The Fool’s Love Story

October 4, 2012

You know how sometimes your daily life saps your will to do anything you’re not actually required to do? So, yeah. That. But I wanted to drop by to talk about “The Fool’s Love Story”, which I read on the tail end of the Sabatini kick that started with my reread of Bardelys the Magnificent.

It looks like The Fool’s Love Story might have been Sabatini’s first published story — it’s the first listed on the uncollected stories list on rafaelsabatini.com, and…it reads young. It’s about a Hofknarr, or court jester, in a small German kingdom in the mid-17th century. He’s in love with a young woman who’s engaged to an unworthy Frenchman, and it doesn’t end too well for anybody, really, unless you count the fact that I was completely delighted by it. Which was why I wanted to say something about it, but probably not in the way you think.

This is the thing: this story is pretty terrible. The plot is ridiculous, the writing is more than ridiculous, and you’re sort of plopped down in the middle of a fully formed emotional situation that never really changes. Also, dying heroically and tragically tends to go over a little better if there’s a point to it. But it’s Sabatini, who pretty much always gets me where I live, and I was totally sold by the time I hit “lean, sardonic countenance,” halfway through the first sentence.

Basically, I suspect this is one for the Sabatini devotees — and I’d be interested to know if I’m right.


  1. You had me a court jester. :) Although I wasn’t crazy about Captain Blood, but I think that was due more to the librivox recording than the book itself.



      Seriously, though. If Captain Blood didn’t do much for you, I can’t imagine this will. But probably part of it was the recording — no one who enjoyed Scaramouche as much as you did could be unmoved by Captain Blood.

      • I didn’t DISLIKE it, but the recording was pretty bad. One guy kept sucking in his spit as he was reading. It was gross.

        • Yuck.

  2. Um, it was amazing. But only because it was all the things I love about Sabatini in a tiny little bite-sized piece. Of wonderfulness.

    • See, I knew I could rely on you to love it. People who aren’t already a bit weird about Sabatini are harder to predict. Or relate to.

      • I am entirely normal about Sabatini.

        • That is so very far from true.

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