Author: Christopher Moore
Page # : 336
Date Published: 2009
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I first picked up Fool because I so enjoyed the humor of comic fantasy author Christopher Moore’s Lamb last year. Like his last work, this book makes for a quick and easy read – it only took me a week and a half to read.
The premise of the novel is William Shakespeare’s King Lear. In the first scene of the tragedy, Lear proposes to divide his kingdom between his three daughters based on how much they say they love him. Two of the daughters acquiesce and offer overblown professions of love, but the youngest finds the request absurd and refuses. In response, he banishes her and divides the kingdom between the older two, and so the tragedy begins.
Instead of the omniscient third-person point of view in the original play, Fool is told from the perspective of the court jester or fool, Pocket. Though set during the play, Fool is geared toward an American reader with modern British slang and footnotes to explain Shakespearian terms. While I have never read King Lear, I found a knowledge of the play unnecessary to appreciate Moore’s novel.
In contrast to the original tragedy, the new narrator puts a lighter spin on the story. Fool strays from the original King Lear with the over-the-top debauchery by Pocket and his assistant, and the narrator makes his own side comments throughout the novel, some of which actually made me laugh out loud. The humor made this book fly by, catching my attention from the start with its blend of Shakespearian and modern day comedy.
Any person who enjoys a comedy would enjoy this book, especially anyone who enjoys Shakespeare. I would highly recommend Fool to any BC student, or anyone looking for a hilarious, fast-paced twist on a classic play.
Review by Liz Handler, A&S '15