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Show Me 5 Saturday is a meme concept by That’s a Novel Idea.  Please head on over to her blog if you’d like to participate!

(Note: While I usually reserve Saturday’s for children’s/YA books, Fool is definitely NOT kid-friendly.)

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week: Fool, by Christopher Moore

2 Words that describe the book: bawdy, laugh-out-loud-funny

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

  • Pocket of Dog Snogging  – The narrator.  Dog Snogging being the name of the abbey where he was brought up.  Pocket is jester in the court of King Lear.. the one man allowed to “speak truth to nobility.”  He takes advantage of that position rather well.
  • Jones –‘Jones,’ said Taster, pointing to my jester’s scepter, Jones, who is, indeed, a smaller version of my own handsome countenance, fixed atop a sturdy handle of polished hickory. Jones speaks for me when even my tongue needs to exceed safe license with knights and nobles, his head pre-piked for the wrath of the dull and humorless. My finest art is oft lost in the eye of the subject.”
  •  Edmond of Gloucester – Illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester; Unable to inherit his father’s estate due to his illegitimacy, he will stop at nothing to change his fate.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

  • I liked to listen to it!  Ryan and I listened to the audio cd in the car together daily, and while it seems like it would be a funny read, it was HILARIOUS to hear.  The reader does a fantastic job with voices, flow, and punctuating the jokes correctly.  I definitely recommend this format.
  • I like that I now know the story of Shakespeare’s King Lear without having to read the real version.  Some of the dialogue is directly takan from Shakespeare’s version.  However, the plot isn’t exactly the same in Fool.  It’s very accurate until the end, at which point it’s very different.  But, I read the King Lear wikipedia page to compare, so I still know the original version now 😉
  • I do think that it was much more funny in the beginning and middle.  Towards the last third of the novel, it got very focused on tying up the plot and well.. the plot is fairly tragic and not that funny.  I still liked it, just not as much as at first.
  • I like that Christopher Moore is still alive, writing, and prolific.  That doesn’t have a lot to do with this particular book, but let me explain.  I read a lot of books by long dead people.  So, when I really like a book by a new author, I try to wait a couple of years before reading another of their works.  I realize they’re obviously not going to be writing any more, and I want to spread the reading out so I won’t run out of stuff to read by them.  Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf.  But Moore has quite a few books out, and he’s still writing.. so I can obey my instinct to run out and immediately read half of his books!  Hurrah. 🙂

5 stars or less for your rating? A shaky 4.  It was a very solid 4 until the last disc or so when Ryan and I were both just ready for it to hurry up and end.  It wasn’t as funny at that point, and neither of us really get into extremely plot-driven books, which is what it became.  Nonetheless, the first 5 discs were so fabulous and fun that I’ll still call it a 4.  Read it.. no, listen to it!

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Show Me 5 Saturday is a meme hosted by That’s a Novel Idea.  You can find Mr. Linky if you’d like to post your own at Find Your Next Book Here. Original hostess is MIA.

Going Solo by Roald Dahl1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week Going Solo by Roald Dahl 2 Words that describe the book: adventurous, heartbreaking 3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

  • Africa – The first setting of the book is Africa.  Dahl is working here before/when World War II breaks out.  Dahl captivates the reader with description of the black mamba, giraffes, and all manner of wild things.
  • Mdisho – Roald Dahl’s “boy” when he was working in Africa.  This boy ironed Dahl’s shirts, polished his sword, and basically did whatever Dahl asked.  Dahl taught Mdisho how to read and write.  Mdisho has warrior’s blood running through him, and when he does something that could get him in great trouble, Dahl shows wisdom and compassion.
  • Greece – This is where Dahl spent the majority of his combat time in World War II.  Having been trained as a fighter pilot, he joins his squadron here.  To his dismay, he finds that he is only one of fifteen pilots allotted to protect the whole of Greece against hundreds or thousands of German planes.  His “adventures” here constitute the majority of the book.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it: 5 Stars or less for your rating?

  • I liked the format.  All the chapters were connected and chronological, but they could have almost have been read as stand-alone stories.  There were no cliff-hangers, so I could read a couple of chapters and put the book down without being tempted to peak at the beginning of the next.
  • I liked that it was more adult that Boy which came before it.  It was still in the junior section at the library, but I really feel like the subject matter is for more mature readers, even if the writing style is just as easy to read.  While there was high adventure, there was also war and death and weeks stuck in a hospital bed.
  • I love Dahl’s writing.  His stories, especially these, often make me hold me breath as the action plays out.  While he doesn’t spend a lot of time on wordy descriptions, he gives the correct details to allow you to see the setting.  Reading his work is a wonderful experience.
  • I liked that it was sort-of educations.  I got a little geography lesson, learned some Swahili words, learned a bit about the animals and cultures of the place he traveled.  Fabulous.

5 stars or less for your rating? 4.  It wasn’t one of the greatest books I’ve ever read, but it was certainly better than mediocre.  It was captivating, fun, heart-wrenching, and just generally Dahl-esque.  I recommend it heartily.