Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Al, our intrepid Guys Book Group leader, is very, very (very) excited that his favorite author, Christopher Moore, has a new book, Fool, out today. He got his hands on an advanced reader's copy, and has this review:

After taking on Christ’s missing years (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Friend), and death (A Dirty Job), tackling the Bard must be a piece of cake for someone as talented as Christopher Moore. In Fool, Moore rewrites Shakespeare’s King Lear as it was meant to be written; namely as a comedy with lots of excessive shagging (I can say “shagging” in a kid’s book store blog, can’t I?).

The story is told from the point of view of Pocket, the king’s fool. In addition to having all the best one-liners, Pocket proves to be the wisest of the people in the story. While Moore maintains enough storyline so that the average person is able to tell he or she is reading a retelling of Lear, Moore, a tireless researcher, also borrows heavily from ten or so other Shakespearian plays, giddily throwing in characters or lines when the mood hits. It offers extra entertainment for Shakespearian experts. The rest of us will just enjoy reading a Shakespearian story we can understand.

Christopher Moore is one of the best comedic novelists writing today. This is not just because his books have depth, but also because his books are not mean spirited. One does not feel that Moore thinks he is above his characters. In fact, it feels like Moore is rooting for them. It is why Moore never received a hate letter about Lamb, and why many people have told him that A Dirty Job helped them cope with the death of a loved one. This time, he will probably get letters from high-schoolers telling him he helped them get through English class.

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