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Fool (Fool #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  46,310 Ratings  ·  3,294 Reviews
"Hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters, and ministerial students."
--Dallas Morning News

Fool--the bawdy and outrageous New York Times bestseller from the unstoppable Christopher Moore--is a hilarious new take on William Shakespeare's King seen through the eyes of the foolish liege's clownish jester,
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by HarperCollins William Morrow
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Community Reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“We are all Fate’s bastards.”

Palm Springs commercial photography

In what may be the longest synopsis in the history of the universe, Moore does a great job explaining that his book is actually a retelling of King Lear. The differences in the modern version? Fool is told from Pocket the Fool’s perspective and the tale is presented as a comedy rather than a tragedy. Things that remain the same? The cast of characters (Lear and his three daughters with a bevy of support
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Monty Python Lovers and Fools Everywhere
Shelves: kick-ass
It's really hard to describe a Christopher Moore book to anyone who has never read one. Or to anyone without a sense of humor. Or to a Republican. Mainly because when Moore says that "This is a bawdy tale," he certainly isn't lying. Couple that with his completely absurd sense of humor and you're guaranteed a read that will certainly never bore. This is delightfully raunchy stuff; gleefully vulgar; immensely readable. However, there's more to a Moore novel than just the humor. Moore's take on Sh ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
Christopher Moore's re-telling of Shakespeare's tragedy of King Lear has great comic potential. It's just too bad that this novel doesn't come close to its potential.

Told from the point of view of Lear's court jester, there are some genuinely amusing moments in this book. However, as I read the book, I kept thinking this was like a Saturday Night Live skit that had been stretched beyond its initial humorous value and just kept going and going and going.

May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
“This was a bawdy tale!”

Thus begins Fool by Christopher Moore, a parody of King Lear by William Shakespeare but also really a comic tribute to all of The Bard’s work. Besides Lear, I recognized several other direct or indirect references and Moore himself, in an epilogical aside said he had blended over a dozen plays into the narrative.

Unique amongst Moore’s work, it does not operate in his connected universe of Hawaii, Pine Cove and San Francisco (as of the publication date). Irreverent, prof
Dan Schwent
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: moore
Nothing like a good Moore-gasm to end the evening.

Fool is a comic retelling of King Lear from the fool's point of view. Pocket, the fool, is lechererous, duplicitous, and all round magnificent. He engineers the downfall of Lear's kingdom by pitting the king's daughters against each other, along with other nobles and their bastards.

There are references to Shakespeare, as well as a vanished race called the Mericans, ruled by the mad King George. For me, the biggest laughs came from the faux Engli
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, library
Moore's retelling of King Lear from the viewpoint of the Fool. Full of crass, tongue-in-check innuendo and clever wordplay - just like the real Shakespeare!

I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as The Serpent of Venice. That might be because I read Fool first and I was used to the writing by the time I got to Serpent.

If you enjoy Shakespeare, satire, and/or crass humor - don't miss this one!
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Moore-ons and the not-so serious Shakespearean fans
Shelves: humor, fiction
It is little secret that I think that Christopher Moore is one of the funniest writers currently putting ink to page. Whether he's writing about playing stone the adulteress with Jesus, talking fruit bats or a schizophrenic former B-movie star who still believes that she's a warrior babe of the outlands, Moore almost never fails to leave you panting on the floor with tears in your eyes and lungs aching for air. Needless to say, I was all up ons Fool when I first heard of it.

A humorous take on Sh
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, humor
Shakespearean wankfest making a mockery of King Lear in the most entertaining and loving way. Bonk...BONK.

Perfect black comedy that made me laugh out loud. Pocket is my hero.

"I need to be spanked."
"A constant, I'd agree, lady, but again we're declaring the sky blue, aren't we?"
"I want to be spanked."

Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm gonna go ahead and co-opt a term Dan used in his review of this bawdy book, and call it simply Moore-gasmic.

Fuckstockings! is just one of the many expletives and/or insults that spew forth from the mouth of King Lear's fool, Pocket, that I'm hoping to sneak into my everyday vocabulary. Twatgoblin and chunder-monkey (used to refer to the King's bulimic royal taster) will definitely be making appearances as well. I'm not sure how much use I'll have for boffnacity, but I'll give you Pock
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was great even though it's been too long since I read King Lear & only have the vaguest recollections of the original. It didn't matter. Actually, it might have been a plus since I had no real expectations of where Moore was going with this. Sometimes I wondered if he knew, but it turned out he did & he eventually got there, not without a lot of shagging, death, & horribly funny situations, though.

There was horror, but there was more fun & sex and a lot of funny sex. I can s
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Life is loneliness, broken only by the gods taunting us with friendship and the odd bonk."

Not since Shakespeare has Shakespeare been this clever. "Fool" is a retelling of Shakespeare's "King Lear" from the Fool's perspective. The fool in Shakespeare's text is an integral supporting character who utters most of the play's philosophical secrets. Moore picks up on that and expands it into the plot for this novel.
Although I have heard many people say (including Mr. Moore) that you don't need to be
Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Okay I laughed out loud numerous times reading this book. Bawdy, witty, a mishmash of various Shakespearean plays. Packet, the fool, is the main character and he rains barbed insults down on everybody from King Lear to the laundress (with spectacular breasts). This dangerous need to express himself leads to the daily threat, sometimes several times a day, of being hung (once even threatened with being hung twice) or run through with something sharp and deadly. I used this book as my "just before ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
Hilarious! ...if you're really into gay jokes. If you're not a frat boy, on the other hand, this really has nothing for you.

The idea is an exploration of King Lear through the eyes of the Fool, imagining him as the hero of the story. That's a perfectly good idea, but Moore does a dreadful job. Jane Smiley's Thousand Acres is a smart, insightful retelling of Lear from the point of view of his daughters; Fool is a bullshit Dungeons & Dragons-y retelling where the Fool comes with awesome throwi
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
OK so, I don't wright many reviews, but I had to for this one because it is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Even if you hate Shakespeare or can't stand the sound of iambic pentameter, this book will make you laugh. If it doesn't, well then at least you know that you don't have a good sense of humor... and that's a good thing to know.
Lance Greenfield
Yet another outrageously hilarious tome from the keyboard of Christopher Moore!

I know for a fact that not all of my friends and family will like Fool, but many will love it as much as I did, and many will be rolling around laughing, in fits of laughter, as I was.

The jester of the court of King Lear, known as Pocket, proceeds to orchestrate the history of England, Great Britain and most of Western Europe. There is very little authenticity, quite deliberately, and absolutely no respect for eithe
Will Byrnes
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comedy-satire
Pocket is a diminutive Jester in the court of King Lear. Hijinks ensue. In this darkly comedic retelling, Moore has some fun with Willy the Shake and walks us through a maze of betrayal and downright cussedness in the Britain of a (thankfully) long-gone age. There are times when it is laugh-out-loud funny, particularly if (like me) you tend to guffaw at humor of a low sort. But while I am a fan of Moore, and have enjoyed A Dirty Job, You Suck and Lamb, I found that this one left me wanting. It w ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ah, Christopher Moore rewrites King Lear (and steals from host of other Shakespeare's works in the process) and presents a delightful, bawdy comedic romp through soggy Britain.

Fool tells the tale of Pocket, King Lear's favorite Fool, and the events that unfold as King Lear is driven into madness and destruction, and the kingdom is divided amidst treachery, scheming, princesses, fuckery, washerwomen names Bubble and Squeak, and a bloody ghost (there is always a bloody ghost, of course). And love
Kevin McAllister
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fool is Christopher Moore's comic retelling of the Shakespeare tragedy King Lear. Not to mention numerous references to other Shakesperean plays. You've got your witches, your ghost, your regacide... But, in my mind, Moore displays his own comic genius best when he combines Shakespeare with Dr. Seuss and gives us a ditty called Green Eggs And Hamlet
Green eggs or not green eggs ?
Whether' tis nobler in the mind to eat them in a box with a fox--
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
A shaggalious good time!

Christopher Moore nails it again with his twisted take on King Lear from the point of view of the Fool. Pocket, a sarcastic, manipulating, horny little court jester, takes us for a wild ride of shagging, fighting, shagging, warring, shagging, murdering, shagging.... you get the point.

Oh, and there's a ghost.
There's always a bloody ghost!

I have not read the original, (gasp), but I don't feel it's necessary. Moore takes court jestering and kings and loyality to a whole new
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Moore takes the idea of re-telling King Lear from the Fool's perspective and makes a very funny hash of the whole thing. My second favorite Moore novel after Lamb now.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Fool" was absolutely hysterical, so many laugh out loud moments, my family kept asking what was so funny. I found myself laughing and shouting out lines to the family, it was so funny!

"Fool" is a retelling of Shakespeare's "King Lear" but told from the point of view of Lear's fool, Pocket. You don't really need more than a basic understanding of "King Lear" before starting this so don't let that stop you from picking this one up.

The story of the orphan Pocket's rearing in the nunnery by Mother
Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it
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 palatabl ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
I know 3 stars!?!?! (note I originally gave this 3 stars, see below for more information) I think I mainly gave this book 3 stars cause I really didn't get into it. My normal Christopher Moore reading experience is usually like book, start reading, laugh, finish book...usually its a 1 sitting read for me. This one took me 3 days...I'm not sure if it was the subject matter - "retelling" of Willy Shakes' King Lear or what...don't get me wrong it had some great laugh out loud moments... ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Questo anno di letture non poteva cominciare meglio! Non riuscivo a staccarmi da questo romanzo e allo stesso tempo non volevo finirlo, perché già sapevo che mi sarebbe mancato. La prosa di Moore è fluida, divertente, a volte volutamente volgare ma mai esagerata. Già amato con Il vangelo secondo Biff, è stato una piacevole conferma. Riprendere in mano nientemeno che Shakespeare, buttare nel calderone Re Lear, con un pizzico di citazioni e rimandi ad altre opere qui e là, era un azzardo, ma Moore ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is easily Moore's second best book. I will be hard pressed to list anything above Lamb, ever. The warning on the cover serves perfect justice as it announces This is a Bawdy tale... I didn't chuckle. I didn't giggle. I didn't laugh. I barked. I laughed so often, so loudly, and so suddenly, it was as though I was barking. I read it in one night and am already craving the next Christopher Moore book. Thanks Christopher!!
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Moore fans, Bardolators looking for something different
Rating: 3+ stars

WARNING: This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank. If that sort of thing bothers you, then gentle reader pass by, for we endeavor only to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!

I first met (f
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Moore, Christopher. FOOL. (2009). **. Moore is a witty, skillful writer – usually. But this time, he gets too cute. “Fool,” is a reworking of the King Lear legend as told through the persona of the king’s fool, Pocket. Pocket is a short guy, who, as an orphan, was raised by the nuns at a convent. It seems he picked up all his skills at sex and intrigues there, as well as any incidental biblical knowledge. He is taken on as Lear’s fool, along with an assistant fool, Drool. He is loyal to the king ...more
Ben Babcock
I had to add a new shelf for this book: "deliciously quotable." That admirably summarizes Fool, a bawdy comedic interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Not for the faint of heart, Fool puts the reader through a whirlwind tour of Shakespearean clichés mixed with a healthy dose of anachronisms and sexual innuendo.

I love any sort of irreverent Shakespearean fun. It's all well and good to call the Bard one of the greatest writers of the English language, but I've never agreed with scholars who tr
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I really wanted to enjoy this one as much as Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and You Suck, but I couldn't. The reader is warned that it's a "bawdy tale" but I'm no prude. The tribute that Moore is paying to British comedy is clear, but it did begin to pall about halfway through. (It's the same way that 40-Year-Old Virgin was about 45 minutes too long.) There were still some shining moments near the end, like when a character was described looking as if "a monkey had cu ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
Pocket is raised in a nunnery and sold to a traveling entertainment troop as a fool. Which is a better fate than being hanged for shagging the anchoren. Then hired by King Lear when the Troop entertains at the castle and the fool makes the youngest princess laugh.
What follows is a story of great friendship. Also, shagging, treachery, deceit, and war (albeit a short one).

Notable mention is a passage of Drool, the fool’s apprentice who is petting a cat when Pocket sees him and says, “Stop that!”
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circums
More about Christopher Moore

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“I love you above all things, even pie.” 227 likes
“Love needs room to grow. Like a rose. Or a tumor.” 190 likes
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