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25 July 2009

First Post: a Dual Review

The proprietor/manager of Books on First recommends the book, Fool.
Christopher Moore's wit is singular and not universally appreciated. But, if you get it, you'll really have a fun time, and you won't even have to have read or seen the play.

(recommended to him by his wife Carolyn!) In the afterword ("You Cheeky Git -- Author's Note"), Moore tells how he was persuaded to write in the voice of Lear's fool and all the research he conducted in order to do so properly. That is an interesting story unto itself. But, we digress.

Fool is a masterly, tongue-in-cheek (to name one body part) re-telling of the tale of King Lear, but not simply the most famously known one being Shakespeare's, but basically the very English play about this really out-of-touch king giving away his kingdom to the two daughters who love him least and living not simply to regret the act but to rage and lament (and lament) about it. I find I have always been at one with Moore on Lear's "whining" and the great desire to reach into the written word (or to leap upon the stage) and "kill the old man myself." With irreverent nods (or tosses) to Hamlet, Macbeth, Green Eggs and Ham, and more, Moore's version, in his inimitable style, is at least as reasonable and original as Shakespeare's, but so much more fun! As with Lamb, there is just enough adherence to historical allusions to stimulate questions and a consideration of, if not actual, re-reading of "The Great Works."

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