Fool, by Christopher Moore (26 March − 3 April)

I’ve loved me some Christopher Moore since reading Lamb some crazy-long time ago (a few years?), and then Fluke and Island of the Sequined Love Nun and the others… and this new book does not disappoint!

Fool tells the story of King Lear’s fool. Yes, that King Lear. Now, I’ve never actually read the play, but I’m going to take a wild guess that this book is only very very loosely based on it. Especially since the witches from Macbeth show up. You know how it is.

But anyway, if you’re like me and don’t know the story, there’s a king called Lear and he’s kind of an idiot and he splits up his kingdom based on how much each of his daughters loves him. Two lie their arses off and get a fair bit of land; one tells the truth and is banished for her trouble. So then politics and intrigue happen because obviously someone is unhappy.

And in this version, the fool, called Pocket, is behind it all, with the help of some enchantments from the aforementioned witches. Hoorah. And, being a fool, he tells his story with lots of bawdiness and also vulgarity. And, the book being based on Shakespeare, there is also some crazy English borrowed liberally from King Lear and other plays that is conveniently footnoted for the modern reader. And there’s a ghost. And a raven. It’s awesome, is what I’m saying.

Rating: 8/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2009, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

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