Fool, by Christopher Moore
In the words of Christopher Moore: “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’s the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!”
While the above quote is only the first few lines of the book jacket summary, it is an accurate summary of the book. I have never laughed out loud at more bawdy jokes, more absurd scenes, and more vulgar sexual innuendos. And I read this book almost entirely while on public transportation and in the break room (side note: attempting to politely explain the vulgar jokes to general society is nearly impossible. Well, you asked, dammit).
Many people on Goodreads, however, seem to find Fool disappointing for a lack of hilarity…uh, excuse me? While I can see how following the story of Shakespeare’s King Lear would be challenging and could potentially detract from the humor, I think Moore expertly manipulates both Shakespeare’s story and his own humor to create an entertaining, well-crafted story.
Whether or not you have read King Lear, and whether or not you have read other books by Moore, this book is well-worth your time. Unless you’re a prude, in which case you should go read something easy and safe, like The Joy of Cooking, just to be safe.
* A strange comparison: while Lord of the Flies and Fool both expertly manipulate the English language, you would think were written with different dictionaries. LotF specializes in vivid imagery which leaves a lasting impression of both horror and fascination – but honestly, Fool merely specializes in crafting sentences which make you laugh.
*Since I loved Fool so much and since many reviews on Goodreads imply that I read one of the “lesser” Moore books, I plan on looking at more of Moore (haha) in the near future. Right now I’m debating between Lamb and A Dirty Job.
And finally, a list of my new favorite words:
- Dogfuckingly: adjective, as in “you are dogfuckingly ugly, you poor bastard.”
- Shaggacity: the wisdom of shagging.
- Bunny cunny: noun, as in, “she is a right bunny cunny,” implying something deviously coy and shaggable about a woman.