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The Jester Hardcover – March 3, 2003

451 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just who is writing the coauthored Patterson novels makes for interesting water-cooler chat, but whether the majority of words are contributed by Patterson or Gross, this terrific new novel is prime Patterson all the way, another step in the author's application of his patented storytelling style to a multitude of genres-in this case, historicals. The title character is, when introduced in 1096, an unassuming innkeeper in a French village oppressed by the local nobleman. To earn his freedom, Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades for a torturous, bloody march toward Jerusalem that occupies the book's first third and ends with him escaping the madness around him by deserting back to France, in possession of some minor treasures-or so he thinks. Back home, he finds that his beloved wife has been taken captive by the odious nobleman, and his infant son slain. Seeking his wife and revenge, Hugh adopts the guise of a jester in order to enter to the nobleman's castle, where he begins to fall in love with a young noblewoman, and she with him. In time, Hugh finds his wife, only to experience tragedy, and learns that the nobleman is searching for him, as he is believed to have carried back from the Crusades the greatest holy relic of all. Returning to his village, which has been destroyed during the nobleman's hunt for him, Hugh persuades his townspeople, then surrounding towns, to rise up in revolt against the corrupt nobleman and his henchmen. From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colorful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Another departure for Patterson after Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas: home from the Crusades, Hugh must play the jester to find his wife, abducted by knights.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Patterson, James
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316602051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316602051
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (451 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaff on June 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wow! After reading many of the reviews of this book, it is apparent that many Patterson fans want him to stay in the crime/suspense/mystery genre. It is also apparent that many have no desire for 'history-based' fiction. Consequently, I fear my review will be quite unpopular as I thought THE JESTER was an outstanding effort by Patterson. However, I must admit that I'm something of a Crusade/Arthurian junkie.
Present Day...
Dr. Alberto Mazzini, Director of the Vatican Museum is urgently called to the Musee d'Histoire in Boree', France. Renee Lacaze, Director of the Boree' Museum, has summoned Dr. Mazzini to analyze a relic, ostensibly a holy relic from the time of Christ. Ms. Lacaze informs Mazzini that the artifact was unearthed during the excavation for a shopping center when the excavation machinery opened a sarcophagus. Lacaze goes on to say that the grave belonged to a long-forgotten duke who died in 1098. This duke fought in the Crusades and was known to seek out relics from the time of Christ.
Lacaze said, "The local lore, it always said a precious relic was here. Just never that it belonged to a duke. But to a man of far more humble origins."
"What sort of lowborn man would come into such a prize? A priest? Perhaps a thief?"
"No." Renee Lacaze's brown eyes widened. "Actually, a jester."
Southern France, 1096...
The authors introduce you to their hero, innkeeper Hugh de Luc. He and his wife Sophie own and operate the inn in Veille du Pere, a small French village. This, during a time when land is only owned by nobles and the "lowborns" work the land and pay their masters the assessed taxes. Veille du Pere is under the power of a ruthless and cowardly noble, Baldwin, the Duke of Treille.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Dana Y. Bowles VINE VOICE on April 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I believe that the mark of a truly great storyteller is one who can captivate and enthrall outside of his "genre;" and James Patterson has done that and more in The Jester.
Set in medieval times during the Crusades, this is the story of a poor innkeeper named Hugh De Luc--whose life consists of simple pleasures...his village, his friends, his inn, and the great love that he has for his wife Sophie. All is well until Hugh decides to join the fight for Christianity and freedom--and finds only death, carnage and evil. He returns to his village several years later to discover that everything that he held dear had been stripped away from him; his inn burned to the ground, and his beloved Sophie abducted by the evil knights of his liege.
This is truly an epic love story--of love lost, found, and lost again; only to be rediscovered in another. All I could think of while reading this story was what a wonderful movie it could make if done right!
I've yet to read a book by this author that I did not enjoy. True Patterson fans will not be disappointed!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful reading! In 1096, French innkeeper Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades in an effort to obtain his freedom from his nasty overlord Lord Baldwin. However, he finds the war not to be anything like he expected as he witnesses atrocities on both sides as they crazily trek for seemingly endless miles towards Jerusalem with no end in sight. Unable to cope, Hugh deserts.... He returns home with some treasures he took from the Holy Land only to learn that Baldwin abducted his beloved wife and murdered his son. Wanting to liberate his spouse and avenge his child's murder, Hugh masquerades as a JESTER to gain entrance into his enemy's castle. However, he meets a noblewoman, who he begins to love, which sidetracks Hugh from his quest. Meanwhile his foe seeks him out based on a rumor that Hugh brought back the holiest of relics. As his village is ravaged by Baldwin's thugs who search for him, Hugh starts a counterrevolution to destroy the noble or die trying....
The JESTER is entertaining very colorful historical fiction that vividly brings to life the late eleventh century. The last books from Amazon that excited my interest were, 'Unconventional Flying Objects' by Paul Hill, 'Alien Rapture' by Brad Steiger, and 'Alien Agenda' by Jim Marrs. I highly recommend all these books and you should read the reviews.. I can't recommend them enough. Everybody I have lent them to loved them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Rock on March 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you picked up this book thinking you were going to get an engrossing mystery, you didn't read the front cover. This "historical novel" from Patterson was just what I expected. Brutally graphic, a plausible plot, characters that you want to remember, and a great way to spend a few hours of escape from current events. Patterson has a way with keeping the reader involved. While I will agree with another reviewer that the chapters were sometimes too short to maintain a good pace, it didn't keep me from being entertained. The desciptions of the difficulties facing the average person in that time period were perfect for this read. If you want to spend all your time with Alex Cross or the girls in the Murder Club, so be it. But if you want to take a welcome respite from the usual serial murderer that tends to permeate a Patterson novel, then pick this book up. You may just learn something about history while enjoying a good story.
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