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The Jester by [Patterson, James, Gross, Andrew]
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The Jester Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk 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

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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1205 KB
  • Print Length: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052RMMOS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,739 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book choice is a personal choice by the reader. For us the author James Patterson is the main one. Patterson is simple a prolifik wright of many top sellers. many of which we have. Need a little action in your life remember the name James Pattison Top Knotch.
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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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