Thursday, April 12, 2012

Something Rotten

Something Rotten (Thursday Next Novels)By Jasper Fforde.  This is the fourth book in the Thursday Next series.*  The series has been described in the past as "Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll".  Which is an okay description but really makes it seem like the books are supposed to be a constant laugh riot or complete strangeness and in the end they aren't that. If you liked the Hitchhiker Series I would strongly recommend this series because it does have the incongruousness and oddness of that series and much like that series really anything can happen.   I suspect that the Lewis Carroll part of the description comes from two facts: first the Cheshire Cat is a recurring character and secondly that the entire series has a literature bent to it.  But really I think a better description would be "the illegitimate child of the Hitchhiker Series and a High School Lit class**.  Anyway, back on track.  This book is much like the others in the series and that is a good thing.  The main character (Thursday Next) lives in a world sort of like our own, but at the same time very different***.  Among the most important differences is that time travel is possible and that Thursday's husband has, in previous books, been eradicated from the timeline.  This installment is partly about her attempting to get him reactualized.  In addition to everything going on in this strange world, Thursday is also able to enter into the book world.  Meaning she can actually go into a book and it's world.  So, in short, she has to deal with strangeness from two realities.  If I have any criticism of the book it would be that a lot of the book felt like the author was trying to wrap up loose ends and bring the entire series to a close.  Which he very successfully does.  However, I also happen to know that there is a fifth book in the series.****  So, I'm not sure really what's going on with all that.  Perhaps he thought he was done with the series and then for whatever reason it turned out he wasn't. Anyway, in short the book stays delightfully true to form and I would recommend it (and the previous three) wholeheartedly.*****

Something Rotten: A

* - Having read all of the previous books and being unlikely to read them again (and thus grade them) any time soon, I'll say that if I did grade them they would get very similar grades to this book.
** - The books in the Lit Class not the students
*** - Sort of like how the alternate world in Fringe is Earth but also isn't.
**** - In a large part because I own a copy of it.
***** - This message was approved by the Toast Marketing Board.

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