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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Joker review

Joker by Ranulfo

Page count: 194 in my hardcover.

Summary (from goodreads):
It spits, snarls, screams, curses, and laughs at the world. It mocks leaders and followers. Restores our faith in love and security or drives us mad.
Australian author Ranulfo has cracked open the story of Hamlet. This is what he's glued back together.

Review: I want to say right off the bat that this was not a bad book. The writing was excellent, I'm fond of books with male narrators, and I didn't have any trouble reading it at all. It just didn't... wow me. So this review probably won't be very long because I didn't write down that many notes.

Plot: Like the summary says, Joker is a retelling of Hamlet. It probably would have helped if I'd actually read Hamlet... but yeah. The plot seemed a bit wandering and a little confusing at times, to be honest. Again, that could be because I haven't read Hamlet.

Characters: The main character and narrator is Matt, and Matt is severely depressed, paranoid and jaded, very much an unreliable narrator, so much of how he describes the people around him is skewed. The most interesting character is Joker, the title character, and there isn't enough about him and I wish there had been, because... well, here's an example of why.

From page four:
Who is Joker?
He is crazy, a lunatic, a fool, who laughs at everyone and everything. He is a voice and a shadow. He is inside me. Sometimes he possesses me totally. Sometimes he hides and crouches, ready to pounce. Endlessly, I hear his laughter. He makes me see things - visions, hallucinations, nightmares, epiphanies. I love/hate him.
(This is also a great example of the author's talented writing. I really did enjoy the poetic nature of parts like this.)

PG-13 stuff: Some cursing, some "adult subject matter"... basically, this is more for older/mature readers. It's also pretty dark at times, so that'd be a good rule to go by anyways.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff: There was nothing that really jumped out at me, but as I said, the plot was a bit confusing at times. Nothing huge.

Cover comments: I hate to admit it, but half the reason I picked this up was the cover. (The other half is my library's YA section is so small that whenever I see something new there, I notice and look at it. Seriously, it's seven shelves three-quarters of the way full.) Anyways, it's attention grabbing, that's for sure.

Conclusion: Like I said, I didn't make that many notes, and I sort of accidentally locked it in a closet for two days while we were moving around when they redid our flooring, so I couldn't write this while it was fresh in my mind like I like. So I think this might be it. It is a good book and very well written. Maybe reading Hamlet first would make it a better read. Three and a half roses.

Sorry it's short, guys!
Peace and cookies,


  1. I love your reviews. They are so detailed and give info on the pitfalls and warnings too. Thanks for the warning on this one.

  2. I never read Hamlet! Lol. Good review :)


  3. Sounds interesting!
    I have read Hamlet, so yay for me!
    I think this is something I will add to my neverending list of books that I need to read...

  4. Heather: Thank you so much! I love hearing that. :) I'm so glad you like them.

    Briana: Haha, me neither. Probably didn't do me a lot of favours here :P

    Samantha: You should read it! Maybe someone more familiar with the story would enjoy it more.

  5. I've read Hamlet so perchance I'll read it! Good review!

  6. This book sounds interesting. I love how thorough your review was.

  7. Peaches: You should!! Hopefully you'd enjoy it more. :)

    BrittLit: Thank you so much! That's really nice of you to say. :)

  8. This sounds interesting. Hate the cover though.


  9. Great review but I think I'll pass on this one.


  10. Bri: Really? I liked it. But I'm a little odd, so...

    Marie: Thanks for the comment!


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