Author: Christopher Moore
The Gist: Warning: This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as non-traditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank. If that sort of thing bothers you, then gentle reader pass by, for we endeavor only to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that’s the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!
The Review: Well, you’ve been warned. Christopher Moore’s Fool contains all of the above mentioned shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason and the odd wank. If you’ve read any of Moore’s previous novels the shagging, maiming, spanking, and the odd wank will not surprise you. I still found these elements hilariously funny with the accompanying thought “I cannot believe he wrote that! Bah hah! hah! hah!” Moore provides a unique take on Shakespeare’s play King Lear narrated from the point of view of Lear’s court jester, Pocket (at least that’s the jester’s name in Moore’s book.)I enjoyed the book overall, but at times I felt a little lost. I am not as familiar with the play King Lear as I am some of Shakespeare’s other plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, or Othello, so I am not sure how much of Fool follows the play in its basic plot or really, its subplots.
For example, are there witches in King Lear? I think Shakespeare writes witches into the play, but it’s been so long since I have seen King Lear , I don’t remember. I could pick up cliff notes for King Lear, but I view that as well, cheating. And yet, I’m not up to reading the play right now. However, if you haven’t read the play, I don’t think it detracts from reading Fool. Fool seems to have enough of its own plot to make it an entertaining, funny read. I think it depends on what kind of reader you are. I like to know where deviations from an original plot begin so that I can completely enjoy all of the twists and turns a writer spoofing a well-known story has employed. If you just want a humorous, bawdy tale about a court jester in King Lear’s court and don’t give a fig about plot differences, etc. then you’ll be completely fine. For me, my inner English major is still alive and kicking.
Final Thoughts: I’m glad I read Christopher Moore’s Fool. It’s a light, quick read with lots of humor and it\’s an interesting story on its own about the fool, Pocket. I enjoyed Pocket’s antics and his craftiness. Yes, craftiness exists in Fool. Goes with the shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason and the odd wank. And the split infinitives. Mustn’t forget those. I highly recommend reading Moore’s note at the end of the book after reading the story. His research about the play King Lear is quite interesting—and funny.