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The Jester Hardcover – 24 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; First Edition edition (24 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755300181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755300181
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 699,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In The Jester James Patterson and his occasional collaborator Andrew Cross step across genre boundaries and produce a hectic historical adventure of distinctly mixed merit. This is a revenge story, mystery and love story across insuperable class barriers--the mixture is rich and the ingredients sometimes ill-combined. Part of the trouble is that the book wears its research too lightly. The inn-keeper hero Hugh reads a little too like a modern Californian time shifted into the eleventh century while the book's inventive plotting plays fast and loose with historical fact to a worrying extent: Hugh's life disguised as a jester combines elements from about five different centuries.

The account of the First Crusade is convincing enough and there are moments--Hugh's first sight of Byzantium--that are genuinely moving. The plot depends a little on Hugh's being obtuse--he takes forever to work out why the relic-hunting, sinister Tafurs (Christian shock troops with a taste for atrocity) destroy everything he loves. At the same time, the plot is genuinely exciting as Hugh is driven to take revenge for specific crimes and the general offence that feudalism often was; there is a real sense here of what medieval warfare might have looked and felt like that often makes up for specific inaccuracies. --Roz Kaveney

Review

'A fantastic action-packed adventure with a generous measure of good-versus-evil and love conquering all. In a word: thrilling' Herald Sun, Australia 5/4/03 (Herald Sun, Australia)

Anyone who reads one page will be hooked (Publisher's Weekly)

'A fast-paced action-packed tale of an ordinary man taking a stand against zealots and tyrants' West Australian 5/4/03 (West Australian)

'The Jester will appeal not only to Patterson's regular readers, but also to those who, when the dust settles and the smoke clears, simply enjoy a good story...Patterson again demonstrates that he is capable of doing anything' Bookreporter.com 8/4/03 (Bookreporter.com)

'From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colourful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one' Publisher's Weekly 3/2/03 (Publisher's Weekly)

'Anyone who reads one page will be hooked' Publisher's Weekly 3/2/03 (Publisher's Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Mills on 23 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
Not one from the usual Alex Cross or Murder Club genre which goes to show how talented this man is.
From start to finish you are drawn in and immediately fall on the side of the hero "Hugh de Luc", the innkeeper from Veille du Pere, as he witnesses the brutality of his Liege's justice.
I don't want to spoil the book for other readers but would highly recommend it to any James Patterson fans. This book will make you laugh, possibly cry and most definitely side over right from wrong.
Enjoy
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr Aitken on 21 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
James Patterson has taken on a huge challenge in "The Jester" by writing a medieval epic, considering he is most famous for his taut Alex Cross thrillers. However, he has raised his game somewhat and created an adventure story which will open his writing to a whole new audience.
He writes in short, sharp chapters which gives the reader the feeling of a fast paced narrative. James Patterson isn't well known for hanging around when telling a story, by page 20 our hero is knee deep in the Crusades:-)
Many of his Alex Cross novels have become films (Kiss the girls, Along came a spider) but I think this is the one that needs to be made into a film. It has everything, strong hero, funny supporting characters, revenge, love, adventure. A medieval Indiana Jones story, which moves at such a pace that you'll have trouble putting it down.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ESP on 22 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Once every 1,000 years, a truly preposterous adventure comes along...

Fortunately, I picked this book up at a bargain price - purely on a whim - and reckon that I got what I paid for. If I had paid any more for this cheap thrills read, I would be seriously disappointed. That said, I suppose it is entertaining enough and sufficient for lazy pool-side, or maybe in-flight, holiday reading. I admit that, despite my initial irritation at the style and content, I persevered because the plot drew me to continue, mostly out of curiosity about just how far-fetched the remainder could get.

From the start this novel is a series of clichés and inconsistencies. Any serious historian who mistakenly picks this novel up will, almost certainly, collapse in a fit of laughter or fling it in the nearest bin. The level of historical research behind "Jester", despite an impressive bibliography at the back, seems superficial at best - it strikes me that the authors cherry-picked rather than researched the material. Worse still, the style is lazy, equally superficial and panders to a market that demands very little from its authors other than thrills, spills and violence without any real substance.

True, events are vividly described, but usually in an overblown way that becomes wearisome, with too many exclamations and racing blood. The hero stumbles from one improbable encounter to another almost as if there is a tick list to complete. Not only that, but events are sloppily related. For instance, a raid is described in which the raiding party is reported as being helmed and visored such that faces cannot be seen, yet the leader is described at one point as `smirking' - and this was seen how?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
The first events of this book move exceptionally swiftly. All within about 50 pages, our "hero" Hugh deLuc's village has been attacked by a group of Knights, he trundles off to the crusades, becomes disillusioned by the horrific acts being carried out in the name of God, and returns, only to find his wife abducted by a group of marauding knights, to punish him for leaving for the crusades with a band who were not the local Duke's men. These Knights, tunics daubed with black crosses, were also searching for something very valuable. A Holy Relic more valuable than anything else in the Kingdom...and they come to believe that Hugh might know where it is.
So Hugh sets off to Tours - to infiltrate the castle where he believes his wife is being held, and rescue her - dressed only as a mere jester. However, that is still only the beginning of this sprawling historical adventure...
You must hand it to the authors, this is undoubtedly a rip-roaring adventure story. The historical detail - whether correct or not I cannot say - certainly adds colour to an already ebullient tale, and the characters are a vibrant and entertaining bunch. The only one with any real depth at all, though, is Hugh, but that matters little as the story moves so fast that creating fully developed characters would likely be a wasted effort, because the reader wouldn't have time to appreciate it anyway!
In true Patterson style, this lightning-paced book is packed full of short chapters (there are 150 plus of them here, and roughly 100 more pages than most of his novels, which is good to see, as several of his recent books have been growing slimmer and slimmer...) and the pages flick by as if blown by the breeze.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book without even having the faintest idea of the subject matter. I am an avid James Patterson fan and was eager to pick up his new novel. I particularly like the fact that his novels are based in the present era. I find this helps to easily relate to his characters and visualise the scenery at hand.
Imagine my dismay when I began The Jester and discovered that it was based in mideval times! I was utterly disappointed and perplexed with Patterson.
Where had the slick characters of Alex Cross and Gary Soneji disappeared too? In their place instead a peasant from rural France in the 11th Century? I could not toss the book to one side fast enough.
Still, I decided to listen to the tiny voice of reason in my head urging me to not write the book off before I had given it chance. I took the plunge and boy am I glad that I did. In true Patterson style the book masterfully seduced me from the beginning. Before I could resist any further I was hooked! As I read on I began to love the historical factor in the book. It only added to more suspense and mystery. By the time I had finished there was not doubt in my mind that Patterson had done it again. The Jester is a winner and belongs right up there with the best. Thank you Mr Patterson and Mr Gross.
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