Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore

Shakespeare for Squirrels

by Christopher Moore

  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Available: May 12, 2020

About the Author: Christopher Moore is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. Christopher Moore is the author of the novels Secondhand Souls, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and Lamb. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Summary: Pocket of Dog Snogging, the infamous fool, is at it again, this time within a farcical re-imagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Marooned by pirates on the beaches of Athens, Pocket and his trusty apprentice—the simpleton Drool—along with their hat-shagging monkey, Jeff, soon find themselves entangled in a royal scandal involving the murder of Pocket, a magical jester who has been serving both the kingdoms of men and fairies. Entrusted by the Duke to uncover the culprit, Pocket must travel to the realm of Oberon, the Fairy King, and with the help of his new, frolicking fairy friends, untangle a murderous plot before they themselves fall victim to it.

Shakespeare for Squirrels is a Christopher Moore book through and through, ripe with both absurdity and obscenity, and teeming with some of the most ridiculous characters to ever grace the printed page. Even among the Fool Trilogy—which this book is the third of—this remains true, maybe even more so, as this novel not only continues the time-tested antics of Pocket, but boils them down to their purest form, creating a perfect storm of hilarious dialogue, memorable quotes, and running jokes that never stop to look back. And, while readers of this series may already be used to seeing Pocket take center stage, Shakespeare for Squirrels steps out of the usual format by introducing a gaggle of new characters that can not only keep up with our protagonist’s wit and colorful wordplay, but can implement a great deal of their own. 

His fairy companions, most notably, whose obsession with sex, frolicking, and squirrely mischief are worthy of a series all of their own, take a lot of the weight off of Pocket’s shoulders, helping to better spread out the humor and avoid character stagnation—an issue that started to rear its ugly head by the end of the second in the series, The Serpent of Venice. With this new addition, it seems that of all the places Moore’s antics have landed, from vampires to death merchants, Vincent van Goh to Jesus Christ himself, few gimmicks have landed as seamlessly, or cleverly, as his foray into the world of Shakespeare, and this novel certainly stands out among the three of them. Whether you are a fan of The Bard, or someone who found other ways to occupy themselves during junior year English, there is a lot of fun to be had in this charming tale of “heinous fuckery most foul”.

Verdict:

Christopher Moore’s style may not be for everyone, and this is especially true for this series, but for those who love him—this humble reviewer included—there will always be time to put aside a hefty TBR pile to pick up his newest release. If you are interested in reading Moore for the first time, I would start elsewhere, but, if you are a long time fan, you cannot go wrong with Shakespeare for Squirrels. Not only will it meet expectation, but it will have you laughing uncontrollably every step of the way.

Joe Buckler

Blind Corner Reviews

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