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.
Moore's mash-up of Othello and The Merchant of Venice with Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is a standout sequel to Fool, his twisted retelling of King Lear from 2009. After a dastardly trio of Venetians (including Iago) plot to bury alive Pocket the fool for thwarting an attempt to cook up a new Crusade from which they'd hoped to profit, he is saved by what he believes is a seriously horny mermaid. He washes up in Venice's Jewish ghetto and is rescued by Shylock's lovably abrasive daughter, Jessica. She leaves with Pocket, hoping to elope with a Venetian gentile with whom she is in love, as he attempts to rescue his motley companions with his friend Othello's help, and to warn the general that a plot's afoot. Moore's imaginative storytelling, bawdy prose, puns aplenty, as well as his creation of a violent sea creature intent on helping Fool's cause, and Jessica's "piratey" disguise, succeed in transforming two classical tragedies into outrageously farcical entertainment. In conjunction with the historical setting, the humor also allows Moore to skewer greed, hypocrisy, and racism e.g., Middle Eastern wars for profit, segregation (in this instance, of the Jews) all of which are still endemic in modern culture.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Serpent of Venice
Laughed out loud. Silly and smart. Thank you Will and Christopher!
Bollocks. Let us set sail back to Pine Cove.
Christopher Moore scored another home run with The Serpent of Venice. Fool & Drool are the best comedy team going and need to return again and again. The writing is superb and the humor is make you laugh out loud good. Moore did Shakespeare proud with Serpent of Venice.