Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Review: Fool

I could have sworn I'd read stuff by Christopher Moore before, but I see nothing on my shelf with his name, nothing in my electronic library, and I've only heard of the stuff listed under his name. But "Fool" was a great place to start.

"Fool" is based, deliberately crudely, on Shakespeare's "King Lear" with shades of some other works by Shakespeare, Thoreau, and others. He freely admits he made a hash of it so that people couldn't get on him for his particular interpretation of their favorite story. That, and he likes being able to tell literary critics that the particular passages of prose they're griping about are actually lifted straight from Thoreau.

The central character is, naturally, the fool for King Lear. He heaps abuse and truth on anyone and everyone while safely protected by the King's favor. But the youngest princess, and the one Fool was hired to entertain and is smitten with, is being married off. The King is also dividing up his kingdom among the daughters who can prove they love him with flowery words. Thus, the youngest gets no land and a gay husband. Plus the intern fool is being taken by a neighboring Duke.

Fool, with the help of a cryptic ghost (there's always a ghost), plots and schemes and works to win back his love, get his friend and intern back, and restore the kingdom.

It's a good story, well written all by itself. Christopher Moore makes it better still by making it a comedy. Alas, I was out of town when he was here signing stuff. I will be raiding Yummy's stash of Moore books.


Sweetly Single said...

I was just looking at that book; sounds like I should be going back and getting it.

GreenCanary said...

Watch it, bub. You can sign out my books, but they must be returned in the same condition you found them in and within two weeks of check-out. Or else I'll beat you. I'll beat you REAL good.