Book Review – The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore
This is a fun, irreverent comedy about a fool (jester) caught up in political/commercial intrigue in a fantasy version of Venice of the late thirteenth century. The story is based (mainly) on various Shakespearian plays. With this as a starting point, one might expect some sophisticated humor. This is not what Moore provides. In some ways, this is refreshing because one need not be an English major or historian to enjoy the book, but it does tend to reach fairly far down to appeal to a baser audience. The characters, without exception, have the emotional maturity and self-restraint of hormonally supercharged adolescents. Their juvenile antics make them funny in the same way some people find clowns funny, but it is a superficial kind humor, which, in this case, relies on vulgar language, sex, a few fart references, and boob flashes. It’s crude, but it manages to float (just) above the shallows of the metaphorical comic cesspit.
I can’t say this book is for everyone, but it should appeal to readers who enjoy humor of the South Park or Family Guy variety. Although I am not much of a fan of these (or TV in general), I enjoyed it.