How I came to
"Krate the Fool"

My partner was working  as a
carer in a residential home for
intellectually handicapped
people. I found I was visiting
the place more frequently and
staying there longer. One
particular resident intrigued
me. We'd stare into each
other's eyes and try to
communicate. He couldn't
speak and he had difficulty
controlling his body's
movements. One day, as I was
leaving the house, it started to
rain and he suddenly
appeared beside me, holding
a raincoat out to me.
.With Krate and his carer, we are
taken through time and space to
merrie England where Krate is
kidnapped from a forest abbey and
taken to be court jester to King
Henry II. Then to ancient Greece,
where Krate is working with the

Delphic oracle; then as shaman on a
jungle volcano in the South Pacific.
Krate not only moves through time
and space but also changes gender
and appears as the Magdalene figure
entrusted with the Christian secrets.
In the Spain

of the Middle Ages we find Krate
practising as a Sufi alchemist; then
we find him in London's Soho
working as a music hall comedian.

Krate, the fool and jester,  joins the old  priory
The cunning man
The shaman
Without you - without  author and  reader - I would
still be trapped inside a twisted and forgotten body;
still be travelling through time and space seeking
myself among the magicians and the mystics; haunting
crumbling priories, reaching out through cyberspace.
Thank you.
and mentally disturbed. By gentle  
degrees, the reader is drawn ever
more deeply into Krate's
abominable reality, and through
that reality into the wildly colliding
worlds of the universal fool in
time. We witness Krate's
'madness' in the guise of a court
jester in Merrie England, a
shaman in a Vanuatu jungle, a
Sufi alchemist, a handmaid of the
Delphic Oracle. Finally, when
Krate's hair-raising journey brings
us face to face with the
blatherings of a twenty first
century psychiatrist, the irony is
dark indeed.

The poet, Kenneth Rexroth,
described art as the reasoned
derangement of the senses. The
description seems particularly apt
in the case of Krate the Fool.
Barker's art is in the steadiness of
his hand and eye as he navigates
through the perilous territory of
madness to the profound and
touching humanity at its very core

Amazon Books Review.
This novel by Victor Barker is a
devastating portrayal of autism.   
Krate the Fool, places Barker
squarely among the best,
alongside Ken Kesey, Anthony
Burgess, William Burroughs and,
more recently, Mark Haddon and
Wally Lamb.  

Barker's writing in this and his
earlier novels, The Tangier Script,
The Truth of Everything and
Baudin's Last Breath, is
distinguished by its multi-layered
textures and extraordinary
imaginative fluidity. The reality his
characters inhabit is tenuous at
best, a carpet to be pulled from
under their feet as Barker unravels
hidden layers of narrative beyond
superficial appearance. He is an
inveterate time traveller, an
invoker of the parallel realities
which prowl the recesses of
ancestral memory.
Krate the Fool
is the perfect vehicle for Barker's
peculiar brand of time warp. The
story leads the reader into the very
skin of Krate, who is socially
Timothy Leary  meets
Krate as a cyber guru
Then Krate comes back  
through time and space to  
be our guide into
Court jester, Sufi alchemist, Delphic oracle and music hall comedian, Krate
travels through time and space as the archetypal fool. We first meet him in a
home for the intellectually handicapped.
The story goes
like this . . .