Iago: A Novel [NOOK Book]


An unforgettable adventure beginning where Shakespeare's Othello leaves off

Wounded in love, tormented by his past, Shakespeare's most complex villain is brought magnificently to life in this tale of two adversaries—one an accused killer; the other, one of the most powerful men in Venice. Having escaped from Cyprus, accused of the murders of the governor, known as the Moor, and his lovely young wife, Iago is now locked in battle with Annibale ...

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Iago: A Novel

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An unforgettable adventure beginning where Shakespeare's Othello leaves off

Wounded in love, tormented by his past, Shakespeare's most complex villain is brought magnificently to life in this tale of two adversaries—one an accused killer; the other, one of the most powerful men in Venice. Having escaped from Cyprus, accused of the murders of the governor, known as the Moor, and his lovely young wife, Iago is now locked in battle with Annibale Malipiero, known as Il Terribile, the chief inquisitor of Italy's greatest city.

Malipiero is repelled by the more brutal tasks of the interrogante. His obsession is with the very nature of evil. What makes a man into a murderer, he longs to know? Is Iago a lone psychopath, or does he lie at the heart of a more widespread Ottoman conspiracy? Malipiero knows that torture will not provide him with the answers he seeks. But there is, perhaps, a more audacious and unusual route to the truth . . .

Exuberantly inventive, thrillingly complex, and richly entertaining, Iago will captivate fans already familiar with Shakespeare and appeal to anyone who loves a rich historical novel. Iago marks the emergence of a remarkable new literary voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Why did Iago facilitate the deaths of the much-honored general he serves and his wife, Desdemona? That's the question Annibale Malipiero, Venice's chief inquisitor, wants answered. More questions: Was Iago a nutcase acting alone? Is he part of an Ottoman conspiracy? What, in fact, is the nature of evil? Shakespeare took much of his material from earlier sources and has in turn inspired writers for centuries; two of my favorite books this year, Arthur Phillips's The Tragedy of Arthur and Chris Adrian's The Great Night, play on the Bard. Snodin, who's helped produce Shakespeare plays for the BBC, should be in tune with his source.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429973021
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,294,599
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

David Snodin was William Shakespeare's script editor. He worked on the BBC's epic series of Shakespeare's plays, and0 his award-winning television production credits also include Jane Austen's Persuasion, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, and Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. He lives in London and Crete.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2012


    I really couldnt get into it. I wasnt particularly pleased.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    I enjoyed this read. It made me wonder what happened after some

    I enjoyed this read. It made me wonder what happened after some of my othe favortie novels ended. It also made me want to revisit Othello. Iago is a complex man or is he. I will read more by this author.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hearty, satisfying read

    Remember what happened at the end of Othello? Yeah, me neither. At least, not in great detail. But that's all right, because the events of Shakespeare's tragedy are only tangentially important, in the sense that they provide the backdrop and impetus for the events in this novel. In the aftermath of the murder of Desdemona and her husband Othello (yes, I know that's not what happened in the play....just go with it), Iago, their accused murderer, is the subject of a vast and wide-ranging manhunt throughout Cyprus and Italy. Annibale Malipiero, the Chief Inquisitor of Venice, is especially interested in questioning Iago about the dual murder, and goes about it in a circuitous fashion. Gentile Stornello, the teenage son of a rival Venetian household and a cousin to Desdemona, is accused of murder. He is arrested and brought to the fearsome Venetian prison, where he is tortured and questioned by Malipiero, among others, and thrown into a cell with a mysterious prisoner who refuses to speak to him for days, perhaps weeks. Time is fluid in prison, and poor Gentile is never really sure how long he's been incarcerated. Eventually, however, the mysterious prisoner gives up his silence, and is revealed as Iago himself. Malipiero enlists young Stornello as his proxy, offering the young man his freedom and a dismissal of charges if he can discover the truth of the murder from Iago. And, after an engineered escape from prison and their subsequent flight across the length and breadth of Italy, Gentile endeavors to do precisely that. David Snodin constructs his story brick by brick, carefully building upon this event and that occurrence, layer by intriguing layer, leading the reader down a certain path with startling surprises around every corner. It's slow going at first, but the pace picked up about midway through, and the writing itself is lovely. I loved the rich period detail. I didn't love the ample gore and violence, but accepted it as a necessary evil, er, plot device. Overall, this was a satisfying read, and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in Shakespeare or historical novels. Thank you to LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program for the opportunity to read this book.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Follow Up to The Bard's Iago

    David Snodin brings renaissance Venice alive in his imagined continuation of Shakespeare's "Othello". One needn't be familiar with the classic play - a quick Google search for the summary of the story will suffice, and readers will easily catch up with the events preceding Snodin's book.

    Opening on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, we find that one of Shakespeare's most inscrutable characters, Iago, has managed to escape from a mountain-top prison where he'd been held for the murder of Othello, his wife Desdemona, and several others. This leads to a cross-island chase, and a number of near-miss captures, led by Venice's General of the Sea, Graziano Stornello.

    Iago, in fact, didn't do much killing himself, but through his own cult of personality, he created an atmosphere of jealousy and rage. The interim governor of Cyprus describes Iago as "...the worst kind of villain. The sort who does not soil his own hands in the practice of his despicable endeavors. He may not squeeze the life out of a young woman. He may not be present when the men of the garrison are busily stabbing and killing one another. But he is the killer nonetheless."

    Iago doesn't make a significant appearance in the story until about half way through. But his presence is felt as he covers the story like a shadow, or an unshakable memory. He invades the activity around which he orbits like a bone-cold winter drizzle. The governor characterizes Iago rather passionately: ""He is...like a pestilence...An infestation that can invade and kill you before you even know you are sick."

    In Venice, we're introduced to Graziano's nephew, Gentile, a very smart and sweetly innocent teenage noble. Snidon successfully portrays Franceschina as the unrequited paramour to the nebbishy and appropriately named Gentile. Graziano captures Iago and brings him to the high inquisitor of Venice, Anibale Malipiero. Malipiero isn't your run-of-the-mill torturer. He takes a more intellectual perspective on the crimes and criminals he investigates. And Malipiero’s attempts at unlocking the enigma that is Iago becomes the driving force of Snidon's plot. In this, Snidon builds on a Shakespeare legacy; the nature of Iago has been one of The Bard’s most enduring questions.

    Venice's Doge meets with Malipiero and deftly summarizes Malipiero's obsession: " ...you are less interested in the nature of a crime than in its motive...you wish to know what demons lurk within his dark soul."

    Snidon's motivational concept for “Iago” is strong. Iago is a little like Hannibal Lecter - a core of extreme violence and conscious-less rage, wrapped up in an exterior of calm and nobility. Unfortunately, Snidon doesn't capture the intensity and psychological nuance that would make the interplay between Iago and Malipiero most effective, and the result is only a hint at the potential of the story.

    Snidon covers themes such as love, class differences, and the nature of human evil. The relationship between Gentile and Franceschina is one of the highpoints, though it too lacks the subtlely that would make for something special.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Snidon is at his best when creating a renaissance mood that surrounds the story. His writing is crisp and the plot never drags. While there's enough action to propel the plotlines, the base motif is a pair of character studies - focused primarily on Iago and the rapidly maturing Gentile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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