Seeking something a bit lighter after two history books, I picked up Jasper Fforde’s Something Rotten, the fourth installment in his Thursday Next series. Fforde deftly blends social satire, literary references, and clever wordplay in just the right proportions to cheer the soul. I enjoy writers who cross genres, and Fforde does so with abandon. There are elements of detective stories, fantasy, science fiction, and literary fiction in his writing. Time travel, genetic recombination, vampires and werewolves, and travel inside books all play important roles in the series.
Something Rotten finds the intrepid literary detective, Thursday Next, back from her sojourn residing in an early-20th-century adventure novel. Once again, she finds herself up against the Goliath Corporation’s plans for world dominance, and uses both her detective and her croquet-playing skills to save the world, bring her husband back from chronological eradication, and keep the Ophelia and Polonius from changing the plot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to give themselves lead billing.
Fforde’s books are fast paced, with lots of plot lines coming together at the end. Jasper Fforde is a good choice to lighten the heart or just to enjoy on a lazy late-summer day.
Check the WRL catalog for Something Rotten