The Serpent of Venice

The master of parody is back with his 14th no-holds-barred spoof, and readers can count on nonstop hilarity as The Serpent of Venice slithers into some outrageous and, of course, bawdy adventures. With his loyal half-wit Drool and his beloved monkey, Jeff, the fool Pocket of Dog Snogging is on a mission decreed by Queen Cordelia: stop the Venetians' planned crusade. But Pocket is soon sealed in Brabantio's dungeon and ensnared in the power plays among the merchants and royalty. 

It doesn't look good for our hero as the seawater approaches his shackled wrists. Denying his impending doom, he jests to the reader that all will be well; he's rewarded for his optimism, as a dark figure pulsating beneath the rising water not only manages to free him from the chains, but, well, pleasures him in the bargain. The lovely Jessica, daughter of Shylock the moneylender, rescues Pocket as he emerges from the dungeon's watery depths. But she needs Pocket's help to escape her father's authority and flee to her beloved (Christian--thus, forbidden) Lorenzo. Worried for Drool and Jeff, Pocket sets off with Jessica (who is now disguised as a pirate: " 'Aargh,' she pirately aarghed"). And just when the plot thickens, the Chorus chimes in to sort it all out.

Half the fun is in trying to keep up with Moore's puns, naughty asides, quick dispatches of foes and witty repartee. Familiarity with all the literary allusions is optional; ability to belly laugh is required. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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