Galahad's Fool: a novel
by Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller
WordWorkers Press

"But journeys change you, yes? If nobody went out slamming the door, we’d have no stories."

In this story within a story, a once world-renowned puppeteer, Albert, works on a play called Galahad’s Fool while grieving his wife’s death. The play tells the story of the knight Galahad preparing for his final quest to find the Grail after other failed attempts. His wife, Lady Mara, disguises herself as Sammy the Fool and accompanies him on his journey. Will Galahad return from his journey with the elusive Grail, or will his despair and emptiness cause the Grail to yet again escape his grasp?

Bishop and Fuller deftly weave stories within stories and quests within quests in this portrayal of a man’s search for meaning. The focus on the puppets’ eyes, hair, and skin are interesting metaphors for central themes such as self-discovery, mystery, and revelation throughout the story. Additionally, the exploration of female characters and the emphasis on female companionship is crucial to the plotline. Lainie, Albert’s deceased wife and long-time professional partner, had been his channel to deep emotion, and his correspondence primarily via email with his daughter Mara shows the importance of Lainie in his professional life. The character Jeannette, a costumer for the play, is a no-nonsense, consistent, and insightful companion to Albert who leads him to find the Grail in his real life, an event which leads to the climactic revelation on the final night of the play.

At first, the switch to the first-person perspective of Bobby the Lost Boy woven throughout the book is disconcerting, but as the story progresses, Bobby’s telling provides a creatively clear bird’s eye view of Galahad’s journey. This story pulls in the reader, builds suspense, and is not to be missed.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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