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The Jester

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  16,682 Ratings  ·  913 Reviews
Freedom - in eleventh-century France, it is a luxury enjoyed by only the King and nobility. For the serf, it is surely worth fighting for. But is it worth dying for?

Arriving home disillusioned from the Crusades, Hugh DeLuc discovers that his village has been ransacked and his wife abducted. The dark riders came in the dead of night, like devils, wearing no colours but blac
Paperback, 548 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Headline (first published March 3rd 2003)
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The Book Maven
May 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
I think the nicest thing I can say about this book--and possibly all of Patterson's books--is that it would be an excellent book for adult learners (especially male) to cut their reading teeth on. The chapters are short, the sentences are short, there's very few big words, and there's no complexities to the text whatsoever.

But for an adult reading at an adult level, this book is painful.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I just reviewed Sail, saying it was the first Patterson book I'd read. I was unaware that he had also written Jester. I stand corrected...and Patterson has been redeemed in my eyes. Jester was so great. I cared so much for the characters in that book - and felt as though I was right there with them. Set in the days of knights, kings, and of course, jesters...this was a great story of revenge! After realizing that a story I loved so much was written by James Patterson has now motivated me to go o ...more
Oct 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
I'm only reading this because I haven't gone to the library recently and it was one of the few fiction books on the shelves that I hadn't read. It's terrible, but yet I keep reading. Morbid curiousity, I guess. It's supposed to take place in France during the Crusades, but the writing style is all wrong for historical fiction and is full of anachronisms and unconvincing slang. There's no emotional depth to any of the characters, and no intricacy to the plot. Patterson has clearly written way too ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is an excellent example of my distaste of 11th - 14th century history. The barbarism is perpetrated via a Jester at the time of the Crusades. Thus providing another example my distrust and abhorrence of all religions. Alas and in a clown move, the only laughter occurs at the end. 0 of 10 stars
Susanne Leist
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I buy a James Patterson book in a thrift store and expect to sit down to read a silly, modern day caper. Instead, I find a love story from a man's perspective taking place during the Crusades.
Hugh, a commoner, an innkeeper, joins the Crusades out of boredom and a way to better his and his wife's lives. He makes unusual friends along the way. His love of stories makes him popular. After a few years of blood and gore, he runs back home with a few trinkets for his wife.
His town is gutted and his w
Dec 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Don't read this. You'll get a headache. At first it will seem actually amusing, because you won't be sure if the writer(s) are serious with their catastrophic depiction of Medieval France, the Crusade wars, and the unavoidably horrible sex scenes. However, as you delve deeper and deeper into this atrocity of a novel, you will only find yourself regretting the money (and time) you wasted.
May 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, mystery
Every so often, I pick up a book and have a difficult time putting it down. This was exactly that type of book. I swam through nearly 500 pages in less than two days, dying to see the outcome. From start to finish, I was more than impressed.

The basic premise is that an innkeeper joins the Crusades to gain freedom from his tyrannical liege. He becomes disheartened after the first major conflict he is involved in and deserts the Crusader army with a few trinkets picked up during their victory in A
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought the story was awesome. I kept raising the question "How is Hugh getting out of this one?" which kept me reading until the end, finishing the book in less than a week. Of course the book doesn't really leave a lot of downtime. The story is always progressing, jumping from one event to the next in the blink of an eye. You're never too far from the action, and with how short the chapters are (and large text) a book that looks like it could take a while is actually a quick and fun read.

Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A "Pillar's of the Earth" like novel of a French inn keeper swept up in the Crusades who comes back home to the destruction of his family...under the "pretext" of being a "court jester" seeks to avenge the wrongs by exacting retribution against those in the nobility who harmed his family...Decent, but no Ken Follett!
Jul 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Unusual and violent medieval tale stretches belief...

Patterson and co-author Gross have certainly crafted an unexpected offering, set literally 1000 years before Alex Cross, Lindsay Boxer, and the gang come along. A French innkeeper, and our leading man, Hugh de Luc, leaves his wife Sophie and his hometown to seek ultimate freedom from his life of servitude. He joins the Crusades in 1096; then we wade through many chapters of violence and gore as men on both sides of the argument die brutal dea
May 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Sometimes all you need is something to tide you over. Dinner is in an hour but your stomach is rumbling away so you nibble on a cookie, chow on a candy bar, suck on a ring-pop. The food might not be the greatest and a couple hours later you've probably forgotten you had it. But it did the trick. It took care of your hunger for the moment.
James Patterson and Andrew Cross's new book Jester is little more than the bag of nuts you get on an airplane to keep you going until your next layover or until
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book off the shelf because it was by James Patterson first & foremost. When I started on the story I was surprised and a little hesitant to continue onward once I found out what time it was set in. I've never been a huge fan of historical novels but I am glad I gave it a chance. Mr. Patterson with the help of Andrew Gross really draw you into this setting and allow you to immerse yourself into the story. You hear the anger in Hugh's voice, you smell the fowl stench of the jail ...more
Typical Patterson, for better or worse. If you're looking for artistic merit of any sort whatsoever, then forget it. THE JESTER succeeds only on the level of a trashy pulp adventure story--the kind of thing you might enjoy reading in the tub after a long day at work. The writing mostly feels like it was intended for kids, yet the content is strictly adult fare. The story is set during the Crusades and written in first-person (except when it's not), yet the voice of the narrator is virtually indi ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emsfreak by: It was a book for a Read-In at my school and I thought is sounded intresting.
A few weeks ago I read a book called The Jester by James Patterson. It was published in March 2003 (first e-book edition) by Little Brown and Company, or James Patterson, I'm not sure. I absolutely adored this book, although I thought that it was a bit gory for my taste. There were so many battle scenes that the Patterson describes with such detail that they either A: make you want to throw up all over the book or B: make you want to cry. Here's an example: "A dark-skinned Saracen whirred by, an ...more
J.M. Robison
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was the first James Patterson book I have read, and I must say I was not impressed. (It was co-authored by Andrew Gross, so I cannot say to whose writing style I provide this review).

I was first drawn to this book for the tempting story of a man posing as a jester to infiltrate a Duke's castle to save his wife, but that was very short lived. The story was 10% a jester infiltrating a castle and 90% gathering the common low-borns to fight for their freedom.

At first the book hooked me. I walke
Bryce Potok
The novel follows an innkeeper, Hugh, who seeking freedom from the tyrannical ruler of the region, Lord Baldwin, joins the crusades. Throughout his yearlong journey to reach the holy lands and during the battles of the holy lands, there are many suspenseful moments and situations. During the battles in the holy lands, Hugh fights against the Turks. In Hugh’s final battle of the crusades, he fights a monstrously large Turkish man. Hugh loses the swordfight but is spared because the Turk doesn’t b ...more
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
At first, I regretted picking up The Jester. The very style of the book with its incredibly attenuated chapters made it tough for me to become involved with the characters. I had to restart the book three different times because the quick cuts were so annoying that I couldn't get any traction with the characters. I didn't care. But once the book was the only one I had on the train, I finally reached the 1/3 mark in the book and I was in for the long haul after that.

I have a theory about this boo
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The latest book by Patterson I read was “The Jester”- when I rented this book I was expecting a criminal novel but to my surprise when I began to read, I discovered that this is a history book!!

When I began to read “The Jester” I got little uneasy not knowing what to expect of Patterson, but quickly I discovered that the master of suspense can write history books. “The Jester” is a story of a simple man Hugh De Luc who is joining The Crusades in a search for adventure and fortune in XI century
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a re-read, something I didn't realize until I started to add it to my shelf and discovered it was already there. I don't remember how long it has been since I first read it, but I gave it 4 stars back then. I have to give it a weak 3.5 stars this time. The book started slow for me and, although a good read, it just didn't draw me in, really draw me in, until about 3/4 the way through the book. From that point on, I still give it 4 stars, but I have to take in to account how slow the bigg ...more
Lisa Dresdner
Mar 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
Recommended to Lisa by: friend/colleauge
So this is what happens sometimes to a well-known, rather respectable author: he can now suggest a storyline, perhaps outline the plot and sketch out the characters, and then let some other writer (??) fill in the blanks.

This book came highly recommended by a friend and colleague whom I respect, but I think she may have been seduced by the setting of France during the Crusades, especially since it's so close to Easter right now. Or something.

The novel has so many things wrong with it I can't eve
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderfully imaginitive historical thriller. I would say that the whole book is built around the premise "In times of trouble the only one who can speak the truth is the Jester." It's set in the times of the crusades when religious persecution and rule is widespread. The stripped down story is old and archetypal...the institution takes the protagonists family away from him and he goes on a journey for revenge to recover what he's lost. However the gem of this story is not the story it ...more
Amy Subaey
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The BEST book I have ever read!!!!! its so exciting, and remember, this was pre- Da Vinci code, exciting in a new way. Its also very historical - I love the era of the Crusades, the characters are so interesting, the story is so unexpectd and refreshing - its a thinking person's book for sure. Its not a typical murder mystery like he usually writes. I have passed this book on to Julee and Jeff and they both were just engrossed and read it in like 2 days!!!!! MUST read (good beach reach, plane re ...more
Janie Johnson
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: james-patterson
This is probably one of my faorite Patterson books! And it is totally out of his normal genre. And I love that!

The book is set back to medievil times, it had a great plot and shared some history! I loved that too. I rarely put the book down to be honest. It was a fast quick read.

This book is definitely worth a read by any Patterson fans! It gets 5 stars from me!
Sep 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book! If you enjoy reading at the level of an 8th grader, then perhaps I might recommend it to you. Otherwise, I recommend spending your time on more worthy pursuits. This is the only James Patterson book I've read, so I can't make a general claim about him as a writer, but this book was definitely enough to discourage me from any further books of his.
Nov 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
I am realizing that I am a James Patterson fan but I tend to not enjoy his collaborative books. This was immediately doused me with SO many details I just wanted to close it and take some ibuprofen. I toughed it out, but didn't enjoy it.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Injoyed the ending of this book!! That says alot from me considering a lot of books I end up disappointed by the end. Moved pretty quick in the beginning and made it hard for me to get into but eventually it slowed down and was totally enthralled. All in all a great book
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Second time reading! I went into it with the intent to like it, because of my last name, but loved it because of the content.
Linda Todd
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Linda by: gift
Another one of his very good book I have read and enjoyed so this one I will be delighted to recommend to my friends so keep smiling from wee me. xx
Shannon Bernier
wow what a book there is some not so pleasnat things in this one but itz a great book
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really 2 and 1/2 stars. The book could've been better if 100 pages were edited out and the plot pace was quickened. An OK read, but it could have been so much better.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update page count 3 9 Mar 14, 2016 08:47AM  
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James Patterson has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. As of January 2016, he has sold over 350
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