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Month in review

Reviews:
Andreanna by S. L. Gilbow
The Angels of Morgan Hill by Donna VanLiere
Bark up the Right Tree by Jessie and Ruth Tschudin
Beware of Tigers by David Horowitz
Can You Spell Revolution? by Matt Beam
Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson
Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fiction by Ara 13
Fool by Christopher Moore
Gambling for Good Mail by Evelyn Cole
Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion by Mark Ames
The Heroes of Googley Woogley by Dalton James
The Letter by Richard Paul Evans
Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart
An Ornithologist's Guide to Life by Ann Hood
Politics in Compassion by Jack Schauer
The Price of Silence by Deborah Ross
R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Sea Wrack by Edward Jesby
South-Sea Idyls Charles Warren Stoddard
Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers by Peter L. Benson
Stratosphere by Henry Garfield
The Take-Us by John Raymond Takacs
The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa
The Silent Man by Alex Berenson
Ulysses by James Joyce
Vigilante Witch Hunter by Gary Turcotte
Voices Under Berlin by THE Hill
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Women in Business by Patricia Annino
The World I Never Made by James LePore



Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Fool

FoolFool: 06/15/09

Christopher Moore writes too kinds of stories: light hearted irrelevant novels (set typically in California or on far away tropical islands) and parodies. The latter have recurring mix and match characters. I adore these novels, even the much maligned Fluke. The latter, not so much.

Fool is a parody and fans of Lamb seem to love it. I'm going to guess that the opposite is also true. If you're like me and didn't like Lamb, you probably won't like Fool.

The book starts with King Lear and more generally the works of William Shakespeare. It's told from the the point of view of the Fool, a character who disappears mid play to allow for dual role playing with for the actor playing Cordelia. Since Fool isn't a major character, Moore has to fill in the blanks, just as he attempted (and failed) to do in the middle years of Jesus's life.

Besides trying to fill in the blanks ala Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Moore is attempting (and failing again) to write in the style of William Shakespeare. There are a few problems with this approach. He doesn't understand British slang or British regional accents as well as he thinks he does and he's not crude enough. That's right; this "bawdy" tale is hardly bawdy. The humor never really gets beyond the pedestrian stuff in a typical Mike Myers film. Shakespeare's stuff is funnier and cruder. To make things worse, the book has all these pointless footnotes to "explain" the slang in the book. Unfortunately he picks obvious words and gives them rather plain definitions. Am I supposed to be shocked by a fellow American giggling at the word "wanker?"

My last complaint with the books, and Moore's parodies in general, is the pacing. Fool like Lamb starts off in the middle of the story being parodied and as long as it's following the original story closely. As soon as Fool disappears from the real play, Moore is lost. He tries to bandy around some ideas and throws some other Shakespearian tragedies into a blender and then giggles at the results. Then somewhere near the end Moore comes to his senses (just as he did in Lamb) and gets back to parodying the original text. For Fool he creates a completely different ending, reminiscent of the The Player and for a brief sixty pages the book reads like the Moore I enjoy.

Read King Lear online.

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