- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (April 22, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061779768
- ISBN-13: 978-0061779763
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 498 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Serpent of Venice: A Novel Hardcover – April 22, 2014
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* What do you get when you stitch Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and “The Cask of Amontillado” together? Well, you get this rollickin’ adventure in which Pocket, the royal fool introduced in Moore’s Fool (2009), is lured to Venice, where he thinks he’ll be having a fun time with the beautiful Portia, but where three men (including a fella named Iago) are actually planning to murder him. To some, the idea of combining two Shakespeare plays and an Edgar Allan Poe short story might be vaguely chilling. To begin with, Moore, author of such delights as Sacre Blue (2012) and The Stupidest Angel (2004), has to move the events of the plays from the late sixteenth century to the thirteenth to keep the chronology in line with the events recounted in Fool, which means “Amontillado” is moved roughly 500 years back in time. And let’s not forget that the plays are tragedies, whereas this book, which also interpolates elements of King Lear, from which Fool was derived, is a farce. The upshot is, if you’re the kind of reader who insists Shakespeare is untouchable, then this novel will probably annoy you on general principles. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Moore’s brand of history-mangling humor, you’ll dive right in with a big grin on your face. The grins win in the end. --David Pitt
“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.” (Carl Hiaasen, New York Times bestselling author of a whole bunch of excellent books, including Bad Monkey, Nature Girl, and Sick Puppy on THE SERPENT OF VENICE)
“Fans who enjoyed the rollicking play within a play of Fool or the historical whimsy of Sacré Bleu will find many of the same gifts here . . . from one of America’s most original humorists.” (Kirkus Reviews on THE SERPENT OF VENICE)
“Fans of Fool will be overjoyed to rejoin Pocket and company . . . for their latest adventure, and newcomers will find that Shakespeare isn’t nearly as dry and dusty as they thought, at least not when Moore is at the helm. (Library Journal (starred review) on THE SERPENT OF VENICE)
“Moore’s imaginative storytelling, bawdy prose, puns aplenty . . . succeed in transforming two classical tragedies into outrageously farcical entertainment.” (Publishers Weekly 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) (USA Today 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.” (Louisville Courier Journal 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. (Dallas Morning News 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.” (Tampa Bay 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.” (Seattle Times 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.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram 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.” (Bookreporter.com on THE SERPENT OF VENICE)
Top customer reviews
Most writers of fiction hew to making themselves invisible as possible to the reader so as not t spoil the spell of the tale. Not so Moore. In Serpent, Moore thrusts his dramaturgian persona right at us *through* the tale as if impaling it. Pocket is a character after Moore's own pervy heart.
And finally, we come to the plot's mainspring, yet another intentional foisting of the writerly crime of using Deus Ex Machina in the form of a superpowered sea serpent.
But it really dragged on and took a long time to tell a fairly short story. The constant humor seemed a bit forced (no, it's not just a problem with the sex/ribald aspect). It also really didn't help that I didn't like The Fool very much, maybe the jokes would have been funnier with a different protagonist. I'll assume the author does better on contemporary stuff and maybe I'll try that from him one day.
Now, I haven't recently read or seen Othello, or the Merchant of Venice, so maybe big Shakespeare fans would be more thrilled. However, I did read the Cask of Amontillado and I think it's very much stretching it to claim that the Serpent of Venice does more than take some passing inspiration from it. So, yes, Othello and Shylock are here, but I ain't convinced that this story reflects the Bard's genius much either.
The Mermaid/Serpent bit made no great amount of sense and I am not sure what it was supposed to add to the story - it felt like a wart. I did like the historical background more but it's not front and center enough to make up for other problems.
Your mileage may vary and there are many people with better ratings for this book.
The fool Pocket travels to Venice at the behest of his beloved queen, only to run heinously afoul of some Venetians with other plans. I read "Othello" and "The Cask of Amontillado" back in high school and both were never as funny as this, and even though I haven't read "The Merchant of Venice" I had no problem following the story as they were woven together.
Shagging. Profanity. Murder. Revenge. Intrigue. Jealousy. Pirates. Betrayal. All of these elements are to be found within the pages of "The Serpent of Venice", along with a silver-tongued, foul-mouthed fool who wears a cracking large codpiece and saves the day. If you're one of those people who loves Shakespeare and think he's better than sliced bread, this book might not be for you. But if you're like me and you find The Bard to be rather dry and hard to understand with all that damn iambic pentameter, this is a fresh and humorous take on two of his more famous plays. Long live Pocket!!