Free Reading The Serpent of VeniceAuthor Christopher Moore – Wildlives.co
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 ismagical The three stories blend together or less seamlessly I totally bought that Desdemona and Portia were sisters, and that the father s anger by the one daughter marrying someone unacceptable spurred on his business with the caskets and the lottery to win Portia s hand It s genius I don t like to spoil people s surprised delight or horror when they discover plot twists, so I don t do spoiler y reviews The previous sentence shouldn t be a spoiler though, if you have any acquaintance with the source plays My apologies if I accidentally salted your game I also love that there s a Chorus in this story Shakespeare uses a Chorus in Henry V and other plays, who goes wandering occasionally through the action to narrate what someone was thinking or was about to do The characters and actors in stage versions completely ignore the Chorus But not this one The characters interact with, contradict, and occasionally threaten the Chorus in this book It s delightfully refreshing At one point, the Chorus takes a paragraph to set the scene that will follow, and someone asks who that is The response is that he s Just a grandiose nutter who can t help himself bursting through the 4th wall like a great dim witted battering ram Really, who hasn t thought that at some point Ode to the Bawdy BardThis 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, the touch with the Chorus is pretty hysterical Vulgar and coarse, the humor pays homage to Shakespeare by faithfully exploiting his audience base, which was anything but highbrow I really got my kicks out of the sheer audacity and dedication to the insults and slander it really was refreshing to see real effort on those fronts Fool is a master of foul language Oh fuckstockings Fine, I ll put on some trousers I m wearing my daggers, aren t I I was Little point having my fool suit fitted if I couldn t conceal my daggers underneath A gentleman can t even discuss fucking philosophy without you puritanical twats casting judgmental glances at his tackle d a He s also a genius, a manipulator, and anything but a fool Filling the true role of a jester in medieval times, he is both the comic and the critic I adore him We will bring your guilt as well You wouldn t have escaped it anyway It is a parent s gift I was orphaned as a babe, yet carry the curse of my parents guilt like a woodpecker around my neck You mean an albatross The curse is supposed to be an albatross around your neck You re positive She nodded Albatross I was a very poor child The nuns that took me in couldn t afford an albatross, so they just put a bit of string on a woodpecker the cat brought in Well, that s not the same, is it An albatross is a crashing huge bird, innit You can t just go garroting a small child with it, that would be heinous, even for nuns This is satire and there are some stark demonstrations of bigotry exposed In some ways, it reads rather like Candide, like opening the hems of a silk kimono to brush away the detritus, to clean it before stitching it back up.Parting advice to readers To look beyond the frolicking and fancy is a fool s quest. 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, JeffVenice, A Long Time Ago Three Prominent Venetians Await Their Most Loathsome And Foul Dinner Guest, The Erstwhile Envoy Of Britain And France, And Widower Of The Murdered Queen Cordelia The Rascal Fool PocketThis 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, PortiaBut 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 Than A Few Tricks And Hand Gestures Up His Sleeve Hot on the heels of finishing Fool , I couldn t have been 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 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 But, this time around, he s tossing in a bit of Poe for good measure, from his short story The Cask of Amantillado However, not to worry if you haven t the foggiest as to the contents of those earlier tales, Moore s work always stands well on its own two feet even if they re a bit wobbly when shod in chopines little stilt shoes of which Pocket partakes for a time I m not sure that I loved this one quite so much as I did Fool, but that doesn t mean I wasn t laughing all the way through Pocket s dialogue with the bothersome chorus who pops in now and again for a bit of expository language was especially clever So, go grab your motley, your enormous codpiece and your monkey called Jeff , and get on with the intrigue. Stay back from the edge for a bit, would you matey The Serpent of Venice disappointed me No other way to say it Its predecessor, Fool , was clever and an enjoyable read This one just did not do it for me.Christopher Moore seems unable to give up a lame joke This novel is his standard vulgarity mix and repeat and repeat and repeat distasteful sexual jokes am I the only person not interested in a protagonist who has sex with a sea serpent In addition, Moore has used this motif in than a few texts, enough to make me worry about him a little and stories that seem to not have an end in mind Too many times in this book I would read a clever moment that was too quickly followed by something just painful and ridiculous to read There were moments where I was embarrassed for the writer A novel should not make me feel like that Frustratingly, the premise is fun, the Fool from King Lear , now in the Venice of Shakespeare s Othello and Merchant of Venice What a great idea Moreover, there are moments that are good But they are not sustained, and the stuff that follows each one detracts in such a manner that the book just does not recover The Serpent of Venice is mainly not good because Mr Moore uses no original ideas in executing his concept He is recycling jokes and motifs from earlier texts I enjoyed them usually then Not so much now Give us something new sir Please 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 humor in this book One of the things I have always enjoyed about Moore s books is the sly sense of humor that often makes terrifically valid points I didn t really feel that in this book and even the humor that existed feltforced Honestly, if you are just now starting to read Moore, I would start with Lamb or Fluke both far better books. 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 plotting which Moore has a habit of referring to as heinous fuckery most foul which is never allowed to overshadow the riotous humor, and the occasional appearances of a bloody ghost and a sea serpent that likes to shag.I feel compelled to point out that I listened to the audio book, since the performance by Euan Morton was out of this world I had thought it odd that this wasn t listed as read by or narrated by, but as performed by, but the flourish is than earned, as this is a marvelous performance The character s distinct voices, especially the fourth wall breaking Chorus, made this like listening to a radio play In summation, I highly recommend this book, and if you are the audio book type, I strongly recommend listening to the audio book performance of it. 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 disjointed,and not cohesive enough this time around.So, should you read it Yes, if you re already read Fool and want to see how this progresses If you ve not read Fool,and don t intend to, skip it.It won t make much sense That s my suggestion I didn t hate it, I didn t love it It was ok Hope your next book adventure, Chris, is back to the old you, that I dearly love and enjoy Keep the faith, buddy 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 swashing my buckles.Antonio Yet, does not the cast a fool s play make Speaking in English accents among the noble Venetians Drool Except for a line or two in f ing French.Desdemona And borrowed of a scene from black Edgar s murderous mason.Othello A moor Michael Cassio Black as in gothic my lord general.Iago To what fool s purpose is this black motley of high drama and comedy mixed Pocket The black fool, that moniker is mine Shylock If I am pleased, will I not laugh Emilia The dark harlequin was roughly used, and wrongly.Iago Tis truly spoke, untrue wife, and by a mossy beast akin to a cold Scottish lake.Bianca The lust lizard Portia Spoilest thou not the knave s raucous intrigue Othello Indeed, wanton wench where s your knickers , the green eyed monster what craves the hand that feeds it.Jessica The fool a puzzling hero makes, and who doest love himself overly much.Pocket Not all English are wankers Lorenzo Indeed, and rightly said, for like Denmark s melancholy regent, Fortunado was by Britain s dreamy shade accosted.Chorus There s always a bloody ghost CHORUSGondola knifes through vasty nightPast dying stars of lantern lightAnd distant cries of tart s delightRide 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 him there to die much the same way enemies always seem to leave James Bond in a precarious situation, but never stick around to actually see the hero eviscerated, drowned, crushed, impaled or sliced by a laser If Pocket were a foot taller and not so much the fool he d be Bond, James Bond Do you expect me to talk Brabantio NO, Mr Pocket, I expect you to die.wahahaBefore Pocket can manufacture his magnificent escape he has a wee bit of problem with a sea creature, a serpent, a black dragon in fact, who has a powerful lust for Pocket s knob Pocket is potentially one of the horniest fools in existence, but even he finds the claws and the rough foreplay exhausting It goes on for night after night It will turn out to be the least he can do because this black serpent turns out to be the instrument of his revenge on those that are trying to kill him He also has an issue in true Shakespearean style with a less than helpful chorus who is filling his ears with doom and gloom CHORUS And so, chained in the dark, naked and bedeviled by a hellish creature unknown, after five changings of the tides, the fool went mad I am not mad CHORUS Fear did twist the jester s tiny mind stretch it past the limits of sanity until it snapped and shivering and pale, he went mad.I am not mad CHORUS Stark, raving mad Bonkers Drooling, frothing, barking mad.I am not bloody mad, you berk CHORUS You re shouting at a disembodied voice in the dark.Oh fuckstockings Good point Well, a bit knackered, perhaps, but not bloody mad. The Bloody Chorus is trying to drive poor Pocket MAD Did I mention that Pocket is a FOOL Not a fool in the same sense as most people you may know, but really truly a King s fool He is temporarily out of work, but then it seems everyone has a job for him All he wants to do is mourn the loss of the great love of his life Cordelia, maybe shag something other than a sea serpent, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and stuff his gullet with a buffet of rich foods First he has to liberate his friend Drool, a mountain of a man, from captivity Pocket meets a pretty Jewish girl who has exactly what he needs, or rather her father Shylock has exactly what he needsa big bag of gold Now Drool is a special case who asks every woman he meets if he can see her tits and is constantly needed to relieve the strain that his breeches can barely contain He does have some strange skills in line with RainmanIt s a gift, nature s way of compensating him for being an enormous, beef brained child He can remember whole conversations, hours long, and recite them back word for word, in the voice from which they sprouted, and not have a fluttering notion of what he s been saying To make the duo a trio there is also a monkey named Jeff who has a special predilection for humping headwear It is very disconcerting for the person wearing a hat As an afterthought Pocket liberates a young man by the name of Marco Polo There are also plenty of women populating this novel who are performing the world s oldest professionShag a virgin, five shillings Sail you off the edge of the world for six, she called by routine, bored It s AD 1299 Around the World hasn t been invented yet.Pocket doesn t usually hang out with the best class of citizen, but as dangerous as that might seem it isn t half as dangerous when he becomes caught up in the schemes surrounding Othello and the wicked man named Iago whispering in his ear It wasn t Pocket s idea, but the bloody ghost finally showed up, and she happened to be his lost love Cordelia who knows perfectly well the right sentiments to motivate Pocket into being helpful As usual Pocket, through the dint of his unusual skills pissing everyone off , will have to figure out a way to save the world once again and importantly keep himself alive in the process Christopher Moore attired properly to tell this tale.Christopher Moore has taken the plays The Merchant of Venice and Othello added a dash of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe and produced another adventure for the most unlikely of heroes The Fool Pocket As Carl Hiaasen says on the front coverShakespeare and Poe might be rolling in their graves, but they re rolling with laughter Moore is one of the cleverest, naughtiest writers aliveI enjoyed this book, but it suffered in comparison to the first book with Pocket titled Fool I certainly caught myself chuckling reading this one, but when I was reading Fool I would occasionally have put the book down because I was laughing too hard to hold it Certainly read Fool first and if you enjoy that one you won t be able to resist this one.