Fool: A Novel
by Christopher Moore
Paperback- $9.37

“Hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters, and ministerial students.”

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  "Skulking + skullduggery + heinous f*ckery = A Very Good Time" by avanta7 (see profile) 05/21/09

If it weren't for the f'ing French, King Lear might have had a happy ending. At least, that seems to be part of the premise behind Christopher Moore's take on this Shakespearean tragedy.

Moore introduces us to the court of Lear through the eyes of Pocket, the Fool of the title, and through Pocket, to all of the "...gratuitous shagging, murder, maiming, spanking, treason, vulgarity, profanity, and heinous f*ckery..." that lies behind the throne and the Machiavellian machinations to attain said throne. For anyone not familiar with the play, a brief teaser: King Lear summons his three daughters and asks each to proclaim the depths and bounds of her love for him. Daughters Goneril and Regan comply with prose purple enough for a Prince. Daughter Cordelia, however, responds with Biblical simplicity, letting her yes be yes and her no be no*. Outraged at this seeming lack of devotion, Lear marries Cordelia off to the first f'ing Frenchman who'd have her, and divides his kingdom between his two toadying offspring. From thus such act, all manner of conniving and scheming and aforesaid treason, vulgarity, etc., ensue.

All the major characters are here: Kent, Gloucester, Oswald, Burgundy...all have their plots and plans and schemes and skullduggery. But Moore doesn't stop there: he tosses references and characters from assorted Shakespearean (and Seussian) sources into the mix, as well as introducing more than a few memorable characters of his own. As one might suspect, all the really interesting stuff happens in closets and belowstairs.

While this is not my favorite Moore novel -- he has a very long way to go to outdo Lamb -- it's a worthy addition to the canon, and well worth reading, if only for the footnotes.

Oh, by the way, in all that gratuitous shagging and general skullduggery? Do not dismiss the banished Cordelia. She has a surprise or two up her sleeves.

*James 5:12

  "Silly romp...but completely enjoyable." by justmargo (see profile) 06/01/09

  "A Funny, Bawdy Tale" by JustMe (see profile) 06/01/09

If you are looking for a book that will have you chuckling throughout the story, then this is the read for you. Great characters and witty dialogue. Most of our book club enjoyed as well. Some complained it was a slow starter but most agreed it took off for them and have some new clever sayings.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/15/18

  "" by JillianPhoenix (see profile) 07/27/21

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