Fool tells the story of King Lear from the point of view of his Fool. (A character that does exist in the play – one of the things I found myself looking up to verify if I was remembering things correctly. I believe I last read King Lear in 1997 or 1998.)
Moore’s decided to go with a very, very foulmouthed version of a fool, who’s pretty much sleeping with every female character in the play. (He said the genesis of this book is that he wanted to write about a true English Fool, and remembered the Fool in King Lear after the initial idea.) I really couldn’t decide if I liked him or not. He certainly had a clear-eyed view of the goings on between Lear and his daughters, but he was so generally unpleasant that I’m not sure if I was supposed to like him or not. (I really have to go with not.)
I was also really curious what he was going to do with the ending, because Cordelia was the Fool’s favorite princess (the only one he hadn’t slept with), and we all know what happens to her in the real play. He definitely went in a direction I wasn’t completely expecting with the ending, and again, I’m not sure I like it.
I don’t know – I normally like the funny tone of Moore’s books, but this one didn’t quite do it for me. It’s not that it was bad – I guess the best I can say is that it wasn’t really to my taste.