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The Serpent of Venice

Cover of The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice

Fool Series, Book 2
Borrow Borrow

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic featuring the irresistibly mischievous Pocket, the eponymous hero of Fool

Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . .

Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire: a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): foul plots; counterplots; true love; jealousy; murder; betrayal; revenge; codpieces; a pound of flesh; occasional debauchery; and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in "o"; a trio of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff, the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there's always a bloody ghost).

Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.

Performed by Euan Morton

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic featuring the irresistibly mischievous Pocket, the eponymous hero of Fool

Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . .

Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire: a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): foul plots; counterplots; true love; jealousy; murder; betrayal; revenge; codpieces; a pound of flesh; occasional debauchery; and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in "o"; a trio of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff, the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there's always a bloody ghost).

Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.

Performed by Euan Morton

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About the Author-
  • Christopher Moore is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and The Serpent of Venice.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 13, 2014
    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.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 30, 2014
    Evan Morton has a field day in his laugh-out-loud reading of Moore’s latest bit of novelistic frivolity. Playing off of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Othello and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” Moore produces an unlikely but often hilarious story that finds Pocket the fool in Venice on behalf of his English Queen and falling into one whacky situation after another. Narrator Morton takes full advantage of Moore’s wild imagination. His out of the box, over-the-top narration fits the zaniness of the story perfectly. He never falters or stumbles, but leaps into each madcap scene with near-perfect comic timing. Commendably, the performance never overshadows or undermines the more serious themes, such as anti-Semitism and the destructiveness of jealousy, tactfully addressed in the narrative, but like all good humorists, they deliver messages with laughter. If you tickle us, as Moore and Morton surely do, there is no need to ask we do indeed laugh. A William Morrow hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine Listeners are transported to Venice at the time of Shakespeare to follow the adventures and misadventures of the fool Pocket. He and his sidekicks, Drool and Jeff, become entwined in the intrigues of Venetian society--and a selection of characters and plots from the quill of William Shakespeare. Narrator Euan Morton is the perfect choice for recounting this bawdy tale. He infuses it with a sprinkling of the spirit of the Carry On movies of old, an approach that offsets the ribald and earthy language of many of the characters, not the least Pocket. Morton's characterizations bring the full cast of this fantastical tale to life and ensure that it's never difficult to follow as it flows along at a lively pace. K.J.P. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Serpent of Venice
The Serpent of Venice
Fool Series, Book 2
Christopher Moore
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