New York Times best-selling 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.
©2014 Christopher Moore (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
Avid marathoner and hi tech market analyst. Lover of Ken Follett, Christopher Moore, Timothy Zahn and any book that pulls me in.
Sadly, I've gone from being a massive Christopher Moore fan after reading Dirty Job and 12 other fantastic humor novels to now dreading each new book. The reason: Since Fool, he has devolved his humor down to insults, scatalogy and sexual innuendo. The story in here is pretty dumb and basic covered over by endless jokes of the sort above. So sad and disappointing. At least no longer to my taste.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
Christopher Moore is no fool. He's one of the funniest and (only in the best way) sickest writers who ever penned a Shakespeare spoof. To get the most of this one I think one needs a passing recollection of a couple of Shakespeare plays (Merchant of Venice, Othello) throw in some Poe (Cask of Amontillado), a 1950's monster flick, and the willingness to listen to some junior high school humor spoken in a British accent and you've got the perfect way to giggle through an afternoon. Careful not to drink anything while you're listening - - I almost coughed up a lung full of coffee onto my iPad. Oh, and if you want to go in order, pick up Fool by Christopher Moore first, then go here. Great fun.
I have been a long-time audible member, and as I travel a great deal for my job, i consume audio books frequently. I read Christopher Moore many years ago in book form, and when I saw this new book had come out, I tried it.
For many books, the audio book version is about equivalent to reading the book in paper form (for me, anyway) except that I can drive while doing it. There are great narrators, and most of the books I have listened to are delightful.
This audio book is the perfect pairing of great, enjoyable story and narrator that seems to have been born for this part. Mr. Morton brought this wonderful story to life in ways that left me amazed. He is truly gifted and I will seek out his other books. You *MUST* experience this pairing. Words, alas, do not do the experience justice!
I'm a big fan of Moore. His newest books have been about a piece of history and/or a story from Shakespeare that he then puts his own nutty twist on. And Moore is nutty. Of that particular genre, this is his best yet.
If you've read "Fool," the main character Pocket is back to lead us through, well kind of, the story of Othello. The story line, the pace of the story, and the action are great. The story is driven by Pocket and it's believable, fun, and left me guessing as to what would happen next.
The best part, as with most Moore books, is the quippy dialog and character development. That's where this book really shines. I laughed out loud several times and just loved Pocket by the end. He's silly, and funny, and naughty but also is developed as a character.
It didn't get five stars because about 2/3 of the way through, the story got a little muddled for me with the large number of characters. I got lost as to where the story was going a little bit.
One, possible suggestion: At the end of the book, the "afterward" or epilogue, Christopher Moore himself comes on and explains where the pieces of the stories were taken from to create his story. He talks about the history and about a couple of works from Shakespeare. If I had my choice, I would have listened to that first. I think I would have enjoyed the story even more. If you'd rather be completely surprised by all facets of the story, then don't listen to it first. But if you'd like to have your bearings, and understand why Othello runs into some of the characters he does, before the book, I'd go to the end and listen to Moore's dialogue. It is really interesting stuff, it was great that he added it.
Morton as a narrator was awesome. The "chorus" voice was a little annoying, but it was supposed to be, so it worked.
When I saw this in hardcover in the bookstore, as lovely an edition as it is (lovely wee graphics, colored inks in strategic places, blue page edges), I knew to go back to audio for this one. Like Shakespeare’s plays, the books with Pocket of Dog Snogging really need to be heard performed. And I do mean performed. Not merely read. Euan Morton performs this book like mad. He is Pocket, through and through, but he puts so much life and distinctiveness into all the other voices, you can tell by listening who is talking. Iago he did as a Scot! Oh that was great. Apart from him, everyone had English accents and spoke English even though they were Viennese (characters comment about this to each other). Awesome in and of itself. If that kind of fourth wall breaking absurdity tickles your brain, this is the book for you.
Of course you’ll get your funny bone tickled, too. Like Fool, this book is based on Shakespeare’s works (The Merchant of Venice and Othello), but also has a dash of Poe weirdly enough. Then there’s dragon shagging, fortune stealing, disguises, beheadings, cross-dressing, creative cursing, back-stabbing, religious persecution, heinous fuckery, swashes buckling, and a soupcon of lechery. Ok, more than a soupcon. A bucketful. Nay, a canalful. And a ghost. There’s always a bloody ghost.
I’m much more familiar with the Merchant of Venice than Othello, but knew enough going in to understand the outlines of what was happening. I loved how Moore combined both plays by making Desdemona and Portia sisters. It made Iago’s heinous fuckery plausible in the setting and in all the important bits, Moore is true to the Bard’s plot. And who can plot like he could? Damn it’s dark. And funny. Even when Moore wasn’t trying too hard it was funny. He weaves circumstances and asides (like the Chorus) that just make your mind sizzle. It’s clever and cheeky without being too twee or precious. Yeah, he’s aware he’s tearing the stuffing out of some highly reverenced work, but he does it with love and a madcap glee that is really hard to resist.
Christopher Moore is just plain awesome, and this book is no exception. It is in the more fragrant vein of writing (lots of F bomb), as it is a continuation of Fool. The plot is fun. There's always the mysterious "creature" and lots of snort-coke-out-of-your-nose humor. Love, love, love.
An extremely fun and funny story. Euan Morton's narration really makes it perfect.
Clever story vastly enhanced by a tremendous narrator. I've been listening to recorded books for almost 20 years and this is one of the best readings I've heard. Euan Morton should win an Audie, a Grammy, and any other awards possible for this performance. I can't imagine enjoying this book as much in the written word.
...as "Fool" and "Sacre Bleu." Christopher Moore has (finally) found his ideal narrator in Euan Morton. The novel itself is a sort-of followup to "Fool" and features the same narrator, this time playing with Othello, the Merchant and Marco Polo. As usual with Moore, this is a wild ride through history (and Shakespeare) and very, very funny, although a bit too much plot sometimes overwhelms the characters. Morton's reading, however, takes full advantage of the material: witty, vulgar, farcical. I have read the book once and listened to the audio twice; Morton is brilliant. I only wish Morton had read earlier Moore novels, but hope their audio partnership continues.
After reading Fool, the first book of Pocket, I was very excited to see this second story of him.
He is still hilarious, snarky and loyal. And now with a monkey and a mysterious water creature.
Pocket is in Venice with a broken heart and in lots of trouble that he comes through with his classic bawdy wit. Othello is even here and its great.
A must read.
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