People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
After listening to The Serpent of Venice, Chris Moore's latest, I decided to go back and listen to Fool first chance I got, having read it several years ago in print. Sure enough, it turned up in Audible's recent BOGO sale of listener favorites, as it is, as advertised, a listener favorite.
Fool was Moore's first try at turning a Shakespearean tragedy into a comedy, taking the story of King Lear and telling it from the point of view of Lear's fool (jester), Pocket. With the witches from Macbeth thrown in for good measure, and of course there's always a ghost, Moore sends up Lear through the use of language -- sarcasm, pun, straight out joke, mixing Shakespearean English with modern English slang to great comic effect.
Whether you're a Shakespeare fan, or a Shakespeare contratrian like me, or never even heard of the bloody bard, Fool will tickle your funny bone with Pocket's unfailing ability to cleverly turn of phrase. Euan Morton, who has narrated Moore's last two novels, including Serpent of Venice, does his best work here, not going overboard with some characters as he does in the recent Pocket sequel.
(For anyone who doesn't get the title of my review: "More fool you" is a phrase from Taming of the Shrew, meaning you're more of a fool than I thought. "More Fool Me" is a variation on that phrase that was used as the title of a Genesis song back in the 70s, sung by Phil Collins during the time when Peter Gabriel was still the lead singer. I added a second O to pun the author's name, in addition to the double entendre -- if I may use a phrase from effing French -- of the fool me part.)
The world of plastic surgery is the background for another sampling of Florida anthropology by Carl Hiaasen, one of the foremost practitioners of comic Florida crime fiction. Someone is trying to kill former investigator Mick Stranahan after he starts to revisit a cold case involving a botched nose job by a crooked and incompetent plastic surgeon.
This being Hiaasen, there is a lot more going on here than Stranahan going after the quack. As usual, there is a broad range of characters from various walks of life (most of them low) in the great state of Florida. And the world of plastic surgery is hardly Hiassen's sole target -- tabloid TV journalism, Geraldo Rivera style, is sent up, along with frequent targets like shyster lawyers, corrupt police and politicians, arrogant party boys, vindictive divorcees, and vain celebrities.
There is also a singularly memorable foe for Stranahan to go up against and some truly gruesome deaths, including one that was copied some years later by the makers of the movie Fargo (which one could argue is like Hiaasen in Minnesota). On the sympathetic side, there are friendly conch fishermen, loveable waitresses, and a sharp-toothed barracuda.
So what we have here is off-the-shelf Carl Hiaassen, not necessarily a standout among his oeuvre, but perfectly entertaining entry for established fans of his style of Floridian farce to enjoy. George Wilson narrates it well, familiar enough with this genre from having performed a healthy percentage of books by Hiaasen and another writer in the same vein, Tim Dorsey.