Iago

Iago: A Novel - David Snodin I have seen Iago portrayed in a variety of ways, ranging from a jealous would-be lover to a brilliant sociopath. David Snodin has met these ideas in the middle, showing a tormented man through the eyes of both an accused (albeit innocent) killer and the Grand Inquisitor of Venice.Snodin's tale starts after the action of Shakespeare's "Othello," with Iago escaping from jail. Gentile Stornello, a young Venetian nobleman, makes up a story to impress a girl; he says that his uncle has brought Iago to Venice in secret.Little does Gentile know that his invention is very close to the truth. Thus begins a tale of Venetian, Mantuan and Florentine politics, ethnic hatred and more.Snodin brings all of his characters to life beautifully. The good are not perfect, and the bad are not irredeemable. To top it all off, his descriptive prose puts one in the center of 16th Century Italy such that scenery may be envisioned and even smells of honey- and olive-laden bread may be imagined.I will admit that this book was a little slow to start, dealing primarily with political matters of the time. It's quite plain that the author's research was impeccable (he share some of his resources at the end), and the reasons for sharing matters political are revealed throughout the rest of the tale.Admirers of Shakespeare are sure to enjoy this look inside the head of one of the Bard's most intriguing villains.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)