manages to make the book. There are so many sub-plots whirring on at once that you might think it makes for a confusing read, yet there’s just something about how it’s written that you can pick up different threads super easily when they’re re-introduced. As always, everything is inter-linked and you have to marvel at how well Jasper Fforde manages to keep so many balls in the air yet still produce a thundering finish.

Something Rotten takes place over two years after The Well of Lost Plots. Even though I’m annoyed that we’ve missed seeing Thursday’s two-year tenure as the Bellman, it’s probably just as well because her son Friday has just started to get interesting. We’ve had a glimpse into how Friday turns out as an adult, so I’m intrigued to see the years inbetween. He’s certainly added a new dimension to Thursday’s life and while she’s not a particularly fussy mother (living in books with a gorilla as your primary babysitter will probably do that to you) it does add a whole new layer of fun.

I can’t begin to choose my favourite element: from the Superhoop to Hamlet’s antics to uneradicating Landen – it was all fabulous. It’s probably a good idea to steer clear of other books while reading a Thursday Next novel – the latter in itself is at least three novels rolled into one, if not more. It’s fresh and funny and once you’ve had a taste, you crave more. The concept seems crazy, but it works because Jasper Fforde isn’t afraid to think out of the box – in fact, it seems that the crazier the better. These books are literally a joy to read and you’ve got the added bonus of learning tidbits about classic literature too!

Image courtesy of Book Depository.

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