Carrie's Reviews > Fool

Fool by Christopher Moore
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's review
Apr 23, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: audiobooks, funny
Read in April, 2009

King Lear retold from the fool's perspective, with some plot revision. I loved it for the mix of Shakespearean language with modern English slang and the quick banter (or is that redundant?). And of course Edmund is called a bastard here with more than the original meaning.

Pocket, our small narrator, is King Lear's fool. An orphan, he was raised by nuns and became "special friends" with an anchoress who was walled up to pray all day. When he was caught shagging the anchoress through her feeding hole, he was sent away and she was completely walled up. Pocket joins up with some traveling entertainers and enters into the King's service after he manages to get 8-year-old Cordelia to talk.

As the story starts out, all Lear's daughters are grown and the king is dividing up his kingdom among them based on who loves him the most. Of course Goneril and Regan say they love their father beyond measure and Cordelia describes her love honestly, without exaggeration. Lear gives all his land and property to Goneril and Regan and nothing to Cordelia, who gets married off to a French prince. This is pretty much the same as Shakespeare's version.

But Moore changes the story from here so the fool becomes a major force behind all the ensuing political intrigue, pitting the evil sisters against each other and setting their sites on Edmund the bastard. If you're familiar with Macbeth, you'll recognize the three witches who make an appearance to offer love potions, poisons and glimpses of the past. There's also a non-Shakespearean sidekick named Drool who is a horny, retarded jester-in-training, and a pair of cooks named Bubble and Squeak after the British breakfast combo.

I listened to this on CD and the narrator was incredible. He not only read with different British accents and voices ranging from Eric Idle to Alexei Sayle, he can also do a pretty convincing female voice too.

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