Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let's Talk about Fool!!

What did you think of Fool? Have you read anything else by Christopher Moore?

Those of you who are familiar with King Lear did you like this retelling from a different character? or point of view?

Was there anything unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?

Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?

How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes? How do the characters in Christopher Moore's Fool differ from Shakespeare's characters in King Lear?
Would you recommend this book to anyone?


  1. I really enjoyed this book. I've never read King Lear but I saw the play once in a cemetery in Nebraska and was quite entertained. All I remembered of the storyline before reading Fool was that there was a lot of deceit and some guy got his eyes gauged out...Suffice to say, I'm not a big Shakespeare fan.

    The thing that made Fool so great was the perspective of the court jester. Pocket was such an endearing character, and his sence of humor made even the trajic moments seem so rediculous. He was also so incredibly intelligent. I liked that such a thoughtful character was the king's fool, and he eventually got everything that he deserved in the end.

    I feel like these charactors were all very much caricatures, and not very realistic, but I think that enhanced the story. I don't want to read some dry story about an angry daughter lying to her father to gain his trust and then usurping his throne, I want to hear about how the court jester used the entire royal family as puppets and, with the help of a little magic, married a princess and became king. That's a much more entertaining read. I can't think of any real life situation or people that I would compare any part of this book to but that's good because real life is often kind of dull. (Hopefully real life has less murders too.)

    This is the first Moore book that I've read completely through. I made an attempt at reading "Bite Me: a Love Story" but it was kind of dry...That book was also pretty vulgar like Fool but in Fool it doesn't seem as out of place. Then again, maybe I'm just not into vampire love stories (sorry Twilight fans).

    Verdict: It was a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend this book to someone (maybe not a hard-core Shakespeare person, but who knows?)

  2. When I first started reading Fool I didn’t think I was going to like it. It seemed more rude then funny. But after the first chapter or two I did laugh out loud at one part, I wish I could remember which part (I don’t have my copy at the moment as someone is borrowing it!), and realized this was indeed a funny book. This was my first Christopher Moore book and it probably won’t be my last.

    I went on to Wikipedia to try and familiarize myself with King Lear having never read it myself. I think it’s always hard to do a retelling of a very famous story from another point of view. So, even though I’m not familiar with King Lear I think Moore did a good job with the telling of this story. That's easy for me to say not knowing Lear. I do like how he put in the witches from Macbeth though. And all the quotes from other Shakespeare plays like "a rose by any other name...." and so on.

    I would have said no there was nothing unique about England as a setting but I realized that most of the places he talks about don’t really exist; that he just made up places and changed places around in England. I think it fits the retelling of the story perfectly.

    I agree that the characters don’t seem real. But it’s also because as the excerpt says it’s full of lots of shagging and killing. Most people don’t behave in that way. Well, not anyone I know anyhow.

    I think Pocket changes throughout the story the most. He’s first just a king’s fool, but when his world is turned upside instead of just accepting it he does something about it.

    I would recommend it, but I agree with Melanie I’m not too sure big Shakespeare fans would enjoy it. They might think it was blasphemous or something. Overall a funny read which is what you need sometimes.

    Melanie: Going on about a completely different subject.... Is it as nuts in the states as it is here with stupid vampire/human love stories! I have to admit I was a fan of Buffy when it was on TV, but it wasn't solely about vampire/human love. It's out of control now.

  3. Lisa: The hype seems to be wearing a little thin lately, but there are like four new vampire romance TV shows, too many books, and of course Twilight. I haven't seen too much Twilight obsession among my real-life friends (although they are not immune) but my facebook friend circle (which is more diverse) is another story altogether. It seems like for awhile there, every other comment was about Twilight... I loved Buffy back in high school (or was it middle school?) but this whole romanticized blood-sucking thing is just too much for me.

  4. This is my first Christopher Moore book and won't be my last! I thought this book was hilarious and kept me interested. I've already handed my book off to share!

    I think any time you re-tell a story from another perspective it is interesting because it makes you think in another way. I am a Shakespeare fan, and a theatre major so I can tell you I believe that Shakespeare fans will enjoy this book. Christopher Moore actually takes references from about 12 different Shakespeare stories. So it's fun reading it and trying to pick out where the different bits and pieces come from. Not to mention if you understand Shakespeare it's just as dirty, it just doesn't seem as dirty because it's in a pretty language.

    I think that the characters are real, I think they are just inside most people. The things that the characters do and say in this book, in my opinion, are just what people in real life want to say and do but don't because it is not proper.

    I would agree the Pocket changed dramatically throughout the book but Lear did as well.

    As for your vampire talk I think my friend Earl puts it best when he says, "Girls ruined vampires". I would have to agree, yes there was vampire romances before but now it feel annoying to like it. Hopefully they'll move on to something new soon and give supernatural lovin back to the people who aren't annoying :0) HA

  5. Stacy I have to argue with you on your statement -"The things that the characters do and say in this book, in my opinion, are just what people in real life want to say and do but don't because it is not proper."- I never felt the urge to sleep around and it wasn't because it wasn't proper but because I respect myself. I also don't think most people secretly want to do this. Which is why I don't believe the characters to be real. They might be more real in Shakespeare's version but I wouldn't know as I haven't read it. I think Christopher Moore intended his characters to be a bit out of the norm. It's what makes his story work. I think people will relate to Pocket because at the end of the day he's doing what he's doing for love.

  6. I tend to agree with Lisa on that point. However, I expect that there are people out there who could relate quite well to the characters in the book.

    Stacy talked about how much Lear changed throughout the book. He seemed so powerful in the beginning and like such a gallant leader. But as the book progressed he became quite pathetic and loathsome. I wonder how realistic his character is? I wonder how often kings, and various rulers, are just sniveling idiots hiding out behind a carefully crafted facade...

  7. See we should agree to disagree about whether or not the book describes real people or not. I think it's a personal thing to say that you respect yourself so you don't sleep around, because there are people out there who respect themselves just fine and have a lot of sex with random people. So I feel like we would get into a discussion about people and not be discussing the book.
    But a quick side note on that I wasn't just talking about people having promiscuous sex. I was also talking about the fact that the characters in this book say what is on their mind more often then people in real life, and that's my observation of people.
    That being said I think that there are a lot of idiots in charge of people, which in my opinion is a big issue in the world.

  8. Yes we will have to agree to disagree. maybe respect was the wrong word, but my point was that its not because its not proper. And unless your Tiger Woods and a closet sex-aholic most people who sleep around are very open about it. I just thought it was a big statement to say that if you don't behave this way you secretly want to.


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