The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I want to be Christopher Moore when I grow up.
Rather, I want to write the way he does. He is able to smash together my favorite characters from my favorite classic authors and twist them into a story so entertaining and funny and smutty that I still can't get my tongue out of my cheek.
Lear's Fool from Moore's previous book (called Fool) appears in Venice out of France as an emissary from his wife, Queen Cordelia. Then, Moore combines two other Shakespeare plays, a Poe short story, and twists in a little mystical history so that Marco Polo and a Chinese water dragon have a part to play. Oh, and a ghost. There's always a ghost. This is comparative literature at it most entertaining.
However, even if the reader isn't an overeducated literature teacher (like me), she can enjoy this book for its silly, smutty adventures, its bloody justice, its convoluted mystery, or its absolutely joyful, uninhibited use of language. Like the Fool, Moore has given himself license to say any- and every- thing and can get away with it because it is cloaked in the guise of humor.
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