by Christopher Moore
performed by Euan Morton
Published 2009 by HarperAudio
8 hours, 41 minutes. Unabridged.
Rating: 5/5

A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear’s cherished fool for years, from the time the king’s grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege’s side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father’s request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country’s about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart’s wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He’s already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he’s going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear’s good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia’s twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who’s amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool . . . but he’s definitely not an idiot.

So clever! This is probably the best of Moore’s books I’ve read so far. I highly recommend it, and I highly recommend checking out the audio. Euan Morton captures the humor perfectly.

Fool is loosely based on Shakespeare’s King Lear. But Moore has turned the tragedy into a comedy by focusing on Lear’s fool, rather than Lear himself. Pocket is an excellent character. He’s clever and crude, but still has a lot of heart for the few special people he’s known, especially his beloved Cordelia. After Lear disowns the favorite daughter, the reader follows Pocket on his journey, full of hilarious and sometimes confusing schemes, to get back to the young princess (who’s actually a queen at that point).

This book is full of hysterical moments and “heinous fuckery, most foul.” Get ready for some delightful British comedy, and don’t neglect the audio. I know some people are apprehensive about audio, but trust me. This book wouldn’t have been half as funny to me if I had been reading it. I guess I can blame some of that on my lack of imagination (though I think I actually have a pretty good imagination), but I just think Euan Morton does such a terrific job bringing Moore’s humor to life. I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on that.

A side not, I think I’m going to extend my August Giveaway for one more week and add Fool as one of the prizes. If you already entered and you’ve changed your mind and want to win Fool, just enter again. I’ll figure it out. If you haven’t entered, you should. I’m offering the choice of one of Christopher Moore’s audio books (by iTunes gift) on me. The contest now ends 9/7. You can enter here.

This book contains explicit profanity, innuendo, and sexual content.

Source: Homewood Public Library. Homewood, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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