Read Something rotten Online

Authors: Jasper Fforde

Tags: #Women detectives, #Alternative histories (Fiction), #England, #Next, #Mystery & Detective, #Thursday (Fictitious character), #Fantasy fiction, #Mothers, #Political, #Detective and mystery stories, #General, #Books and reading, #Women detectives - Great Britain, #Great Britain, #Mystery fiction, #Women Sleuths, #English, #Characters and characteristics in literature, #Fiction, #Women novelists, #Time travel

Something rotten

BOOK: Something rotten
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1. - A Cretan Mino taurin Nebraska

Chapter 2. - No Place Like Home

Chapter 3. - Evade the Question Time

Chapter 4. - A Town Like Swindon

Chapter 5. - Ham (let) and Cheese

Chapter 6. - Spec Ops

Chapter 7. - The Literary Detectives

Chapter 8. - Time Waits for No Man

Chapter 9. - Eradications Anonymous

Chapter 10. - Mrs. Tiggy-winkle

Chapter 11. - The Greatness of St. Zvlkx

Chapter 12. - Spike and Cindy

Chapter 14. - The Goliath Apologarium

Chapter 15. - Meeting the CEO

Chapter 16. - That Evening

Chapter 17. - Emperor Zhark

Chapter 18. - Emperor Zhark Again

Chapter 19. - Cloned Will Hunting

Chapter 20. - ChimerasandNeanderthals

Chapter 21. - Victory on the Victory

Chapter 22. - Roger Kapok

Chapter 23. - Granny Next

Chapter 24. - Home Again

Chapter 25. - Practical Difficulties Regarding Uneradications

Chapter 26. - Breakfast with Mycroft

Chapter 27. - Weird Shit on the M4

Chapter 28. - Dauntsey Services

Chapter 29. - The Cat Formerly Known as Cheshire

Chapter 30. - Neanderthal Nation

Chapter 31. - Planning Meeting

Chapter 32. - Area 21: The Elan

Chapter 33. - Shgakespeafe

Chapter 34. - St. Zvlkx and Cindy

Chapter 35. - What Thursday Did Next

Chapter 36. - Kaine v. Next

Chapter 37. - Before the Match

Chapter 38. - WCL SuperHoop-88

Chapter 39. - Sudden Death

Chapter 40. - Second First Person

Chapter 41. - Death Becomes Her

Chapter 42. - Explanations

Chapter 43. - Recovery

Chapter 44. - Final Curtain

Credits

Teaser chapter

KAINE
PUBLISHING
Warning: This book may become subject to retrospective
book-burning legislation. To comply with Kaine Directive
CSBO-812864, the Mandatory Combustibility Information
of this novel has been calculated as follows:
Energy Content: 19,180 Btu
Combustibility: Medium
Flash Point: 451°F

ALSO BY JASPER FFORDE

The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book
The Well of Lost Plots

I tried to imagine the whole room full of Shakespeare clones clattering away at their typewriters. . . .

VIKING
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
Victoria 3124, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books India (P) Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi-110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany,
Auckland 1310, New Zealand
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published in 2004 by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Copyright © Jasper Fforde, 2004

All rights reserved

Frontispiece and text illustrations by Maggy and Stewart Roberts
Frederick Warne & Co. is the owner of all rights, copyrights, and trademarks
in the Beatrix Potter character names and illustrations.

Publisher’s Note:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously,
and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments,
events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Fforde, Jasper.
Thursday Next in Something rotten : a novel / Jasper Fforde.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-440-69453-0

http://us.penguingroup.com

For Maddy, Rosie,
Jordan and Alexander

With all my love

April 2004

Author’s Note

This book has been bundled with
Special Features,
including
The Making of
documentary, deleted scenes from all four books,
outtakes and much more.

To access all these free bonus features,
log on to
www.jasperfforde.com
/specialtn4.html
and enter the code word as directed.

Dramatis Personae

Thursday Next:
Ex-operative from Swindon’s Literary Detective office of SpecOps-27 and currently head of Jurisfiction, the policing agency that operates within fiction to safeguard the stability of the written word.

Friday Next:
Thursday’s son, age two.

Granny Next:
Resident of Goliath Twilight Homes, Swindon. Age 110 and cannot die until she has read the ten most boring classics.

Wednesday Next:
Thursday’s mother. Resides in Swindon.

Landen Parke-Laine:
Thursday’s husband, who hasn’t existed since he was eradicated in 1947 by the Goliath Corporation, eager to blackmail Miss Next.

Mycroft Next:
Inventor uncle of Thursday and last heard of living in peaceful retirement within the backstory of the Sherlock Holmes series. Designer of Prose Portal and Sarcasm Early-Warning Device, amongst many other things. Husband to
Polly
.

Colonel Next:
A time-traveling knight errant, he was eradicated by the ChronoGuard, a sort of temporal policing agency. Despite this, he is still about and meets Thursday from time to time.

Cat formerly known as Cheshire:
The ex-Wonderland überlibrarian at the Great Library and Jurisfiction agent.

Pickwick:
A pet dodo of very little brain.

Bowden Cable:
Colleague of Thursday’s at the Swindon Literary Detectives.

Victor Analogy:
Head of Swindon Literary Detectives.

Braxton Hicks:
Overall commander of the Swindon Special Operations Network.

Daphne Farquitt:
Romance writer whose talent is inversely proportional to her sales.

The Goliath Corporation:
Vast, unscrupulous multinational corporation keen on spiritual and global domination.

Commander Trafford Bradshaw:
Popular hero in 1920s ripping adventure stories for boys, now out of print, and notable Jurisfiction agent.

Melanie Bradshaw (Mrs.):
A gorilla, married to Commander Bradshaw.

Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Emperor Zhark, the Red Queen, Falstaff, Vernham Deane:
All Jurisfiction operatives, highly trained.

Yorrick Kaine:
Whig politician and publishing media tycoon. Also right-wing Chancellor of England, soon to be made dictator. Fictional, and sworn enemy of Thursday Next.

President George Formby:
Octogenarian President of England and deeply opposed to Yorrick Kaine and all that he stands for.

Wales:
A Socialist Republic.

Lady Emma Hamilton:
Consort of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and lush. Upset when her husband inexplicably died at the beginning of the Battle of Trafalgar. Lives in Mrs. Next’s spare room.

Hamlet:
A Danish prince with a propensity for prevarication.

SpecOps:
Short for Special Operations, the governmental departments that deal with anything too rigorous for the ordinary police to handle. Everything from time travel to good taste.

Bartholomew Stiggins:
Commonly known as “Stig.” Neanderthal reengineered from extinction, he heads SpecOps-13 (Swindon), the policing agency responsible for reengineered species such as mammoths, dodos, saber-toothed tigers and chimeras.

Chimera:
Any unlicensed “nonevolved life-form” created by a hobby genetic sequencer. Illegal and destroyed without mercy.

St. Zvlkx:
A thirteenth-century saint whose revealments have an uncanny knack of coming true.

SuperHoop:
The World Croquet League finals. Usually violent, always controversial.

Lola Vavoom:
An actress who does not feature in this novel but has to appear in the Dramatis Personae due to a contractual obligation.

Minotaur:
Half-man, half-bull son of Pasiphaë, the Queen of Crete. Escaped from custody and consequently a PageRunner. Whereabouts unknown.

1.

A Cretan Mino taurin Nebraska

Jurisfiction
is the name given to the policing agency
inside
books. Working with the intelligence-gathering capabilities of Text Grand Central, the many Prose Resource Operatives at Jurisfiction work tirelessly to maintain the continuity of the narrative within the pages of all the books ever written. Performing this sometimes thankless task, Jurisfiction agents live mostly on their wits as they attempt to reconcile the author’s original wishes and readers’ expectations against a strict and largely pointless set of bureaucratic guidelines laid down by the Council of Genres. I headed Jurisfiction for over two years and was always astounded by the variety of the work: one day I might be attempting to coax the impossibly shy Darcy from the toilets, and the next I would be thwarting the Martians’ latest attempt to invade
Barnaby Rudge
. It was challenging and full of bizarre twists. But when the peculiar and downright weird becomes commonplace, you begin to yearn for the banal.
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