Serpent of Venice

serpent of venice cover image Serpent of Venice

by Christopher Moore
General Fiction
William Morrow
Hardcover, 336 pages
$26.99

What do you get when you stitch Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and “The Cask of Amontillado” together? Well, you get this absurd 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 man 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, but in Moore's usual ways, he creates genius!

If you’re the kind of reader who insists Shakespeare is untouchable, then this novel will probably annoy you on principle. 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. We think the grins win in the end.