If you like midieval themes, this is one of the best out there. In Patterson's first delve into a quasi-historical fiction, he's done a pretty incredible job. It certainly is better than the Steven R. Lawhead Pendragon series and gets you thinking about the predicament his characters get in. From a historical point of view, it leads the reader through some pretty accurate accountings of landowner abuse of their citizens and what medieval times were like. The plot of one rising as the leader for the benefit of all leaves one, if you have that kind of imagination, cheering in your car seat. I have also read this in hard copy and think that if you are not expecting an Alex Cross novel, like historically based fiction, and can delve into the character development, this one is a barn-burner.
I'm not sure if the positive reviews listened to the same book as I. I went in enthusiastically, but the end couldn't come soon enough. Perhaps the authors couldn't decide between a serious novel or a parody of a serious novel. The author's use of gratuitous violence and rape to create antagonist characters was entirely excessive and unnecessary.
Others who read this told me that they loved it, but it seemed mediocre at best to me. I was interested enough to listen all the way through, but then it usually takes a really bad book for me to put it down once I've started. The concept was interesting, but the story was a little repetitive. The guy just keeps getting into the same sort of peril over and over and uses the same tricks to get out of it more than once. He's also repetitive in his narration, using the same phrases countless times to the point where, given a situation, you could almost guess exactly what he'd have to say about it. I had the distinct impression throughout this book that the authors were writing a treatment for a film and didn't care to write a good novel. Granted, this story would probably be much better as a movie.
There is nothing charming about this tale. The plot was simple, at best. I found it extremely violent and crude for no purpose. James Patterson is a wonderful author. It is commendable that Mr. Patterson wishes to try something new. However, he seems to have taken a wrong turn with this book.
I love historical novels but I did not believe I was hearing a piece of history. It felt more like a Mel Brooks version of the Crusades with over used internet jokes, crude language that was not necessary to the situation, predictable plot, unbelievable and laughable characters and an extremely irritating narrator voice. I"ve read most of James Patterson's detective novels and enjoyed them very much......he should stick to writing what he writes best and leave the historical sagas to those who truly understand history.
All the time I was reading The Jester I felt that I was listening to a movie in progress and would not be surprised to see it on the big screen in the future as it appears to have been written just for that purpose.
If you like honor, history, and sword swinging action... The Jester comes close. It's questionable as to historical accuracy, but has the basic elements of a Bernard Cornwell 'Sharpe's' series, just not quite as well done. If you've already gone through the Cornwell series, this will do nicely while waiting for another Sharpe.
Poorly written and with the narrator insisting on overacting every line, this book is full of misused words ("Pagan" to describe Muslims for example), unrealistic characters and just very poor writing in general. Characters will be dying of thirst, drinking their own urine, and then inexplicably travel another week with no more mention of water. Every battle includes limbs and heads flying off like tennis balls and the main character has extremely emotional moments roughly every other page.
Just simply awful to try to listen to. Maybe it would be tolerable to read, because it's written for the 6th grade level reader, but listening to it narrated was just impossible.
Excellent listen! A story about love, loss, dedication, and a believable look into what life might look like in medieval times.
Great story of middle ages superhero...only drawback was English accent of reader for story taking place in France. This really did not detract from the story for me though.