William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Bob Walch
nown for his outrageously funny, edgy, irreverent fiction, Christopher Moore sets his sights on Shakespeare's classic
in this latest novel that features Lear's fool.
eversing the roles of all of The Bard's characters (Edmund, Goneril, Regan and Lear), the Fool narrates this rollicking, bawdy tale based loosely (very loosely, in fact) on the play and it's the Fool's outrageous viewpoint that provides the window through which the reader views the action.
ocket (yes, this Fool has a name), along with his bungling apprentice Drool, turns the vaunted Elizabethan tragedy into a farce of epic proportions. The clever manipulator circulates between the members of Lear's family as his outrageous antics place the king's deceitful daughters (well, actually two of them fit the mold here) and their husbands in a somewhat different light from the original work.
s this tale of one of most dysfunctional families in literature plays out, the bangers and mash hit the fan with a force that not even Shakespeare himself could conjure up had he wanted to. Called upon to use all of his wits (or as many as he can marshal) to keep himself and his buddy Drool away from the executioner's block, Pocket zigs and zags his way through this wry tale to a chorus of guffaws and snickers (mostly the reader's).
t's not necessary to have read the original play Moore takes his inspiration from, but it makes the novel all the more enjoyable if you have. For those who have not encountered this author before and wish to explore more of his work, I'd suggest
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
The Island of the Sequined Love Nun
The Stupidest Angel
. They are all equally bizarre and will provide plenty of laughs.
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