Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Book Review: Fool by Christopher Moore

"Fool" by Christopher Moore

Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Rating: 5 stars

Make use of HarperCollins' amazing "Browse Inside" feature to get a generous glimpse of Fool's beginning chapters here

Christopher Moore's latest book features a very clear WARNING:

"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!"

Well, at least he warned me!

Since it's hard to summarize the plot in my own words, here is the book's description from the publisher, HarperCollins (plus it's one of the funniest book descriptions I've ever seen):

"A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years, from the time the king's grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart's wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He's already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he's going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool . . . but he's definitely not an idiot. "


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!!

BIG THANKS to Deanna and HarperCollins Canada for my review copy!


Serena said...

I love Christopher Moore and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Thanks for a great review.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of Christopher Moore's work, but this one really looks good to me.

Sheri S. said...

Serena - I think you'll really enjoy this one!

Kathy - Christopher Moore may not be for everyone but if you read some excerpts from his books and enjoy them, then I'm sure you will love his books!

Florinda said...

Amazon is delivering my copy TODAY! But my husband will probably read it first. I'm so glad to know you liked it!

The Book Chick said...

I recently received my copy of this one and I can't wait to read it! I'm a big Christopher Moore fan, too, so I can't wait to read his newest! Thanks for the review :)

Unknown said...

A good, honest review. I very much enjoy reading the reviews on this site. For something less baudy and much funnier you might try my wife's favorite recent novel, "108th Street', a very funny tale of kids growing up in the 1950s. Should fit right into your genre preferences. Keep up the nice work here. Thanks

Marie said...

Great review. I recently finished "Fool" and loved it.

Unknown said...

well, this may be a little late for most, but I found myself tittering and snickering throughout the novel. Witty, brilliant, vulgar and totally entertaining.