March 2, 2015

The Serpent of Venice Blog Tour: Review


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book with you - and don't forget to check out the other tour stops! The tour schedule is at the bottom of the post and you can also find it HERE.

The Serpent of Venice
Author: Christopher Moore
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery/Humor
Release Date: February 17, 2015 (Paperback edition)
Publisher: William Morrow


Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool, Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, a ruse. The wine is drugged; the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning.

Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire and a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a dozen or so disposable villains; a cadre of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his sidekick, Drool; his monkey, Jeff; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (there’s always a bloody ghost).

Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.

The Serpent of Venice is another literary masterpiece to add to the author's already substantial list. The author pays homage to both Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in the book, injecting his usual quirky banter and unique twists. Being a huge fan of both Poe and Shakespeare, I found that the author did a great job mixing various aspects of both into the main plot of the book, as well as into the smaller details and characters. The nod to Poe comes with the three Venetian men conning the Fool - called Pocket - into the wine cellar of the senator's palazzo, so he can verify the authenticity and value of a cask of sherry that has been procured. This part of the book follows very closely the plot of Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," which happens to be one of my favorites. The majority of the book references Shakespeare's works and characters - down to the finest details, like character names such as Iago and Othello. Most readers are familiar with Poe and his works and almost all are well versed in most of Shakespeare's plays, even if only a bit of each one. 

The author uses these famous classic authors for their notoriety and then infuses his own unique blend of humor and wit into the story to create a genuinely authentic novel that will have readers laughing out loud at the foul-mouthed characters with their vulgar jokes, comical jabs at greed, and a narrative that bends the rules of society just enough to be on the edge of offensive or ludicrous - literally blurring the lines between them. This is the first book of the author's that I've read although I've been hearing nothing but great things about them for years. I was immediately hooked by the story - the mixture of Shakespeare and Poe - and when the mocking characters and narrative made their debut, I knew that I had come across a rare piece of literature that could get away with both paying homage to the great classics while making a farce out of society in general. The author's ability to do both of these things in one novel is genius and something you definitely don't come across very often. It's hard to describe the book - you have to experience it for yourself to really understand the author's immense talent and the ingenuity of the story. I can't find the right words to describe the novel and all of it's detailed aspects - nothing I could come up with would do the story or the author the justice they deserve and the sheer brilliance that radiates from it's pages. I'll only say that this book isn't going to be for everyone - some readers will be offended, others unaffected by the humor or for whatever reason, but those who take a true affinity for the writing style and the story itself will find themselves on a transformative journey through literature that will leave them changed forever. I personally am in the last of these categories and couldn't seem to get enough of the author's writing. Suffice it to say that I'm now a die hard fan and will be desperately seeking out and reading every single other book the author has written. I very highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy humor, satirical fiction, and those who are looking for something altogether unique to experience.

Christopher Moore is the author of twelve previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping,Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, Fool, and Bite Me. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Find out more about Christopher at his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Purchase Links:

Tour Stops:

Tuesday, February 17th: Much Madness is Divinest Sense
Tuesday, February 17th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, February 18th: M. Denise Costello
Thursday, February 19th: Stacy’s Books
Monday, February 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, February 24th: Mom in Love With Fiction
Monday, March 2nd: A Dream Within A Dream
Tuesday, March 3rd: More Than Just Magic
Wednesday, March 4th: The Reader’s Hollow
Thursday, March 5th: Book Loving Hippo
Thursday, March 12th: MariReads
TBD: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

1 comment:

  1. This book is crazy and unique and extraordinary - I'm pleased that is was such a great fit for you!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.