Thursday, April 9, 2009
Review of Fool
I heard about this one from a number of sources, but I think the first was the library newsletter, so I put myself on the reservation list and waited. It finally came in!
Mr. T and I are both fans of Christopher Moore. I read Lamb for my bookclub and I was hooked. I loaned that one to my dad and he said, "That book was actually funny!" Which says a lot about what my dad thinks of my tastes. Sigh. ;-)
So anyway, Fool. It turns out this one is very loosely based on Shakespeare's King Lear, which I surprisingly never read, although all English majors at my university were forced to spend a semester studying Shakespeare. I mean, I like his stuff and all, but it's not exactly light reading, you know? Still, after reading Fool, I'm very curious about the original. I bet there are no mentions of "dog's bollocks", "wankers", the "fucking French", or "shagging," for example. Moore takes all of the bawdiness of Shakespeare and updates it so that Fool is very definitely NOT PG-rated.
Also, I doubt that King Lear was a comedy. Actually, one of the characters notes this, asking the main character (Pocket, the fool in question), "Wait, aren't I supposed to be in a tragedy?" and Pocket confirms that they are in fact in a black comedy. I enjoyed the breaking of the fourth wall (or whatever it's called). I also liked all of the Shakespeare references and quotes sprinkled throughout, not just from King Lear but the whole Shakespeare catalog.
I would recommend this one. Christopher Moore is interesting in that his sense of humor is distinguishable in each book, but you never feel that he is writing the same novel again and again. Refreshing.