The Serpent of Venice
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The Serpent of Venice

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,557 ratings  ·  525 reviews
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 en...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by William Morrow
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Kemper
Some might think that William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe would be rolling in their graves at the way Christopher Moore has used their works, but it’s just as likely that they’d be laughing their asses off.

Moore has (In his own words.) ‘stitched together an abomination’ out of The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Cask of Amontillado using the character of Pocket as the thread. Pocket was the hero of Moore’s last Shakespeare spoof Fool, and while he may be a Fool by training and inclinati...more
Jeffrey Keeten
CHORUS
Gondola knifes through vasty night
Past dying stars of lantern light
And distant cries of tart’s delight
Ride drunken songs to bawdy heights.
Beneath a bridge doth stand the fool,
Crafting plans to free young Drool.
By stealth or guile or cutting throats,
No plots commence without a boat.


We find Pocket at the beginning of this novel in a bit of a pickle. He is shackled and chained in a room that is so close to the sea that when the tide comes in water rises to his armpits. His enemies have left...more
Mara
Hot on the heels of finishing Fool , I couldn't have been more pleased to hear that I was mere days away from another bawdy tale of heinous fuckery most foul featuring our pal Pocket. (Thanks Amanda!) And, as usual, Christopher Moore (below) delivers another raucous ride in the most Moorish of ways (Othello pun).

Christopher Moore

So what's in store for Pocket and friends? Well, once again Moore is borrowing from good old Will ( Othello and The Merchant of Venice , with bits and pieces from elsewhere in the canon...more
Eric
May 23, 2014 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor
An excellent, most humorous, and quite bawdy amalgamation of The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Cask of Amontillado.

Moore brings back everyone's favorite court jester, Pocket of Dog Snogging from Fool, as well as his apprentice Drool and his monkey Jeff, and sends them to Venice to intertwine with Othello, Iago, Shylock, Antonio, and even Marco Polo, among other senators, merchants, soldiers and whores. It was a deftly plotted romp, with plenty of deceit, treachery, and villainous plottin...more
Cat
I'm thrilled and a little humbled that, through the kindness of the author, I got to read the story six months before its release date.

Having said that... Othello and the Merchant of Venice meet over a Cask of Amantillado? With a snake monster thrown in? Sounds awful, right? And from any other author, it might *be* awful.

But Serpent is...magical. The three stories blend together more or less seamlessly. I totally bought that Desdemona and Portia were sisters, and that the father's anger by the...more
Gary
What can I say....I loved Fool. It was tightly written, crisp,and hilarious. This sequel....not so much. I can't say I am sorry I read it. It's part of the story I guess. It seemed like Chris had too many irons in the fire,and he was trying a bit too hard in this one...... this book has it's great moments,and some funny stuff. Just not enough, I didn't feel. I laughed outloud some, but not nearly as much as I have with other of Chris's wonderful books and stories. That disappointed me. Too disjo...more
Beth
I have been a huge fan of Christopher Moore for years, so when I saw this available, I snapped it up. Sadly, I must say it is *not* one of his better books.

Pocket is back, though without his sidekick Drool and pet monkey Jeff for most of the book. In 'Serpent of Venice', Pocket is busy getting mostly dead, working with Othello, and saving a Jewess. Among other things. Oh, and revenge (as is common is most Shakespeare related writing) is a main component of the story.

I really didn't find the humo...more
Tabitha (Pabkins)
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 tak...more
Jason P

More like the Serpent of AWESOME!

This books was, hands down, a super great read. Pocket is back at it again with his tom-foolery. This was great mix between some Poe and Shakespeare and of course, Moore's wicked sense of humor.
I enjoyed this thoroughly. I can't honestly say that Moore's work has EVER let me down. Chris just has this way with his work that makes you laugh and cry, and laugh more and on occasion laugh even more.
If you're a reader of classics like Shakespeare and even Poe, or even...more
Adam Floridia
I always feel a bit of pedantic guilt when I give a book like this four stars. But you know what, for all the pretentious posturing I can't hide who I am, and dammit I "really liked it." How could I not laugh when Othello, yes the Othello, is called a "twat"? Or when Brabantio insists that Desdemona is enchanted by magic to be met with the rejoinder "Or [by] his crashing huge cock...It swung out of his robe last week and nearly concussed the landlady's dog" (162). This is like the perfect marria...more
Albert Riehle
Where do I begin?

I'll start with the good. I tested the limits of my Kindle's highlighter function while reading this book. There are some absolutely hilarious lines and thoughts and paragraphs--as you become accustomed to in any Christopher Moore novel. There are lines in this book that will leave you shaking your head, lines that will have you chuckling, lines that will double you over and make your stomach hurt and lines that will test your bladder control. I don't know if my most favorite l...more
Lyn
Chorus: And so, from the anointed pen of yon modern bard, comes a re-telling of the Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Cask of Amontillado, what doth pretend to amuse with glad tidings!

Iago: Tis truly spoken, the knave Moore has again made sporting use of the fool Pocket.

Bassanio: Ha!, but a jest, he has made loutish amusement of Will’s Venetian comedy.

Jessica: The jester doth make rude jest.

Pocket: Well I am a flippin’ tosser, ain’t I? This is a hero’s tale, ain’t it? There is a might bit of swas...more
Amanda
I won an ARC from Hot @ Harper a few weeks ago, and I hadn't realized it was ostensibly the second in the series. However, even though I haven't read Fool, it was fairly easy to get up to speed -- my favourite short story is "The Cask of the Amontillado," by Edgar Allan Poe. And Moore mixes it up with two of Shakespeare's plays -- Othello and The Merchant of Venice. I've never read those plays (le gasp!) but I know the storyline of Othello.

This is also my first book by Christopher Moore. I have...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Once again, I’ve been misled by bestseller status. So many people LOVE Christopher Moore. He’s hilarious, I’ve heard. He’s been recommended to me multiple times as an author I simply must read. All those people couldn’t be wrong, right? Yes, yes, they can. Christopher Moore’s fiction, if this book is anything to go off of, is so completely not the sort of humor I enjoy that I read this book with a big frown permanently on my face, except for those moments where it put me to sleep. The Serpent of...more
Skip
I find it hard to believe that GR readers rate this 4.15 on average. I really did not find it funny at all, just tedious and silly. Murder and mayhem. The attempts to make this seem Shakespearean fell flat for me. Read Moore's Sacre Bleu instead. Moore thinks he is much more clever than he actually is.
Liviania
Christopher Moore's novels are a bit hit and miss for me, but the ones I love I love. And FOOL, a retelling of KING LEAR, is absolutely one of my favorites. I was quite excited to see that Moore was returning to the character of Pocket. (Jeff and Drool are back as well.)

In THE SERPENT OF VENICE, Moore throws OTHELLO, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, and "The Cask of Amontillado" into a pot with a dragon and lets loose with the results. Pocket goes to Venice on Cordelia's orders, to try to prevent another...more
Annie Danstrom
Pocket is back and as funny as ever, this time playing around in Othello and the Merchant of Venice! Christopher Moore plus Shakespeare makes me just so happy.
Nicole Del sesto
This book feels like a passion project for Moore. It's one of his more multi-layered, deeply researched, finely tuned works. When Moore is in this zone he's brilliant, and The Serpent of Venice is just that.

Taking not one, but two Shakespeare tales (The Merchant of Venice and Othello) and a Poe story, Moore produced a funny and entertaining novel.

I liked Fool, and I liked the characters in Fool. This book, however, took it to the next level. I LOVED Pocket! I felt like he really came into his o...more
Marfita
If James Bond were a jester in the court of Queen Cordelia and sent to straighten out the Venetian plays of Shakespeare, with a short detour into Edgar Allen Poe, this would be his story. Moore has saved Shylock and Othello from the casual bigotry of their creator, but can he save them from their situations? Can Pocket, the jester, save himself? Despite the weightiness of the source material (and the thoroughly researched history), the book is often beset by juvenile humor (notably in all the va...more
Monnie
Bull bollocks! The first thing that came to my mind about halfway through this rollicking novel is that it would have been even more rollicking had I read (or re-read) William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice before I started. But it didn't bother me quite so much when I got to the end and read Moore's explanation; in fact, the book was inspired by The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe as well as Shakespeare's Othello: The Moor of Venice and the aforementioned Merchant. What's Moor (pun...more
Aries
Christopher Moore ha, ormai da diversi anni, intrapreso una strada narrativa pericolosa e affascinante.
L’intenzione sembra essere quella di avvicinare mostri sacri dell’arte (sia essa narrativa o visiva), manipolarli col rispetto che solo un uomo molto intelligente sa mostrare, e rielaborarli creando qualcosa di nuovo eppur debitore dell’originale, non dissacrandolo ma, in qualche modo, rendendolo ancora più vivo e reale.
Più umano, ecco.
Più umano.
Un primo assaggio l’avevamo avuto con quel capola...more
Amanda Nelson
May 01, 2014 Amanda Nelson marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Dog ate it when I was 20 pages in. No joke.
Mary (BookHounds)
MY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

(you may want to read this book using voices from Monty Python)


This story is a retelling of Othello with a mash up of The Merchant of Venice but with a mermaid / sea serpent / um, dragon? It includes Marco Polo, Desdemona and Portia, and of course, Fool. The Fool is sent to Venice by his lovely queen Cordelia to make the Italians stop the crusades which she thinks are stupid and costly. While in Italy, his queen dies and he is left adrift, taken in a by a (surprise...more
Italo Italophiles
Do you enjoy the sketches and films of the British comedy troupe Monty Python? Can you appreciate Shakespeare's plays? Are you an Anglophile as well as an Italophile? If you answered "Yes!" to all three of those questions, then you should enjoy reading The Serpent of Venice.

In a faux British and or Elizabethan English writer Christopher Moore follows his comic creation, Pocket the King's Fool from the novel Fool, through his next adventure in his storied life. Surrounded by settings, characters,...more
Laura Martinelli
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Andersen
I really do love everything I have read by Christopher Moore. His books are funny, like laugh out loud funny. His books based on other source material, like The Serpent of Venice also have made me read the sources which is always good right? I had been prepping for about a month to read The Serpent of Venice. I first had to read Fool, which is the first book featuring Pocket. Before I read Fool, I had to read King Lear. I had never read Lear in high school. After finishing Fool, I read The Merch...more
Dan Radovich
Pocket is back!!! Hurrah for Christopher Moore and his brilliant talent. I was amazed by what he accomplished with FOOL, and SERPENT OF VENICE surpasses that brilliance. Laugh out loud hilarity. A wonderful blend of humor and daring-do. Who else but Moore could one up Shakespeare's Lear? LOVE IT! I do not mean to gush, but mixing characters from OTHELLO and MERCHANT OF VENICE with Pocket is nothing short of genius in the hands of Christopher Moore.
Katy
This is not Christopher Moore's best novel.
This isn't even his best riff on Shakespeare. Fool surpasses it by miles. Though, to be fair, Fool surpasses a vast number of books by miles.

No matter the reader, I could recommend them a Christopher Moore book they would love. I have done, many a time. In fact, I'm on my fourth copy of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and my second Island of the Sequined Love Nun. (I've loaned out every one of the others, but I never ever coun...more
Monica
I think this is my third favorite Moore book behind Lamb and Coyote Blue. His humor is balanced by an intriguing plot line, and a wonderful blend of several different stories. He did a wonderful job incorporating Othello into the Merchant of Venice, and I thought the addition of the Chorus was particularly inspired.
Bryce
Pocket’s adventures continue, this time in Venice and centered around The Merchant of Venice, Othello and A Cask of Amontillado. Christopher Moore plays fast and loose with William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe and historical fact, but also shows a deep respect and consideration for them all at the same time.

Pocket’s taken a dark turn here, darker even than Fool. Between all the creative swearing and smashing knockers, there is a lot of revenge and death and betrayal and mayhem. There are plenty...more
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South Shore Readers: Christopher Moore speaking in Brookline 1 8 May 04, 2014 05:53PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters...more
More about Christopher Moore...
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal A Dirty Job Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1) You Suck (A Love Story, #2) Fool

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“True, I am drunk, and small, and damp, but mistake not my moistness for weakness, although there's an argument to be made for that, as well.” 2 likes
“I'm feeling full of tiny princes, bustling to get out into the world and start plotting against one another.” 1 likes
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