Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde is the fourth book in the Thursday Next series. Thursday and her young son Friday leave their life in the Well of Lost Plots and return to Swindon where Thursday attempts to get her husband uneradicated and to neutralise a poorly realised fictional character who has entered the real world and become a far-right, anti-Danish politician. Thursday’s attempts to untangle the pieces of her old life are further complicated by the presence of an image-conscious Hamlet, some medieval prophecies about a mega-corporation and a croquet game, and the acquisition of both an assassin and a stalker.
I reread Something Rotten a couple of times fairly close together recently and enjoyed it far more than I had on earlier readings. I think in the past I’ve felt the need to read this series in sequence and I think it tends to be around Something Rotten/First Among Sequels that it begins to feel a bit same-same before getting more varied again in the last few books. It definitely benefited from being read more on its own. Also, I often forget quite a bit of Fforde’s convoluted plots between reads so rereading it while it was fairly fresh in my memory allowed me to enjoy the careful trail of clues and gave me a new appreciation of this installment.