- 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,086,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Jester Hardcover – 24 Mar 2003
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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
'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)
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. Classic tale of good against evil. Patterson keeps you on the edge of your seat. I see a movie coming from this one.Published 11 months ago by Paul
I lost my first book that I enjoyed very much so I am buying this againPublished 11 months ago by mrs margaret lockwood
I loved this book. It is not historicaly accurate so just take it at face value. Keeps you guessing and is good funPublished 12 months ago by Hector
Not what I expected but quite excellent. Tales of this period are hard to believe. I believe this to be an accurate record of the time.Published 18 months ago by Belvedere paul
Utter drivel. Beyond bad. This cannot have been read by Patterson. More suitable for an 8 year old with no taste. I feel robbed.Published 21 months ago by ccr 1
Yes The Jester was a very good read! I loved it and couldn't put it down till it was finished.Published 21 months ago by joe boyle