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Simon the Jester

William John Locke

Book Overview: 

Simon de Gex, a wealthy and successful MP, is diagnosed with a terminal illness and decides to use his last few months using his wealth and influence to do good. In particular, he determines to guide his protégé and friend, Dale, away from an unfortunate relationship with Lola Brandt, a lady with an unsuitably colourful background.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He believes I have his magnetism—whatever that may be," she said, with a smile. "Would you like to see an experiment? Anastasius!"


"Is that the untamed Persian you were telling me of?" she asked, pointing to a cage from which a ferocious gigantic animal more like a woolly tiger than a tom-cat looked out with expressionless yellow eyes. "Will you let Mr. de Gex try to make friends with it?"

"Your will is law, meine Konigin," replied Professor Papadopoulos, bowing low. "But Hephaestus is as fierce as the flames of hell."

"See what he'll do," laughed Lola Brandt.

I approached the cage with an ingratiating, "Puss, puss!" and a hideous growl welcomed me. I ventured my hand towards the bars. The beast bristled in demoniac wrath, spat with malignant venom, and shot out its claws. If I had touched it my hand would have been torn to shreds. I have never seen a more malevolent, fierce, spiteful, ill-condition. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Must a man think he is dying to really go out and experience life? This is the dilemma that is lived by the main character Simon. Simon is a popular and up-and-coming Member of Parliament when a doctor turns his life upside with a fatal diagnosis.

Simon sets about 'fixing' life for his friend and...more

An excellent read. Simon is a sceptic humorist, who laughs at the world, thinks he has everything, and that life has no meaning, but when he has nothing, he finds that life is more serious than he first thought.

The style is rather in the vein of H. Ryder Haggard's Quatermain books, first person a...more

The Jest is in the Jester

Great, fun read. I was totally lost starting out but by the climax, all was revealed. Twists and turns abound. The reader really doesn’t know where they will end up. It’s an entertaining roller coaster of forbidden love, , murder, insanity, and career changes.

Simon de Gex M.P. has been diagnosed with a terminal illness (that he has conveniently forgotten the name of) and at best has just six more months to live. He decides to use his time left to give away all his money, resign from his job and meddle in other people's lives under the mistaken belief...more

This is an eccentric book. It is a first-person narrative where we follow the life and thoughts of Simon, a wealthy British politician who is diagnosed with a fatal illness. It is not gloomy, on the contrary, the first half where the hero expects to die in six months, is very amusing. Simon meets...more

I read this just a little at a time, and as a result didn't get into the story as much as I might have otherwise, but it was pretty good. Simon de Gex has been informed that he will probably die within the next six months, so he determines to chuck his political career and do some good deeds whil...more

Why did this title put me off?

I think it was because I kept picturing a clown, and I don't like clowns. But, folks, rest easy. There are no clowns here, although we do have a retired horse trainer who worked with a circus, and her name is Lola. We also have her dear friend, a midget, no less, wi...more

When Simon de Gex, wealthy and successful MP, finds he has six months to live, he embarks on a quest for "eumoiriety".

In the words of Marcus Aurelius, " Let death surprise me when or where it will, I may be eumoiros, or a happy man, nevertheless. For he is a happy man who in his lifetime dealeth...more