quirky

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

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Good morning, book lovers! So it’s time for my review of the fourth Thursday Next book. I’m not quite sure my brain it up to the task, but I’ll try.

 

BUT REMEMBER THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST THREE BOOKS, MMMKAY? KAY.

Somehow, it’s been over a year since I read the third book, The Well of Lost Plots! Honestly, don’t know how I went that long in between books. So let’s just say that I remembered that Thursday was still in Bookworld, and her hubby Landen was still non-existent because he had been eradicated, and she was chasing some book characters who apparently ended up escaping into the real world.

Something Rotten starts off with Thursday getting a bit frustrated with Bookworld and realizing that she needs to go home, try to un-eradicate her husband, and catch Yorrick Kaine –Β the escaped book characters that’s been making waves in the real world as a politician. So she takes a long leave-of-absence from Jurisfiction, grabs her two-year old son Friday, and heads back to reality.

There was a LOT to like about this book, and I read it pretty quickly. I liked seeing Thursday struggle with fictional character baddies, a husband that doesn’t exist, a hitwoman out to get her, Shakespeare clones, and more – and all while now being a mom. I like that being a mom doesn’t diminish Thursday’s awesomeness or adventures any –Β Friday isΒ just one more thing she has to take care of in her hectic, weird life.

Once again, after finishing this book I had a weird dream – something about me being trapped with other people in a big store of some kind and black, shiny, hard-looking spiders and lizards that were WAY over-sizedΒ were crawling around trying to attack us, and none of my long-range weapons or machetes were around. It was weird, I didn’t sleep well that night.

Also, there were a few quotes I liked and wrote down, but I think this one (spoken by Hamlet himself who’s experiencing the real world for the first time) is my favorite:

“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.”

Which sounds pretty true, but I agree with Thursday’s response – that maybe we like it that way. I have the 5th Thursday Next book (although from what I understand, it’s the start of a separate Thursday Next series or storyline…?) on it’s way to me from Paperbackswap, and this time I’m not going to let a whole year go by before I read it.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

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Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

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Oh, oh, oh – what a delightful novel.

Major Pettigrew is a very conventional, retired widower now dealing with the loss of his younger brother Bertie. His uneasy relationship with his adult son, Roger, only serves to remind him how truly lonely he is in the world. While enduring the condolences of socialite community women, and trying to regain ownership of Bertie’s old gun that should rightfully go to him, he finds himself drawn into a wonderful friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali – the local Pakistani shopkeeper. They bond over a love of literature, propriety, and their family troubles and their love story is adorable and full of that sharp, British wit.

I admit that for myself, the story started a bit slow. It wasn’t long though until I was drawn in Pettigrew’s world – the Major is a very honorable, sensible man and it was just so refreshing to read about two level-headed people falling in love, despite the craziness going on around them. There were some truly irritating characters, but it was fun to see the Major’s sarcastic retorts, and Mrs. Ali snuck a few good comebacks in herself. Roger, his son, was probably the character I found most annoying. Actually this quote perfectly demonstrates the difference between Major Pettigrew and his son:

“Oh it’s simple pragmatism, Dad. It’s called the real world. If we refused to do business with the morally questionable, the deal volume would drop in half and the good guys like us would end up poor. Then where would we all be?”

“On a nice dry spit of land known as the moral high ground?” suggested the Major.

There were also several characters that started off annoying but gradually became much more likable, such as Abdul Wahid or Grace. It made me happy that there so many unique characters, and that some of them actually redeemed themselves before the story ended. It also just gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside to see so many people becoming friends, even though so many of them would be considered past the age for that. We all just kind of assume that past the middle-aged years of our lives, we’re pretty much done with bonding and new relationships.

On a more serious note, it was quite thought-provoking to see the tensions between the British and the Pakistani characters. Honestly, it’s not really a relationship I’d ever thought about before, and I thought this book did a good job of reflecting the tensions still present, despite the social niceties and that the setting is the modern world.

Overall, this was a perfectly quaint little book. I loved the story, the characters, the dialogue – I honestly can’t say a bad thing about it.

Sarah Says: 5 stars

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