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The Serpent of Venice (The Fool #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  10,000 Ratings  ·  1,404 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by William Morrow
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Mike Moellering Not strictly a sequel. More a continuation of the story of the Fool character. Fool is a better story and a much funnier book too.

I don't think it's…more
Not strictly a sequel. More a continuation of the story of the Fool character. Fool is a better story and a much funnier book too.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the Fool character is the Fool from King Lear. I'd read that first if you haven't yet. You'll get more out of it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Feb 04, 2014 Kemper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, monsters, 2014, spoof
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
Jeffrey Keeten
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
Apr 24, 2014 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, 2014-reads
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 ca
Nov 02, 2016 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, humor, 2016-odyssey
Ode to the Bawdy Bard

This is Shakespeare turned to eleven, and while there's no Spinal Tap reference there are an enormous amount of tweaks and nods from Poe to The Princess Bride. Frankly, this is too clever and I too dull of wit to do justice to the absurdist skewering.

Nonetheless, I shall sally forth. I'll be blunt, as soon as a dragon named Vivian makes an appearance and decapitation takes the front seat I was pretty much invested in this story and it was going to be hard to shake me. Plus,
Dec 12, 2013 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  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
May 02, 2014 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 09, 2013 Cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ben Babcock
Guys, Pocket is back!

I heard about this book ages ago, then promptly forgot it existed, and rediscovered it at my library. (Libraries are awesome that way.) My first reaction was, “Ooh, a Christopher Moore novel I haven’t read.” My second reaction was, “Bloody hell, it’s a semi-sequel to Fool!” (No English accent though. Two years in England and I still can’t do a decent English accent. *sigh*)

Fool was the first Christopher Moore book I read and in many ways one I consider the funniest. That’s p
Albert Riehle
Nov 04, 2013 Albert Riehle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
"Well, that's a bloody great bundle of bull bollocks!"

And if you like that, you'll like this book.

A Christopher Moore parody of The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Cask of Amontillado, this book is a bawdy, raunchy ride through 13th century Venice. (It's good to know that ahead of time so you don't recommend this book to your book group consisting of nice, lovely, church ladies who probably aren't aware that Shakespeare himself can be bawdy and raunchy.)

There's a few extra characters not fo
Apr 27, 2014 Liviania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Adam Floridia
Jul 21, 2014 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2014 Skip rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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.
Nicole D.
Oct 10, 2013 Nicole D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I just couldn't get into this book. As a follow-up on Fool which I thought was okay, just didn't match up. I read about 55% of it and finally put it down for the last time. Just wasn't anything I would like to read.
Annie Danstrom
Sep 07, 2013 Annie Danstrom rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 31, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly enjoyable, hilarious, and irreverent take on several Shakespeare classics.
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,
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
Jun 07, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Mary (BookHounds)

(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
Linda Blinova
May 31, 2015 Linda Blinova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Шут Карман, добрый знакомый, полюбившийся по «Дураку», на этот раз оказывается в Венеции, где продолжает собирать приключения на свою задницу и всячески способствовать тому, чтобы добро и справедливость таки восторжествовали. Задницу ему, кстати,в страстном совокупительном запале периодически царапает огромное инфернальное чудище, способное отрывать бошки и снимать мясо с костей одним изящным движением (это в самом начале романа, так что я не спойлерю же, да?) Помимо вышеобозначенного чудища, в ...more
Jason P
Oct 12, 2013 Jason P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Apr 03, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I've accidentally read the second in a Christopher Moore series without reading the first. Everyone says Fool was better. I think that's pretty good.

This book was fun. The plot was a little whatever, and a few of the characters were interchangeable, but I like an empowered Jewess and any reference to gigantic dongs being swung around, so all in all I'd give it a B+. The use of Shakespeare and Poe was both simple and layered, so there's something for everyone here regardl
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
Nov 17, 2014 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Moore did a great job in blending 3 of works (2 by Shakespeare; 1 by E.A. Poe): Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Cask of Amontillado. It's such a mix of characters and situations that one has to laugh.
It's been awhile since I've read Fool but my impression is that Pocket is a much nicer, more interesting Fool in this story. I liked his antics and problems.
As always, Christopher Moore adds lust and bawdiness throughout.
A fun story.
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2017 Reading Chal...: Serpent of Venice 1 21 Mar 08, 2015 03:28PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore 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 suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circums
More about Christopher Moore...

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“The Greeks believe the Fates are three sisters: one is Order, who spins out the linear thread of a life from the beginning; another is Irony, who gently cocks up the thread, marking it with some peculiar sense of balance, like justice, only blind drunk with a scale that’s been bunged into the street so it never quite settles; and the third, Inevitability, simply sits in the corner taking notes and criticizing the other two for being shameless slags until she cuts life’s thread, leaving everyone miffed at the timing.” 12 likes
“Latin, Greek, and English, plus a smattering of Italian and fucking French.” “Fucking French, you say? Well . . .” “Oui,” said I, in perfect fucking French.” 11 likes
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