Reviews for The Serpent Of Venice

by Christopher Moore

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.


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

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.


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

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.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.


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

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.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* What do you get when you stitch Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and The Cask of Amontillado together? Well, you get this rollickin' adventure in which Pocket, the royal fool introduced in Moore's Fool (2009), is lured to Venice, where he thinks he'll be having a fun time with the beautiful Portia, but where three men (including a fella named Iago) are actually planning to murder him. To some, the idea of combining two Shakespeare plays and an Edgar Allan Poe short story might be vaguely chilling. To begin with, Moore, author of such delights as Sacre Blue (2012) and The Stupidest Angel (2004), has to move the events of the plays from the late sixteenth century to the thirteenth to keep the chronology in line with the events recounted in Fool, which means Amontillado is moved roughly 500 years back in time. And let's not forget that the plays are tragedies, whereas this book, which also interpolates elements of King Lear, from which Fool was derived, is a farce. The upshot is, if you're the kind of reader who insists Shakespeare is untouchable, then this novel will probably annoy you on general principles. On the other hand, if you're a fan of Moore's brand of history-mangling humor, you'll dive right in with a big grin on your face. The grins win in the end.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

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