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Fool: A Novel [Paperback]

Christopher Moore
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 12 2010

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

Fool—the bawdy and outrageous New York Times bestseller from the unstoppable Christopher Moore—is a hilarious new take on William Shakespeare’s King Lear…as seen through the eyes of the foolish liege’s clownish jester, Pocket. A rousing tale of “gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity,” Fool joins Moore’s own Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, and You Suck! as modern masterworks of satiric wit and sublimely twisted genius, prompting Carl Hiassen to declare Christopher Moore “a very sick man, in the very best sense of the word.”


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Review

“Funny, literate, smart and sexy, all at once!” (Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter series, on FOOL)

“Moore turns things on their head with an edgy 21st-century perspective that makes the story line as sharp, surly and slick as a game of Grand Theft Auto… It’s a manic, masterly mix-winning, wild and something today’s groundlings will applaud.” (Publishers Weekly on FOOL)

“[W]all-to-wall, farcical fornicating and fighting…a jolly good time can be had.” (Booklist on FOOL)

“Less may be more, but it isn’t Moore. Wretched excess doth have power to charm, and there are great reeking oodles of it strewn throughout these irreverent pages.” (Kirkus Reviews on FOOL)

“It’s hard to resist so gleeful a tale of murder, witchcraft, treason, maiming, and spanking. . . . Moore’s deft ear for dialogue keeps the pages turning . . . Fool is a wickedly good time.” (Christian Science Monitor on FOOL)

“In transforming “King Lear” into a potty-mouthed jape, Moore is up to more than thumbing his nose at a masterpiece. His version of Shakespeare’s Fool, who accompanies Lear on his slide from paternal arrogance to spiritual desolation in the original text, simultaneously honors and imaginatively enriches the character.” (San Francisco Chronicle on FOOL)

“Often funny, sometimes hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters and ministerial students of the kind who come to our doorstep on Saturday mornings.” (Dallas Morning News on FOOL)

“In truth, Fool is exuberantly, tirelessly, brazenly profane, vulgar, crude, sexist, blasphemous and obscene. Compared to Moore’s novel, even Mel Brooks’s hilariously tasteless film “Blazing Saddles” appears a model of stately 18th-century decorousness.” (Washington Post Book World (Michael Dirda) on FOOL)

“The very definition of a bawdy romp: a broad, elbow-in-the-ribs, wink-wink homage to King Lear (but with quantities of shagging that would have kept legions of Grade 12 students glued to their copies had the Bard only thought to include it). …[A] riotous adventure.” (Winnipeg Free Press)

“Moore is a very clever boy when it comes to words. There are good chuckles to be had in this tale. …Whether you need to read the original King Lear before you read Moore’s Fool is debatable. Seems a fool’s errand to us. Just enjoy.” (USA Today on FOOL)

“A page-turner…. Your ‘Lear’ can be rusty or completely unread to appreciate this new perspective on the Shakespearean tragedy. That is if you enjoy a whole lot of silly behind the scenes of your tragedies.” (Valdosta Times (Georgia) on FOOL)

“You don’t need to be a Shakespeare expert to get this retelling, which keeps the bones of the tragedy (mad monarch, scheming daughters, moatful of mayhem) but rattles them with cheeky tweaks and plays it all for laughs.…[Moore] achieves bust-a-gut funny.” (Daily News on FOOL)

“Moore compares favorably to Tom Robbins – crazy adventure, clever twists, feel-good philosophy – crafting a laugh-out-loud romp with Bard-worthy smarts.” (Philadelphia City Paper on FOOL)

From the Back Cover

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 laureled bestsellers of the Times of Olde Newe Yorke as Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck: A Love Story. 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.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Funny, Funny Feb. 16 2009
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Christopher Moore's latest book is a spoof on Shakespeare's King Lear, as well as Shakespeare's writing itself, a few elements from other plays are imported into the story as well, Macbeth's witches, for example. This is quite different from Moore's other books, he's written in a British style, using British slang and some of Shakespeare's original words, using footnotes for definitions of words possibly unknown to Americans.

Another difference from his other books is that while Moore, who always has a certain humour that you either find hilarious or offensive, (and for some reason Moore hits my funny bone and I've never found his humour offensive) at first, I found this book really goes overboard with the language and s*xual imagery and it was quite a bit of a shock but I soon settled down into it and it didn't bother me after a couple of chapters. If you've read Shakespeare you will know that he often used bawdy imagery and often his characters ranted at name-calling. It is quite interesting to see that imagery and name-calling in a modern format. I could even possibly imagine that were Shakespeare a 21st century writer, this is how he may have written.

I'm quite glad I chose to read a modern English version of the original play, King Lear, before reading Fool as I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much if I didn't already know who the characters were and understand the original plot. Moore keeps all the key plot points of Shakespeare's work but he does not become stuck to the original plot. He soon sways from the original creating his own unique story with extra characters, very different results and ending. King Lear is only a minor character in this book, while his Fool (a minor character in the play) is the narrator and main character of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty & Hilarious Feb. 11 2009
Format:Hardcover
Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Christopher Moore fan and in that respect I may be a little biased. However, I tried by best to separate my admiration for his writing and judge "Fool" as a single book of its own merit. Also, I usually try to avoid books with vulgar language and explicit material but Moore's writing is so incredibly witty and hilarious that I completely forgive him (although not everyone necessarily will).

For devoted fans, newcomers or anyone in between, the humor in "Fool" DOES NOT disappoint. The depths of Moore's delightfully wicked imagination seem to know no bounds. Moore did a great deal of research when writing this book and perfectly nails the essence of British humor and all of their colloquialisms (while making up a few of his own). I continue to be amazed by the brilliant way Moore uses insane metaphors and imagery to inspire laughter.

I loved the quirky characters and most of all the Pocket, the fool himself, for actually teaching us not to judge others by their titles because one's standing can change with the drop of a hat (or a codpiece).

It's hard to explain exactly why Moore is a such a comedic genius. The only way to truly understand is to find out for yourselves! "Fool" was just released, so go out and get a copy right away!!

[...].
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In high school, I wrote about the fools in all of Shakespeare's plays. I remember thinking that Shakespeare should have expanded the fools' roles, for they were better than the various leading characters for wit, wisdom, and all-around entertainment value.

Clearly, a lot of the so-called wise people were in fact fools. King Lear is a prime example. What kind of an idiot would give away all of his wealth and power to his two lying daughters based on their willingness to tell him what he wanted to hear?

Shakespeare clearly understood that fools were valuable in kingly courts for providing wise advice as "foolishness" while others had to go along with the king's idiocy. Christopher Moore understands that point even more profoundly and places Lear's fool, Pocket, at the center of the Lear tragedy . . . recast as a dark comedy.

Usually, this is all great fun . . . especially when Moore chooses to add aspects to the Lear story that expand it in new directions such as by borrowing the witches from Macbeth. But Moore has a predilection for making the book as prurient and disgusting as possible. I assume that he's a great fan of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Needless to say, some of the gutter's smell attaches to the book and will repulse you at times. I'm sure this will increase the book's appeal to those who like "broad" humor.

Overall, I was quite satisfied with the experience. This fool is no fool, even if he is overly attached to his apprentice fool, the "natural" Drool. You may find yourself drooling with laughter in places.
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Format:Hardcover
Read this book just for the pure enjoyment! A wonderful twist on King Lear. Having been forced to read Shakespeare in high school - and remembering what a chore that was - made this book all the more fun. I do enjoy Christopher Moore's novels and this one, although a bit different, was a hoot. As others who have reviewed this book have warned you, there is some "dirty bawdy humour", so if that is not your cup of tea you should pass this one by. I actually found myself laughing out loud while reading this book at a coffee shop. Not many books have been able to do that! Christopher Moore has a wonderful wit and I have not yet read a book of his I did not enjoy. Get a glass of wine, or whatever your vice may be, put your feet up, and get ready for a raucous romp!
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