Christopher Moore boldly reinterprets Shakespeare’s King Lear from the perspective of King Lear’s fool Pocket in the comic (but darkly so) novel Fool (2009). Having previously read Moore’s Blood Sucking Fiends and Lamb, I knew to expect that Fool would be funny and clever as well as raunchy and full of penis jokes. And Moore doesn’t disappoint with perhaps a record of penis joke density in published literature.
Crude as it is, Fool imagines a world where Pocket the Fool is in fact pulling the strings behind everything that happens in Lear, becoming a man of intrigue who starts wars for his own purposes. The novel also is full of anachronisms and literary allusions to dozens of Shakespeare’s plays. Don’t try to match Fool up to the real King Lear though, because the author admits that they don’t corroborate much. Fool gains points for creativity but loses points for rampant misogony and repetitious jokes that weren’t too funny to begin with.
Fool makes good mind candy that you can pretend is high brow.
Author Moore, Christopher, 1957-
Title Fool / Christopher Moore.
Publication Info. New York : William Morrow, 2009.
Edition 1st ed.
Description 311 p. : map ; 24 cm.