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Jester Paperback – Mar 2003

3.2 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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Paperback, Mar 2003
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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Warner Books (NY) (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446690511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446690515
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Just who is writing the coauthored Patterson novels makes for interesting water-cooler chat, but whether the majority of words are contributed by Patterson or Gross, this terrific new novel is prime Patterson all the way, another step in the author's application of his patented storytelling style to a multitude of genres-in this case, historicals. The title character is, when introduced in 1096, an unassuming innkeeper in a French village oppressed by the local nobleman. To earn his freedom, Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades for a torturous, bloody march toward Jerusalem that occupies the book's first third and ends with him escaping the madness around him by deserting back to France, in possession of some minor treasures-or so he thinks. Back home, he finds that his beloved wife has been taken captive by the odious nobleman, and his infant son slain. Seeking his wife and revenge, Hugh adopts the guise of a jester in order to enter to the nobleman's castle, where he begins to fall in love with a young noblewoman, and she with him. In time, Hugh finds his wife, only to experience tragedy, and learns that the nobleman is searching for him, as he is believed to have carried back from the Crusades the greatest holy relic of all. Returning to his village, which has been destroyed during the nobleman's hunt for him, Hugh persuades his townspeople, then surrounding towns, to rise up in revolt against the corrupt nobleman and his henchmen. From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colorful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Another departure for Patterson after Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas: home from the Crusades, Hugh must play the jester to find his wife, abducted by knights.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
2 ½ stars
This novel is light reading for fans of medieval history. It is a fairly interesting read, by and large, but contains little of substance or historical accuracy. This tale of a simple innkeeper turned crusader turned court jester and then leader of a peasant army goes very fast and I'd be surprised if it was not turned into a movie; indeed, if it had already been set to film, it would star Erol Flynn. There is some fairly OK romance, some details on the crusades and 11th century French feudalism and some medieval swordplay and battles, but nothing extensive. Good triumphs over evil, fairly predictably. The perspective of life as a court jester is a new one, not quite Robin Hood, but definitely not Arthur Pendragon either. The evil doings in this book by the knights and nobility are pretty atrocious (really faint-hearted readers may be offended by the images of violence, torture and sex, which, if they were in a movie, would get an "Unrated" rating). I question whether 11th century lords really exercised such complete power over life or liberty of their serfs. The French feudalism described herein seems much more akin to Japanese feudalism and I doubt medieval European aristocracy would treat the lives of their subjects/tax base so casually.
I have two items of significant criticism with this light but fairly entertaining novel, aside from its cursory nature (it could have stood an extra 100 pages of details and description). First is the whole premise that the duke would know of the whereabouts of the relic and know to track it back to Hugh. Indeed, if he knew it was in Hugh's possession, why did his marauders commit outrages on other towns and slay the several knights in those small hamlets? Perhaps they were looking for other relics?
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a strange blend of the quintessial James Patterson in format and pace with an entirely new type of story for him (as was the moving and enjoyable SUZANNE'S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS). This is an historical novel based in medieval times, with the Crusades and French serfdom as the backdrop. It appears to accurately capture the nature of the times, with townspeople barely scratching out an existence while dependent for protection on the whims of the local nobles and their knights.
The central character is Hugh De Luc, an innkeeper in a small French village who leaves his wife Sophie to join the First Crusade to fight the infidels and free Jerusalem. The first section of the book graphically describes the hardships which he and his companions endured during their journey, and his lifechanging experience in Antioch which convinced him to end his journey and return home. Upon his eventual return he finds his village plundered and destroyed, the infant son previously unknown to him murdered and his wife kidnapped and believed dead. The remainder of the book involves Hugh's attempts to locate his wife (he believes that she is still alive) and mete out vengenance on those who are responsible for his son's death.
While near death after an encounter with a wild boar, Hugh is befriended by Emilie and her mistress Anne from neighboring Boree, which Anne rules while her husband Stephen is away fighting in the Crusade. Hugh attempts to develop a strategy for infiltrating neighboring Treille, a walled city ruled by the evil Baldwin, who is apparently responsible for Sophie's kidnapping. Emilie has the idea that Hugh can use his intelligence and natural talent for comedy to pose as a JESTER, and thus disguised Hugh resumes his search for Sophie.
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Format: Hardcover
I am an absolute fan of James Patterson and have read every book written by him. As with many popular authors, once they reach a certain popularity level, where every book published hits the Top 10 list just by association of the author's name, Mr. Patterson has begun to publish absolute rubbish all in the pursuit of more money. I suspect this was a book written very early in his career, before he became true story teller that could mesmerize the reader. The writing is horrible! It is truly a shame that popular authors continue to dupe their avid fans by publishing poorly written works. Older works should be advertised as such and be less expensive to purchase. As an fan, I probably would have ignored any bad book reviews and taken the chance on reading this. However, I don't think I will ever pay full price for anything he publishes again - provided I can bring myself to waste good time as well as good money!! Please do yourself a favor, don't buy the book, and send a message to these authors that their name alone should not justify the expense of a book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I could repeat what many others have said about the inaccuracies of the social situations and conditions of 11th century France, but I'm not going to do that. I admit to knowing little about this time peroid, but even I realize that they fudged more than just a bit on part of fantasy. I think what people's main point of compliant with this piece is just that. I'd hope that one would realize that this is not a work of historical fiction. It's fantasy plain and simple. A work can be blissfully free of dragons, wizards, and the like and still be that ya know, with that fact in mind try to enjoy this work as such. Now that aside is this work a good fantasy story? Well, yes and no in my opinion. It has it's moments, but the romance is richly sweet to the point it's almost annoying depending on your mood and the violence is grotesque and descriptive far more than necessary. The attempt to paint actions and emotions more lavishly comes off as overkill and someone who is trying too hard to make a point. The story isn't that bad, but I found myself not really caring enough about the main character despite all his hardships because often it seems he comes off as indifferent. I'll still give this work 3 stars though, because it is quite readable and the good moments do get exciting and I got a few laughs out of it. It'd be a nice read as you casually sit by the pool.
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