I co-teach a Master’s Class on Aging that uses King Lear as its text. I’ve also read several of Christopher Moore’s earlier novels and I enjoyed them because, well, because they were absurd.
Here is a wiki biography of the author…
Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.
Moore’s novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circumstances. Inheriting a humanism from his love of John Steinbeck and a sense of the absurd from Kurt Vonnegut, Moore is a best-selling author with major cult status.
According to his interview in the June 2007 issue of Writer’s Digest, the film rights to Moore’s first novel, Practical Demonkeeping (1992), were purchased by Disney even before the book had a publisher. Nevertheless, the cinematic manifestation of Moore’s novels is yet to be fulfilled: during his book-tour forYou Suck (early 2007), in answer to repeated questions from fans over the years, Moore stated that all of his books have been optioned or sold for films, but that as yet “none of them are in any danger of being made into a movie.”
The Wall Street Journal sits down for a chat with Moore…
In his 11th novel, “Fool,” author Christopher Moore retells “King Lear” through the eyes of a quick-witted, foul-mouthed, impudent, self-described fool who stays one step ahead of the gallows. Shakespeare’s play is considered one of the Bard’s greatest tragedies. Mr. Moore, 51 years old, aims to find the inherent humor in the story of a reckless old king driven crazy by self-delusion. Mr. Moore talked to the Journal about his work.
WSJ: Do you view yourself as a humorist or satirist?
Mr. Moore: I write comedy. Sometimes it’s satire, sometimes it’s humor. Dave Barry is a situational humorist who observes and creates humor. What I do is always in the context of fictional characters. I think it was Mark Twain who said the French write satire, Americans write humor, and the Brits write comedy. But defining your genre is for others to do. I don’t start a novel thinking, this will be a satire bordering on Rabelaisian extremes.
How do you find your subjects, which have varied from Jesus’s lost years in “Lamb” to vampires?
It’s really what interests me at the moment. It could be marine mammal science, the life of Christ, or in the case of this book, Shakespeare. My next big novel will be about French painters, probably in the 19th century. I’m going to spend two months this fall in Paris, and I’m learning to paint. You get to be a dilettante while being paid for it.
Read the Full Interview Here