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Fool: A Novel by Christopher Moore
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Fool: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Christopher Moore

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2,2211282,912 (3.92)163
Member:abby.of.the.year
Title:Fool: A Novel
Authors:Christopher Moore
Info:William Morrow (2009), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Fool by Christopher Moore

  1. 20
    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (TheBoltChick)
  2. 31
    King Lear by William Shakespeare (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: If you haven't read (or seen) King Lear you won't get about 1/2 the jokes.
  3. 10
    A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (Othemts)
    Othemts: A Lear by any other name.
  4. 00
    Who's Afraid of Beowulf? by Tom Holt (Dr.Science)
    Dr.Science: The English author Tom Holt is relatively unknown in America, but very popular in England. If you enjoy Jasper Fforde or Christopher Moore you will most certainly enjoy Tom Holt's wry sense of English humor and the absurd. He has written a number of excellent books including Expecting Someone Taller, and Flying Dutch, but they may be difficult to find at your library or bookstore.… (more)
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» See also 163 mentions

English (126)  German (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Having not read Shakespeare since high school, and having only read one other book by Moore, I was unsure what to expect with this book. I was very surprised by what I read. You have language, Old English sayings and swearing, and sarcasm and humor able to fit any time period all wrapped up nicely in this retelling of a classic play. ( )
  PhxDan | Aug 28, 2014 |
Vulgar, depraved, and laugh-out-loud funny, Fool will please fans of raunchy comedy and the Bard alike. Shakespeare would be proud. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jul 26, 2014 |
I enjoyed this version of "King Lear" as told by the Fool, with various cameos from other plays (witches from "Macbeth"). I especially liked Pocket's interactions with Lear and Cordelia. ( )
  krin5292 | Jun 1, 2014 |
An absolutely hysterical take on Shakespeare's King Lear from the eyes of the jester Pocket. With the company of his monkey Jeff and his large and dimwitted pal Drool he whores and swears and connives and ridicules his way through Moore's take of Shakespeare's very involved and tragic play. Not for those easily offended with swearing whoring and general underhanded dealings. ( )
  Jane1551 | May 15, 2014 |
Let me just start off by saying this book -and bits of my review- contain adult language (and heinous fuckery most foul!), and might not be suitable for younger audiences.

Pocket is a fool in the service of King Lear and his three daughters - "selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia." In a fit of madness (or maybe hubris?) Lear demands that his daughters declare their love for him before his court, in order to divvy up his lands to his "most deserving" daughter. "But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid" and she is banished because of it. Pocket must keep the realm from falling into the wrong hands, try to bring Cordelia back into Lear's good graces and generally avoid being murdered. He has the help of his devoted friend Drool, as well as a bit of magical aid from the witches three, and of course, a ghost! (There's always a bloody ghost.)

What I liked:
I'll start right off by announcing that this is my second time reading this book and I've yet to read a Moore book I didn't like. I breezed through this again in anticipation of the sequel, The Serpent of Venice which was just released.

That possible bias aside, what I loved most is that I haven't read Shakespeare's King Lear, and I don't feel like I'm missing out. Moore actually references this in his author's note:
"A few who have read Fool have expressed a desire to go back and read Lear, to perhaps compare the source material with my version of the story...While you could certainly find worse ways to spend your time, I suspect that way madness lies. Fool quotes or paraphrases lines from no fewer than a dozen of the plays..."

Personally, I know enough of the general outline of the story, and I wasn't concerned with the details. This definitely meant to be a parody and Moore did an excellent job. Several times he had me laughing out loud at Pocket's wit.

There are even footnotes, both humorous and educational:
"Curtain wall - the outer wall of a castle compound, usually surrounding all of the buildings."
"Slag - British slang for slut, tramp."
"Saturnalia - the celebration of the winter solstice in the Roman pantheon, paying tribute to Saturn, the 'sower of seeds.' Celebration of Saturnalia involved much drunkenness and indiscriminate shagging. Observed in modern times by the ritual of the 'office Christmas party.'"

What I didn't like:
I really don't have much to say. I suppose there were some scenes regarding Drool masturbating that were fairly descriptive and disgusting. Eg: "...said Shanker Mary, rolling her eyes at the spunk-frosted wall." A bit more of a mental image than I needed!

If you're a fan of Christopher Moore, humorous novels, or you're interested in reading a Shakespeare parody (although this book feels like so much more than just a parody), then check it out! ( )
  MillieHennessy | Apr 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Mooreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morton, EuanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Tosser!" cried the raven.
There's always a bloody raven.
Quotations
Hung like an ox, Drool is - I suspect you'd extrude stools untapered for a fortnight
once Drool's laid the bugger to ya'.
Thus muted, I pumped my codpiece at the duke and tried to force a fart, but my bum trumpet could find no note.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
"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 nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank . . . If that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!"

Verily speaks Christopher Moore, much beloved scrivener and peerless literary jester, who hath writteneth much that is of grand wit and belly-busting mirth, including such laurelled bestsellers of the Times of Olde Newe Yorke as Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck (no offense). Now he takes on no less than the legendary Bard himself (with the utmost humility and respect) in a twisted and insanely funny tale of a moronic monarch and his deceitful daughters—a rousing story of plots, subplots, counterplots, betrayals, war, revenge, bared bosoms, unbridled lust . . . and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost), as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.

Fool

A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years, from the time the king's grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart's wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He's already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he's going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool . . . but he's definitely not an idiot.
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Pocket, King Lear's fool, sets out to straighten out the mess the mad king has made of the kingdom and the royal family, only to discover the truth about his own heritage.

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