So, a re-write of King Lear from his fool's perspective. Could be a tricky undertaking, at the very least one that will have Shakespeare scholars with their knickers in a knot. While a re-telling, Moore isn't overly concerned with absolute fidelity to the original, cleverly bringing in the witches from Macbeth and his own warped and delightfully nefarious twists. Pocket, Lear's fool, narrates the events of the novel and he's wildly entertaining, as befits a fool. He's also obsessed with sex and intrigue and naughty language (well, naughty anything really). He plays Regan and Goneril like harps, engineering much of the action familiar to Lear readers.
Moore is truly a wordsmith and he has crafted a sly and witty book (mostly) within the confines of Shakespeare's original. He has created some of the most wonderful insults in print today (a true talent given the difficulty of developing entirely new insults that are both effective and memorable) and throughout the novel, you can't help but have the sense that Moore, like Shakespeare has a real and appreciable love for language, its uses and the ways in which to manipulate with it and create things anew. I could rave about this one nigh on forever but I'll spare you the gushing. If you aren't easily offended by potty humor, like British slang (despite Moore's Americanness, his British narrator is believable and authentic sounding--although not terribly Shakespearean), appreciate likable characters, and are amenable to re-writings of the Bard's famous works, this might just be for you. But only if you have a wonderful sense of humor and don't mind perfect strangers looking at you oddly as you guffaw in public should you be so foolhardy as to read this anywhere but the privacy of your own home. And once you've read this (and have come back here and duly thanked me), go on out and try the rest of Moore's entertaining oeuvre.