Fool

First a couple of quick housekeeping things.  This is my first post since I changed up my theme, so if anyone finds a section where my formatting didn’t transfer over properly please let me know.  I did a quick perusal of my blog to see how everything went through the change, but there’s always a chance I missed something.

Secondly, a couple of days ago my blog reached 5,000 hits.  Thanks to everyone who’s been stopping by and I hope to see you all around for the next 5,000.

And now finally on to talking about the book.  Fool by Christopher Moore is a retelling of Shakespeare’s play King Lear told through the perspective of Lear’s Fool.  I enjoyed the concept, and I enjoyed the humor, but I’m not familiar at all with King Lear and I think that makes the book harder to enjoy.

Book Stats

304 pages

Satire

Characters

The main character of the novel is Pocket, a fool in the service of King Lear.  He was a wonderful character who always had a quick jab towards anyone he could possibly offend.  At different points in the  book he has anywhere from 10-15 people who want to kill him, yet he keeps weaseling his way out of every situation he finds himself in.  Another character who plays prominently in the book is Drool, Pocket’s apprentice fool.  Drool is another great character who works well with the framework of the story.

Setting

A faux-medieval England.  Apparently the play King Lear doesn’t really fit very well into a specific time in history, so Moore took what he needed to make the book work.

Plot

The plot is the same story as King Lear, just told from a different perspective.  I’m not at all familiar with King Lear, and I have no intention to read it because I don’t care for Shakespeare.  That said, it would be really helpful to understanding the plot of this book if you’re familiar with the original play.  The overall plot has to do with King Lear going insane and his 3 daughters fighting for control of his throne.  In this version Pocket is the one who is really orchestrating everything and he does it all from behind the scenes.

Enjoyment

Unfortunately this book doesn’t work out quite as well for me as Moore’s other books that I’ve read.  I have no problems with political machinations in books, and when written well it’s very compelling (some of the later Wheel of Time books do this excellently).  But when you’re only getting one viewpoint who is working behind the scenes it’s very difficult to get a sense of how his meddling is affecting the rest of the kingdom.  As always with Moore’s books, the humor is spot on.  He never misses an easy joke but the jokes are never out of context.  Without knowing the story from King Lear, the book feels rushed.  If anyone has read both King Lear and this book I’d enjoy hearing how well they fit together.

Quote

When we are born, we cry, that we come to this great stage of fools.

– King Lear

Enjoyment

If you’re familiar with King Lear and you want to see a different take on the story, check it out.  If you’re not familiar with it, you can probably pass this one by.

6/10

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5 Comments

  1. Absolutely love the new background! It’s perfect for your blog 🙂
    Congrats on hitting 5,000 hits.

    Reply
    • My background is the cover art from The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. The artist who created the cover is Michael Whelan. I almost feel bad covering it up with my posts, the picture is gorgeous. It was my background on my computer for quite some time, and I figured I’d try putting it up on here as well, and I think it works out pretty well, I’m glad you agree.

      Reply
  2. The format works very well. I haven’t yet seen anything missing. I would recommend hunting for a synopsis of King Lear – Wikipedia or Cliff Notes.

    At it’s heart is naiveté and betrayal with deadly consequences. That is what drives Lear insane.

    Congratulations on 5000 hits!

    Reply
    • I just read through the play summary on Cliff Notes and Moore actually did a very good job of staying with the original story. He tweaked the ending a little, but overall it sounds like it’s very consistent.

      I know I said this in my posts about Moore’s other books, but he has serious chops as a writer. It would be horrible to simply dismiss him because he writes humorous books.

      Reply
  1. March 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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