Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is Not the Emma Essay

Instead, I bring forth a book review and a rant, both of which are inspired by Christopher Moore's soon-to-be-released book, Fool.

For those of you who have never heard of this book, it comes out February 10th. Only four days before Valentine's Day (and was, in fact, my early Valentine's Day present, and I don't even like the holiday).

For those of you who have never heard of the author, GO. Stop reading. Walk, run, swim, drive to the nearest bookstore (because you'll be wanting to give him royalties, of course), and pick up one of his books. Any of his books. I started with Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, which was devoured in a manner of hours despite my being sick at the time (plane travel does not agree with me).

All right, then. With those little necessities out of the way, I suppose I can commence my review. Fool is a re-telling of Shakespeare's telling of "King Lear," with the court jester narrating. I think this is a great idea, and eagerly awaited reading this novel, particularly as I anticipated Moore's comedic style. And it is a fun book. The problem with anticipation, of course, is that it's hard for anything to measure up completely, and I think that's what happened here. There were definitely laugh-out-loud funny moments while I was reading this book, and I am glad to have had the experience of reading this book. The book was not quite as enjoyable as I had expected, however. A large part of this, I think, is due to my initial and recurring distaste for the court jester narrator. He had moments of sweetness, but overall, I kind of thought he was a jerk. I didn't necessarily want him to have a happy ending, though I did feel for him at moments. I'm the type of reader who likes to like the protagonist. So while Moore did his research for this book, and used British slang, and told jokes, I didn't find his book as engaging nor as humorous as I tend to find his writing. Much of the book felt a bit flat to me.

It's not that I wouldn't recommend reading this book at all. But I am glad I didn't buy the hardcover copy, which is useful as a weapon, but is not as kind to my decidedly small pocketbook.

On to the rant!

As someone who previously lived in Michigan, and now lives in Indiana, I look forward to those small pleasures in life, chief among them, hearing authors whose work I enjoy speak. Christopher Moore generally spoke somewhere in Michigan, often at Ann Arbor, "the deuce" being a rather literary place and all. So I was eagerly looking forward to seeing Mr. Moore this year, and hearing him talk about Shakespeare and jesters and Medieval Britain and whatnot.

Yet, to my heartbreaking eyes, from the website of Mr. Moore, came the news that not only was Mr. Moore not going to be in Ann Arbor, his publishers had decided the man couldn't come to the Midwest at all!

I rejoice for Mr. Moore, who can now avoid freezing his balls off in this hell-hole I am forced, for the moment, to call home. But I've got to say, his publishers blaming this shitty economy kind of angers me.

As if I don't suffer enough for living here! I had to grow up in this shitty weather, where the cold seeps into my bones, and every year, I expect that one of these days, I'm just not going to wake up, I'll just freeze in my bed, and be undiscovered for days like that homeless man in Detroit (who, technically, didn't freeze in a bed). The Detroit area being where I'm from, I don't have any good sports teams to root for, and even the Michigan Wolverines let me down this year. I come from an area SO BORING, the only thing we kids could do was get drunk, get stoned, or go bowling.

There's already NOTHING to do here, and you're going to punish us more?

You can fly the man all the way across the country, from California to New York, but you can't make a pitstop in freakin' Chicago?

If the economy's that bad, then why not just cancel the tour altogether? You can just send signed books off from a bookstore in Mr. Moore's local area, and do a few YouTube videos and call it a day. If we in the Midwest have to suffer and suffer, then why do the lucky people on the coastlines get everything? They've already got the ocean within easy driving distance, and better weather, and not being surrounded by hicks! They've got better museums, and more money.

I feel slighted. Not personally, but as a community. I don't know how many people in the Midwest have actually thought about this, but I do know plenty of people in this area who read, and I just think it's a shame that now this area is being slighted in visiting literary talent, as well. Especially since a lot of literary talent grew up in the Midwest.


Sylvia Hubbard said...

this was a very interested "not the emma essay" on the review of Fool. I just put it in my Amazon cart. thank you.

Shelly Quade said...

You're welcome, Sylvia. And thank you for reading one of my blog posts. :)