I loved Fool and somehow I knew I would. As soon as I opened the book cover and I saw the description which read, “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!”
How could I not love a story full of gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason? I had already read “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore and that was the first book in a long time to actually make me laugh out loud while reading a book so, at the recommendation of my cousin Steve, I picked up “Fool” and decided to give Mr. Moore another chance to make me laugh, he did not disappoint.
“Fool” is the re-telling of the epic King Lear from the perspective of the King’s jester, Pocket. Pocket has been King Lear’s cherished fool for years, since the time his three daughters were little girls. Edmund, the bastard son of the Earl of Gloucester, convinces Lear that his daughters – selfish and scheming Goneril, sadisitic and erotic Regan, sweet and loyal Cordelia – should swear their undying love and devotion to their father in front of an assembly of guests. Goneril and Regan (the scheming scoundrels that they are) very happily stroke their father’s ego but Cordelia, who realizes the whole public display is a stupid spectacle, is so honest it causes her father to banish her from the Kingdom and divide her inheritance up amongst her sisters.
The king is growing ever more senile, corruption is running amok and the whole country is falling apart. The only person that can possibly make things right is Pocket, along with a trusty sidekick or two (most notably a drooling ogre of a wanna-be jester and another banished former friend of the King’s.
The whole book is very tongue and cheek and it’s chock full of sophomoric humor. Is it deep? Profound? Life-Changing? No, but it is humorous, fun and it’s an incredibly easy read.
PS…It does help if you are at least mildly familiar with the tale of King Lear. It isn’t a requirement but it may help your understanding.