Published by William Morrow on April 22, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Comedy, Gothic
Source: Blog Tour, Publisher
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*This book was provided by the Blog Tour, Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic that brings back the Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Fool, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff
Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy of Britain and France, and widower of the murdered Queen Cordelia: the rascal-Fool Pocket.
This trio of cunning plotters-the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago-have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio's beautiful daughter, Portia.
But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn't even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he's got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.
The Serpent of Venice was an absolute hoot. While I have always loved Shakespeare’s sonnets, I never did have the same love for his written plays. Don’t shoot me, I enjoy them immensely – but reading them can be a taxing experience. Now those plays seen live or on screen? Fabulous darling. So when I saw Christopher Moore was going to do his own Shakespearean rendition of a mashup of Othello and The Merchant of Venice I was fully unprepared but thought it would be fun to give it a whirl.
Moore takes Shakespeare and turns him on his head, spanks him with a bit of balderdash and sends him off crying to his mumsy. All of that is of course a treat to watch. I have to admit I’ve never read The Merchant of Venice so some of the nuances there might have been lost on me, but in no way hampered my enjoyment of the book. I hear some of the characters in this book were also featured in his previous book FOOL, but I’ve only read his Bloodsucking Fiends, Love Story books, so I wouldn’t know. Luckily, I didn’t feel like I was missing any information even though I didn’t read the ‘first’ book. However there must be something said about the writing style in which this is written. Sometimes I felt like I was being left out of a joke that I was expected to understand. Maybe that is just me, or the inspired content, or maybe I don’t have as naughty of a mind. Who knows, sometimes it worked for me and occasionally it didn’t. I do love comedy and satire though and this gave me plenty of that. I had to smirk at his use of Shakespeare’s Chorus.
So what is it about – no why ever would I freaking tell you that? Read the plays? No? – then read the book. But there’s a ghost – because “there’s always a bloody ghost.” Oh and let’s not forget the serpent itself and sex. From what I hear if you’re a Moore fan than the titillating sex is to be expected. All in all, The Serpent of Venice will be a riotous read for the right reader.
This book was courtesy of the Publisher, William Morrow and TLC Book Tours. Be sure to enter the giveaway below!
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