The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice - Christopher Moore Pocket’s back! This time in Venice! The “Fool” is thinking only of exacting revenge for the murder of his wife and so allows himself to be lured to Venice by Antonio (the merchant), Iago (the naval officer) and Brabantio (the senator). Promising him a night of debauchery and some Amontillado (drugged, of course) Pocket finds himself chained in a dungeon and left to die. With the help of a mysterious, and somewhat lusty, sea creature Pocket makes his escape and ends up in the employ of Shylock. With the help of Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, Fool manages to rescue his friend, Drool, and his monkey, Jeff from their imprisonment (where they happened to share a cell with Marco Polo) they set off to right all the wrongs done to them. Throw in Gobo, Portia, Othello, Cordelia et al … and you can see where this book is headed … down another twisty, turny, utterly raucous path that can only come from the mind of Christopher Moore.

Shakespeare purists who happen to read this book will no doubt be outraged at the mashing of plays and characters, but I sincerely believe it comes from a place of deepest respect in Mr. Moore’s heart. A writer not enchanted with the original works could never work them into such an absolutely hilarious story. Even Will himself would laugh.

Mr. Moore is described as an “absurdist author”. Anyone who has read any of his books knows that is an accurate statement and I think Mr. Moore’s books are an acquired taste. So if you are dipping your toes into Mr. Moore’s pool of work, this may not be the one to start with (may I humbly suggest “A Dirty Job”). If you are already a Christopher Moore fan, this is a must read. What else is there to say except “Ah, fuckstockings” – now I have to wait for his next book to come out.

Once again, huge KUDOS to Euan Morton for the outstanding performance on the audio book version.