I am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review! This time I am looking at the new Shakespearean satire by Christopher Moore, The Serpent of Venice.
You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-christopher-moores-serpent-venice
You can also read my book review below.
The Serpent of Venice can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.
I hope you enjoy my new book review!
The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore.
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” While some would take this quote from Shakespeare as merely insightful into human nature, author Christopher Moore takes it as gospel. Moore’s character named Pocket is the very same fool from the great Bard’s “King Lear.” And this fool is the wisest person in any throne room.
Pocket first appeared in Christopher Moore’s wonderful satire Fool, reinventing the classic Shakespeare tragedy from the perspective of this intrepid character. In that novel, Pocket is the mastermind for the undoing of King Lear and his two wicked daughters.
Now Pocket has returned in a new book, The Serpent of Venice. In this comedy adventure Pocket is stuck in Venice, and it begins with him trapped in a cellar preparing to experience a slow and horrible death. From there the story grows to include mermaids, a best friend named Othello, a merchant named Shylock and a villain named Iago, who really doesn’t have a chance against a brain like Pocket’s.
You don’t have to be a Shakespeare scholar to enjoy Moore’s books. Christopher Moore is in a way like a great English 101 professor, the kind who enjoys the literary section of the library and wants you to as well. If anything, a reader will want to open the pages of “The Merchant of Venice,” “Othello” and “King Lear” afterwards to see what Moore accomplishes in these comedy books.
Christopher Moore for me resides in the same wonderful literary corner as Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse. These are comedy writers who are highly creative, who don’t talk down to their readers, and wit reigns supreme.
One of the things I really enjoy about these books is the philosophy hiding behind them. For Moore finds humor and hope in tragedy. Most of us know that these stories in Shakespeare’s hands end badly, so you want to see how Moore is going to… well, I’m not going to say fix… but correct them. It’s rare that I would enjoy someone changing sacred text like Shakespeare, but in Moore’s hands I want to see how his creativity will get Pocket out of another horrible mess.
My only wish for Christopher Moore is that he continues these adventures of Pocket. I want to see Pocket dealing with fairies in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” drinking with Falstaff and debating philosophy with Hamlet. There is nothing but possibility ahead for a fun and witty character like Pocket. Or as Shakespeare put it, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Moore’s fool named Pocket is a little of all three.
If you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve just had a book published collecting some of my most popular posts. It is entitled Me Stuff.
If fiction is more your thing, I’ve had four novels published in the last few years, A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors and Megan.
You can find all of these books via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading!
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