• Publisher: William Morrow (February 27, 2015)
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—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, a ruse. The wine is drugged; the girl is nowhere in sight. 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 . . . and the story is only beginning.
Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire and a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a dozen or so disposable villains; a cadre of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his sidekick, Drool; his monkey, Jeff; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (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.
We start out with Pocket, a fool though he's anything but. He has an acidic wit and travels with his monkey Jeff and dimwitted giant, Drool. An intricate plot for power has Pocket the subject to a murder. With his queen and lover dead, Pocket seeks revenge with the most unlikely and wicked accomplice. I swear he has nine lives. I really liked this character. He was sharp, determined, silly and broken.
There were other amazing and distinct characters besides Pocket. There was Iago, for example. He was a frighteningly quick study to politics and manipulation. Being a soldier also afforded him additional fear. Then there's Drool. I think I adored Drool a little more each time he sang "Sor-ry." or mimicked Pocket. Jessica is a headstrong woman who is sometimes just as silly as Pocket and equally funny.
I'm also grateful to the subtexts that showed up now and then to explain a few of the finer points of the setting or terms that were unfamiliar. It didn't leave me with questions of had me looking things up when I'd rather read the next chapter. There was rarely a dull moment.
By the end there were private jokes between you and the story. Cracks about everyone having the same accent or speaking effing French were just a few that had me snickering.
I think this book should be seriously considered to be a real play. With the Chorus following characters around, that bloody ghost, the witty banter and those funny situations holding hands with serious ones, would be perfect for a play!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Find out more about Christopher at his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @TheAuthorGuy.