The Serpent of Venice is a mash-up extraordinaire of The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Cask of Amontillado, starring Pocket, the lead from Moore’s previous Shakespeare parody, Fool. While this isn’t as successful as that book, I still think there’s lots to recommend it.
For starters, I’d like to see anyone else try to stitch together so many storylines and characters, and make it seem cohesive. The world worked, and as a lover of Shakespeare and Poe, I enjoyed how he played with their creations. (I especially liked how Moore made fun of the thinness of the whole handkerchief device in Othello. It’s weak William. Nobody buys it!)
Where The Serpent of Venice is a little less successful than some of his other work is in the humor. Many of the jokes are repetitious, and feel a little tired, though I’ll never get tired of the phrase: “heinous fuckery most foul.”
Even with these reservations, I’ll still read another book with Pocket as the protagonist, which is apparently called Shakespeare for Squirrels.
Did someone say parody of Shakespeare?
If Shakespearean parody is your thing, you may want to check out my 2010 novel, Marvellous Hairy, which has a bit of fun with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Though in this version, the heroes are the Mechanicals, and Puck.)
You can get and all my other books at all the usual places online!