Christopher Moore is a hoot. Funny, irreverent, smart, and dedicated to producing a great, wild story. I get the feeling that underneath his comic interior, he worries about the details of his books. The plotting, the characters, the continuity, all of it. He may even be a little neurotic at heart. He's the Woody Allen of Shakespearean, historic comedy novels. yeah, I said it
The Serpent of Venice: A Novel, by Christopher Moore returns us to the adventures of Pocket, the harlequin clad protagonist from Fool. I get the feeling when reading, that Pocket most nearly speaks as Moore wishes that he--or any of us--could; with absolute impunity to power.
The Serpent, as it sounds, is a riff on Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, with some other Shakespearean characters and plots thrown in to keep it interesting, along with some Edgar Allan Poe. Why, you might ask, does this story include not only multiple Shakespeare plays, but a dash of Poe, from a completely different era, as well? Why not?
Moore's willingness to look beyond the boundaries of a single inspiration, and combine these multiple sources with a storyline of his own devising is what, I think, sets him apart from other writers in the genre. Tom Robbins is the only other I can think of that I enjoy as much. Robbins doesn't seem to suffer like Moore does, but he has his own problems.
Read this book.