Feb 21, 09
Read in February, 2009
I dithered about whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. Some of the book was off-putting, inasmuch as even I can get tired of jokes about anatomy and bonking. You can't throw a cat in this book without hitting one. But, on the upside, I tore through the book to see how it all worked out. Moore is fluent in Lear and in a lot of other Shakespeare works--or at least their tropes. He masters the vocabulary quite nicely, with a festive smattering of anachronism that makes it, oddly, all the more palatable.
And as much as I love King Lear, I am always vaguely disturbed about how it all ends up, and it's intriguing to see the greatest tragedy in the English language turned into a comedy. And perhaps the only way it can be turned into a comedy is for it to be such an overwhelmingly naughty-bits-filled one. Every time I read Christopher Moore, halfway through the book I think, "Really? Is all this really necessary?" and by the end, I always feel like he makes it work--there's a thoughtfulness that comes through, even when the characters seem as shallowly-concerned as the day is long. I think Moore's always good if you like Robert Rankin and Tom Holt, and often good even if you don't.
In the end, just be a smart-arse, part of me really wanted to review this as "A Thousand Acres but with more d--k jokes" but restrained myself. Except not really, since I just did.