Review: The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

About the book, The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (April 22, 2014)

Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: the rascal-Fool Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio’s beautiful daughter, Portia.

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn’t even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he’s got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.

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About the author, Christopher MooreChristopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of twelve previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, Fool , and Bite Me.

He lives in San Francisco, California.

Connect with Christopher

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My Thoughts

I’ve been a fan of Christopher Moore’s books forever. In fact, when I grow up, as a writer, I want to be Christopher Moore (albeit, a version of him with breasts and technicolor hair) so when I was offered the chance to read an ARC of his latest novel, The Serpent of Venice I told the publicist I’d give one of my dogs for the opportunity. Fortunately, that wasn’t actually necessary, and the ARC arrived shortly after, only to sit on my table, mocking me, until my TBR stack was caught up.

It was worth the wait.

This book combines Moore’s take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with his usual comic view of the world, and adds in elements of other literary classics as well (care to try the Amontillado, anyone?). It’s also a sequel to his previous novel Fool, which, I confess, I have not read.

The characters are a blend of the familiar Shakespeare figures and Moore’s own creativity, and while the story has a slightly slow beginning, it ends up being a rollicking roller-coaster gondola ride through the streets and waterways of Venice, with enough real moments balanced by laugh-out-loud preposterous situations to keep everything flowing well but still ensure the reader is capable of drawing breath.

While knowledge of Shakespeare (and Poe…) isn’t essential to the enjoyment of The Serpent of Venice familiarity with the original play certainly didn’t hurt. Similarly, while I didn’t feel like I’d missed much by not having read Fool, I’m sure it would have increased my understanding of some of the nuances in the novel.

Goes well with A plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce and a glass of red wine.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual book tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click here.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

  1. Pingback: Christopher Moore, author of The Serpent of Venice, on tour April/May 2014 | TLC Book Tours

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