‘Wonderful Fool’ is the story of Gaston Bonaparte, a man like no other who is about to arrive from France (via various stops) by boat to Japan where his pen~friend Takamori and his sister, Tomoe are waiting for him. From the minute they meet him, their lives are changed forever, Gaston Bonaparte makes an impression wherever he goes.
What I thought of ‘Wonderful Fool’ ~
I have had ‘Wonderful Fool’ on my to be read pile for a few months and I am sorry I did not read it sooner, what an amazing book!, it is told in a straightforward way and at the start of the book you do wonder if there is an actual point but halfway through, you see the point.
Despite the book being 50 years old, Japan is showed in such a way that you would not know when it is set, which was great to read but frustrating at the same time for me because I like to know everything but it did not take away any of the enjoyment I got from reading the book.
The book had a nice flow to it, the characters are well written, Takamori, a young man who does not have serious aspirations in life but does take pride in his work, Tomoe, his younger sister, who is more career minded, loves her family and has no plan to marry and if she ever does marry, it will not be for love, and finally Gaston, the wonderful fool of the tale, Gaston’s outlook of the world is simplistic, he sees goodness and love in everything and takes the greatest pleasure in the smallest of things, despite being surrounded by the beauty of Japan, he is more interested in the people, stray dogs, much to the horror of Tomoe. Gaston is just a wonderful character and a pleasure to read, a man who changes the world in small ways.
Shusaku Endo’s own catholic faith is shown in the book which for me was lovely to read, it was in no way forced, which was refreshing.
I highly recommend this book, a definite feel good read and I am looking forward to reading more books by Shusaku Endo.
Rating ~ 10/10
Reviewed by Weave (Paula Mc)