The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice

4.1 29
by Christopher Moore, Euan Morton
     
 

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Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: 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

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Overview

Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: 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.

Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.

Note: The book, too, is a veritable work of art. Rich creamy stock is enhanced by two-color printing, featuring part/chapter titles, running heads, and folios printed in red ink. The text block has blue-stained edges. The book opens to reveal two-page spread endpapers decorated with a sepia-toned antique map of Venice; an antique map of Italy graces the book’s front matter, printed in red. The jacket sports a matte finish with embossed author and title type; gold foil embellishes the title and illustration detail.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
★ 06/30/2014
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. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Audio
07/01/2014
Pocket and the gang are back in another clever interpretation of Shakespeare's characters and plotlines by comic fantasy author Moore (Lamb). Besides the Bard's Othello and The Merchant of Venice, there are elements of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" and a dash of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Kubla Kahn" to be found in this irreverent, bawdy, and satirical story. Pocket (based on the royal fool from King Lear) is sent to Venice to prevent another Crusade, but things go badly. Many characters seem to have a superficial treatment, the point-of-view changes awkwardly at times, and the story has a tendency to drag. Still, Euan Morton provides an entertaining reading of this witty and amusing parody. VERDICT Of interest to fans of Moore, satire, and fantasy. ["A laugh-out-loud good time that would leave Shakespeare himself chuckling," read the starred review of the Morrow hc, LJ 12/13.]—Denise Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY
Carl Hiaasen
“Shakespeare and Poe might be rolling in their graves, but they’re rolling with laughter. Christopher Moore is one of the cleverest, naughtiest writers alive.”
USA Today on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
Moore’s greatest asset is his skill with language. Readers with a certain Monty Python nerdiness will rejoice in its hundreds of insults . . . and jokes. . . . [W]itty and wise . . . Serpent is a bright, quick novel.” (3 out of 4 stars)
Louisville Courier Journal on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
“The dialogue is extremely witty, and . . . you will laugh hard and find yourself hurling bawdy insults throughout the day, even if you don’t say them out lout.”
Dallas Morning News on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
“Moore . . . is an excellent writer, and there are passages of prose—Pocket’s defense of Othello and the entire Pound-of-Flesh trial—that sparkle with Moore’s trademark wit and intelligence. Moore’s strength is his ability to appropriate supporting characters and make them wholly his own creations.
Tampa Bay Times on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
“To get a sense of the tone, imagine the merry pranksters of Monty Python in their heyday taking off on Shakespeare while simultaneously trying to break the record for F-bombs currently held by The Wolf of Wall Street.
Seattle Times on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
“A gleeful and wonderfully strange mash-up. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and Othello are its chief ingredients, with Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ thrown in. The result? An imaginative, wildly inspired satire.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
“[Moore] brings back one of his favorite characters, Pocket from 2009’s Fool. . . . Add a weirdly satisfying combo of literary in-jokes and low sex gags to the mix and what comes out of the Christopher Moore meat grinder is unique and sublime.”
Bookreporter.com on THE SERPENT OF VENICE
The Serpent of Venice is a remarkable reimagining of classic literature, churned through historical backgrounds and research and set to a different drum. Tragedy becomes comedy in this side-splitting, hair-raising adventure. . . . A piece of literary gold.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062311009
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/22/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
9
Sales rank:
1,333,318
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.60(d)

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