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Something Rotten (Thursday Next #4)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,514 Ratings  ·  1,127 Reviews
The popularity of Jasper Fforde's one-of-a-kind series builds with each new book. Now in the fourth installment, 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 snapas outlaw fictioner Yorrick Kaine plots for absolute power, the retu ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 393 pages
Published 2005 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published August 5th 2004)
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The fouth instalment of the Thursday Next series is my favourite one, the one in which all the plotlines set out earlier are woven together and political satire enters the series in a grand way.

In Something Rotten, Thursday returns from the book world to late-1980s England with her two-year-old son, two dodos and the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, who wishes to see a bit of the world. As it happens, Hamlet's arrival in the real world poses a bit of a problem, for unbeknownst to Thursday, a fictional
R.S. Carter
Have you started the Thursday Next series yet? If not, put the first book The Eyre Affair on your short list. This is one of my favorite series and Something Rotten is easily the best book in the series thus far.

How can a book this hilarious make me weep like a heartbroken teenager at the end? I laughed, I cried - I was nearly institutionalized because of the Fforde-induced bipolar syndrome this book caused.

It wasn't just me. Hamlet (various classic fiction characters make grand entrances in all
Mar 24, 2014 melydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With every book I've read in this series, I've said the same thing: this was fun but I doubt I'll continue on with the series. Well, this is the fourth book and I give up. I'm going to keep reading Thursday Next books because they're absolutely ridiculous and they make me laugh. This time around, Thursday is back in the real world, where she has to deal with fictional would-be dictators, semi-dead presidents, a husband who may not actually exist, violent cricket matches, 13th century mystics, a ...more
Mar 16, 2016 Lanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After belong a little disappointed by the third book, this one was back in the 'real world', and just as much fun as the first two.
The plot was deliberately complex, full of twists and turns. Nevertheless I found it easy to understand as events follow their own internal logic.

The bad people were vanquished, the good people won (but not without cost), the funny characters amused, and the dodos waddled in occasionally to do their dodo thing.

By the end of the book the major story lines were resolve
Jan 18, 2016 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when you think it can’t get any stranger, Jasper Fforde makes sure to let you know it can and it will:

“The fate of all life on this beautiful planet decided on the swing of a croquet mallet.” (351)

I mean COME ON! Anyone who can turn croquet into a full-contact sport and make me want to watch it has to be a genius right?

I also can’t believe it took me until almost 12 hours later to finally connect the title to most of the story, as in hey this story has a lot about Hamlet in it and the quote
Sep 21, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
Two years have passed and Thursday is still working in Jurisfiction and hunting the Minotaur, but she longs to return to the real world and find Landen, previously eradicated by the Goliath Corporation. Her son Friday is now two

She returns to Swindon with Hamlet, who wants to see what the real world is like and stays with her mother and father. She gets her job back at SpecOps and starts to find out all she has missed. President George Formby is still in power but the Goliath Corporation has mad
Oct 30, 2015 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was book 4 in the Thursday next series, and although a lot of loose threads from the previous books came together, for me this book just didn't read as well as the others. There was a fair amount of repetition which went on, which seemed to interupt the flow of the storyline. Once again the multiple threads reminded me of the plate spinners from the old variety acts.
Time has moved on and Thursday exits the Bookworld to reappear in the real world. She is accompanied by her 2 year old son, Sh
Apr 02, 2015 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was just okay for me. There was so much going on. The author kept it reigned in, but it was like a jumbo zig zag. Usually I like busy, so I'm not sure why this rubbed me the wrong way. There was also a fair amount of repetition which caused eye rolling....not excessive eye rolling...just basic eye rolling.

I liked Thurdsay. She was great. I also liked Hamlet. He seemed like the comic relief. Everything else was just okay.
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book lovers
The fourth (4th) book in the Thursday Next series.


Thursday Next is living in Bookworld. She is one of the rare, rare people with the ability to read herself into books. Now she is The Bellman - the sort of leader in charge of Bookworld. She spends her days calming fictional characters, stopping character rebellion, and keeping plotlines stable. She has a two-year-old son, the boy Friday. Her husband and one true love, Landon, is eradica
Apr 23, 2014 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
Happy birthday, William Shakespeare, and as a gift for your 450th, I present to you an excellent book written for your 440th. Jasper Fforde has exactly the same love of reading and writer's inventiveness as many of the great ones who are inspired by your creativity. Not only does he give Hamlet some thoughtful reflection upon his role as a dithering protagonist, but also literally brings you back to life with all the tragic consequences of your great plays. Okay, not even King Lear suggests an a ...more
Jan 13, 2013 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dieser Band hat mir wieder außerordentlich gut gefallen. Der in sich konsistente Erzählstrang, nämlich die Anti-Nichtung des Ehemanns Landen und die damit einhergehenden witzigen Begleiterscheinungen inklusive wiederholter Rettung des gesamten Planeten, werden extrem lustig und rasant erzählt. An traumhaft kuriosen kleinen innovativen Feuerwerken abseits des Hauptplotes wird auch nicht gespart: eine SO Stalkereinheit, oder Selbsthilfegruppen für Figuren bei denen die Urheberrechtssperre abläuft, ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
As much as I enjoy the Bookworld and Jurisfiction, I prefer the wacky world of Spec Ops and Swindon, so I was rather pleased when this started with Thursday's decision to return to the real world. And I was thrilled when this featured large amounts of crossover between the two worlds, with characters from the Bookworld coming to babysit or just hang out and Thursday occasionally still jumping into the Bookworld.

But most of all, I loved that Landen finally returned. And that the Granny Next thre
Apr 28, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thursday Next returns to the real world after some time spent as the head of jurisfiction. The weird world that is Swindon with literary crimes, extinct species and time travel. Now Thursday has to win a croquet match in order to save the world from a potential dictator, as well as trying to get her husband back and not be assassinated. Oh and she has to keep Hamlet from getting into trouble and find someone to babysit Friday, her son.

As ever this is full of ridiculous but brilliant ideas. It op
Mar 06, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
“Something Rotten” begins with Thursday's return home after 2 years in the BookWorld. Along with her is her son, Friday, and her friend, Hamlet. Thursday's mother has a number of house guests including Otto von Bismark and Emma Hamilton, and along with Hamlet provide some interesting situations in the book. This book, like the others thus far, as many twists and turns, and a lot of weird and funny events or situations, such as Thursday finding out she has a “officially sanctioned stalker”, and h ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Bookguide rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If only I could find my notes, I might be able to write something coherent about 'Something Rotten' (it's a quote from Hamlet, don't you know?), but as it is, I only know that it was certainly on a par with The Eyre Affair for madcap mayhem, unexpected plot twists and ridiculous situations. It defies description. Just read it and give your smiling muscles a workout.

The connection of this Thursday Next book to Hamlet is as tenuous as it could possibly be, which is just as well, as I've managed to
Jan 28, 2014 Barbm1020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't met Thursday Next, she's worth the time. Jasper Fforde has created a plucky girl hero who uses judo (or something), handles a gun and other weapons, nurtures her pet dodo bird Pickwick and Pickwick's naughty son, deals with her time-traveling Dad and his poor memory, and brings to heel some misbehaving fictional and historical characters in her work for Jurisfiction, the secret British intelligence agency that polices books. Learn how she gets her husband back after he is/was/will ...more
Ms. Smartarse
I regarded reading the 4th book in the series more like a duty, rather than something interesting to pass time with. I didn't really want to read it now, but since I got through the first 3 I might as well read the 4th one too, right? Plus I would've probably forgotten the plot in a year. In other words: Something Rotten was bound for failure right from the beginning.

... and now I'm wondering if I could just possibly insert yet another I somewhere in this paragraph: I!

sorry bro

Two years have passed since
Dec 03, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This whole series is beyond clever, and this is one of my favorite books in it.
Time-travel paradoxes, deadly assassins, fictional characters escaped into the real world, a violent version of croquet, dodos, neanderthals, thirteenth century prophets, a Chekhov's gun planted three books earlier, and Thursday Next, our book-jumping heroine, Jurisfiction agent, Literatec operative, and new mommy, with a sometimes actualized husband.
There is nothing here that isn't fantastic, in all senses of the wor
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This story begins with Thursday back in the real world - and not the book world. The book world was entertaining for awhile - but I am glad she is back in the real world ande only having visitors from the book world :)
With Thursday, in this book, are her young son Friday and Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Thursday's trip out of Jurisfiction in the book world does not bring a lot of relaxation.
Her first priority is to get her husband Landon uneradicated ... which is no easy task - she must visit
Apr 25, 2014 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It explains several things that I missed since I read the rest of the series without reading this book. There are also some very unexpected twists. Not the most riveting book in the series, but still well-written. A good intro to Spike, but I like their adventures more in other books. Also, I think Spike may have been spiteful towards Thursday in other books, but I don't know where that came from. He doesn't seem angry or upset at her in this one. Oh well! It was a good and entertaining read tho ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Susanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something Rotten...but the problem isn't in Denmark. With the list of new August titles arriving in my email box, Goodreads fuelled my excitement: (another Jasper Fforde book! - is there enough time to run to Bryan Prince Booksellers to get a copy before they close?) only to be dashed - I've already read it, (although not in German...) the fourth book in the Thursday Next series. sigh.....
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially after being introduced to it in one of the most the delicious juxt
Another fun installment in the Thursday Next Series. Thursday has decided it’s time to come back to the real world, she has been living in the book world for 2 years, since her husband Landen was eradicated, but as you know trouble follows our Thursday and as much as she wants Landen back there are some bad people out there that want her eradicated in every sense of the word.

I so enjoy these books it’s been too long since I picked one up and it was the best way to end my year in reading! Hamlet
Aug 31, 2011 Bry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Utterly disappointing. Seriously.

There is a fine line between satire and stupidity. Up until now Fforde has rode that line well, sometimes straying somewhat close but never crossing it. This book left the line 100 yards back after spitting on it.

I honestly don't even know where to start in explaining why I disliked this book so much. Granted I haven't been much of a fan of the entire series, but if this book had been the first I wouldn't have even used the rest to level my table or prop my door
Nov 19, 2009 Genie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Something Rotten” is the fourth book in Jasper Fforde's entertaining and funny Thursday Next series. For two and a half years Thursday has lived in the literary world. She now heads the Jurisfiction Agency. Their goal to “safeguard the stability of the written word" in literature caused Thursday’s position to be hectic, stressful, and often times dangerous. With a two year old son, Thursday decides its time to go home. She wants to continue her efforts to bring back her eradicated husband, Land ...more
Nov 24, 2013 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten just how much I love Jasper Fforde's brain.

And how much I missed Thursday Next. It was so great to get back into some crazy literary adventures with my favorite detective.

If you haven't read this series yet, you really need to. Especially if you're a literary nut/avid reader/like all things funny. Trust me on this, okay?


Thursday Next, SpecOps27 detective and Jurisfiction Bellman, is tired of living in the BookWorld. Life, though relatively safe, is just not real e
Jan 11, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Das meiner Meinung nach bisher beste Buch der "Thursday Next"-Reihe. Ich liebe diese Reihe einfach. Thursday will nun endlich die Entnichtung ihres Ehemannes Landen Parke-Laine durchsetzen, sie hat allerdings noch eine Reihe anderer Probleme. Mit allerlei durchsichtigen anti-dänischen Ressentiments will sich der miese Yorrick Kane mit Hilfe einer Gehirnwäsche-Apparatur der zwielichtigen Goliath Corporation nämlich zum uneingeschränkten Diktator Englands aufschwingen -- und das, obwohl er nur ein ...more
Pixie Dust
Nov 07, 2013 Pixie Dust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t understand how Fforde does it, but the Thursday Next books just keep getting better. This is the 4th in the series and in my opinion, the best so far. The plot is not as meandering as the previous one, and so easier to follow. In this instalment, Thursday is still at her multi-tasking best – dealing with problems of catastrophic proportions in the Bookworld (the hostile takeover of Hamlet, no less!), rescuing Danish books in SpecOps, rescuing souls from the Underworld, covering as manage ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Antof9
This was brilliant to read during the elections. Wow. Within the first two chapters, Fforde presents two political opponents battling it out on a show called Evade the Question Time. After the first volley of answers and debate, the moderator scores the participants thus:

At the end of the first round, I will award three points to Mr. Kaine for an excellent non-specific condemnation, plus one bonus point for blaming the previous government and another for successfully mutating the question to pro
Adam Floridia
Jan 02, 2009 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, light read. This may have been my favorite in the series because of the inclusion of Hamlet--the play/character that I have known the most about so far. The series reminds me more and more of a bibliophile's Harry Potter. In fact, the part I liked least was the seemingly forced inclusion of the huge-super-croquet (SuperHoop) match, which was like a poor man's Quidditch. Overall, though, a very quick read good for quite a few chuckles.

In addition, I am very impressed by Fforde's website, w
Jun 16, 2007 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since this is probably my favorite of the Thursday Next novels, I will write about it- but I would highly recommend all of them. Thursday Next inhabits an England that seems to be from a parallel universe- our own time period, but vastly different. People actually love reading, and literature is a huge part of society and culture. Several hundred people have even officially changed their names to John Milton. Thursday Next is capable of entering the book world and has now spent several years as ...more
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Another book down, a bunch more to go 1 31 Feb 19, 2012 11:57AM  
  • Aberystwyth Mon Amour (Aberystwyth Noir, #1)
  • Rex Libris, Volume I: I, Librarian (Rex Libris, #1-5)
  • The Automatic Detective
  • Water from the Sun and Discovering Japan
  • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
  • The World of Jeeves (Jeeves, #2-4)
  • Jingo (Discworld, #21; City Watch, #4)
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists
  • The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
  • Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3)
  • The Spellmans Strike Again (The Spellmans, #4)
  • The Bad Book Affair (Mobile Library Mystery, #4)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
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 Desmond Fforde, married to author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment.

More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Thursday Next (8 books)
  • The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1)
  • Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)
  • The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3)
  • First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6)
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot (Thursday Next, #7)
  • Dark Reading Matter (Thursday Next, #8)

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“If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.” 2763 likes
“Sorry," [Hamlet] said, rubbing his temples. "I don't know what came over me. All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to talk for a very long time without actually doing anything.” 194 likes
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