The Serpent Of Venice
by Christopher Moore
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Publishers Weekly Moore's mash-up of Othello and The Merchant of Venice with Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is a standout sequel to Fool, his twisted retelling of King Lear from 2009. After a dastardly trio of Venetians (including Iago) plot to bury alive Pocket the fool for thwarting an attempt to cook up a new Crusade from which they'd hoped to profit, he is saved by what he believes is a seriously horny mermaid. He washes up in Venice's Jewish ghetto and is rescued by Shylock's lovably abrasive daughter, Jessica. She leaves with Pocket, hoping to elope with a Venetian gentile with whom she is in love, as he attempts to rescue his motley companions with his friend Othello's help, and to warn the general that a plot's afoot. Moore's imaginative storytelling, bawdy prose, puns aplenty, as well as his creation of a violent sea creature intent on helping Fool's cause, and Jessica's "piratey" disguise, succeed in transforming two classical tragedies into outrageously farcical entertainment. In conjunction with the historical setting, the humor also allows Moore to skewer greed, hypocrisy, and racism-e.g., Middle Eastern wars for profit, segregation (in this instance, of the Jews)-all of which are still endemic in modern culture. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Moore's best seller Fool, is back and better (though not bigger) than ever. While serving in Venice as the envoy of the queen of Britain and France, the recently deceased Cordelia, Pocket gets enmeshed in and runs afoul of the plan of three prominent Venetians to start a war for their own profit and political benefit. Drugged, walled up in a wine cellar, and left to die, Pocket is rescued by a mythical, and quite amorous, creature and finds himself in a perfect position to foil everyone's nefarious plots and see to it that all involved get what they deserve, whether they like it or not. VERDICT Add one part Merchant of Venice, one part Othello, a dash of Edgar Allan Poe, and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost), and season liberally with Moore's sardonic wit, and you have the recipe for a laugh-out-loud good time that would leave Shakespeare himself chuckling. Fans of Fool will be overjoyed to rejoin Pocket and company (his apprentice Drool, his puppet Jones, and his monkey Jeff) for their latest adventure, and newcomers will find that Shakespeare isn't nearly as dry and dusty as they thought, at least not when Moore is at the helm. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/20/13; 12-city tour.]-Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Moore's best seller Fool, is back and better (though not bigger) than ever. While serving in Venice as the envoy of the queen of Britain and France, the recently deceased Cordelia, Pocket gets enmeshed in and runs afoul of the plan of three prominent Venetians to start a war for their own profit and political benefit. Drugged, walled up in a wine cellar, and left to die, Pocket is rescued by a mythical, and quite amorous, creature and finds himself in a perfect position to foil everyone's nefarious plots and see to it that all involved get what they deserve, whether they like it or not. VERDICT Add one part Merchant of Venice, one part Othello, a dash of Edgar Allan Poe, and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost), and season liberally with Moore's sardonic wit, and you have the recipe for a laugh-out-loud good time that would leave Shakespeare himself chuckling. Fans of Fool will be overjoyed to rejoin Pocket and company (his apprentice Drool, his puppet Jones, and his monkey Jeff) for their latest adventure, and newcomers will find that Shakespeare isn't nearly as dry and dusty as they thought, at least not when Moore is at the helm. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/20/13; 12-city tour.]-Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.