Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

January 12, 2011

Some library books

Filed under: review — Tags: , , — Sam @ 12:51 pm

These aren’t getting full reviews, because the library want them back.

Christopher Moore – Fool

I’m vaguely familiar with Moore’s other work—not any specific book, mind, just in a general sense—and I’m quite fond of the court-jester theme, so this looked worth a go. The multiple comparisons to Pratchett on the cover were a bit offputting, reeking as they did of desperation, but then the overwhelming yellowness of it was worse. It went on the pile for a week or so, till I picked it up to give it a try… and discovered from the Cast of Characters page that it was a retelling of King Lear from the Fool’s point of view. Moore takes some license with the plot, but it’s very much Lear, and if I’d known that from the cover then it would have been welded to my hand till I left the library, and I’d have started it when I got home.

This sort of marketing decision is inexplicable… advertising it as a Shakespeare retelling might put off some mainstream readers who wanted bawdiness, cock jokes, and action-filled violence[1], but why would you want to sucker those sorts of readers into picking up your comedic Shakespeare retelling anyway? Especially if it meant losing out on a new demographic who hadn’t encountered your author before.

Jake Arnott – The Devil’s Paintbrush

Steampunks just wish their book could smell like this book. It’s set in Paris, 1903, and describes a meeting between two iconic characters of the age: Hector “Fighting Mac” Macdonald and Aleister Crowley. Warfare, magic, sex, the arts, class issues, powerful & dangerous new technology. Recommended, and don’t be taken in by the cover—this is not fluff.

[1] But only the ones who know nothing about Shakespeare.

1 Comment »

  1. I really quite like Moore’s books – Lamb was FABULOUS. I’ve not read Fool yet, though, and I think I’m going to have to.

    Comment by Kate @ Candlemark — January 12, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

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