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Vesuvius Club (Lucifer Box Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Gatiss
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $10.37
You Save: $5.58 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Meet Lucifer Box: Equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a twist of Monty Python and a dash of Austin Powers, Lucifer has a charming countenance and rapier wit that make him the guest all hostesses must have. And most do.
But few of his conquests know that Lucifer is also His Majesty's most daring secret agent, at home in both London's Imperial grandeur and in its underworld of despicable vice. So when Britain's most prominent scientists begin turning up dead, there is only one man his country can turn to for help.
Following a dinnertime assassination, Lucifer is dispatched to uncover the whereabouts of missing agent Jocelyn Poop. Along the way he will give art lessons, be attacked by a poisonous centipede, bed a few choice specimens, and travel to Italy on business and pleasure. Aided by his henchwoman Delilah; the beautiful, mysterious, and Dutch Miss Bella Pok; his boss, a dwarf who takes meetings in a lavatory; grizzled vulcanologist Emmanuel Quibble; and the impertinent, delicious, right-hand-boy Charlie Jackpot, Lucifer Box deduces and seduces his way from his elegant townhouse at Number 9 Downing Street (somebody has to live there) to the ruined city of Pompeii, to infiltrate a highly dangerous secret society that may hold the fate of the world in its clawlike grip--the Vesuvius Club.


Editorial Reviews

Review

'It's Gatiss's impeccable lightness of touch and huge delight in wordplay that makes this a joy. Studded with epigrams, asides, such wonderful names as Strangeways Pugg and Everard Supple, this is a wickedly written romp to put a smile on the face of anyone amused by the strange alchemy of the words "a peculiar horror of artichokes"'

SFX MAGAZINE

Review

'The most delicious, depraved, inventive, macabre and hilarious literary debut I can think of. In the appallingly appealing Lucifer Box, Mark Gatiss has created an anti-hero for the ages. Watching the number of chapters, then pages, dwindle was heart-rending...no one has ever combined the seedy, the stylish, the rumbustious, the raffish, the egregious, the outrageous, the high and the low with such wit and grace. More, I want more!'

Stephen Fry

'Self-deprecatingly subtitled "a bit of fluff"...Gatiss's prose is upholstered in a rather superior grade of fluff: redolent of soft leather chairs in fine gentlemen's establishments, and the cracking of whips in the basements beneath them. Set amid the decadent fleshpots of the Edwardian demi-monde, the novel introduces the raffish toast of London society, Lucifer box, leading portraitist of the age and undercover agent on behalf of His Majesty's government. A dandy and a bounder, Box works his way dandyishly through a sequence of adventures which leads him to penetrate a secret Neapolitan crime ring, plus the willing rings of several secretive Neapolitans.... perniciously addictive piece of escapism'

GUARDIAN

'A breathless caper set in Edwardian London. Although it's humbly subtitled 'A Bit of Fluff' it far more resembles the kind of monster fur ball you'd find lurking beneath the bed in a seaside hotel...A stylishly published volume...but beneath all the fuzz lies a genuine darkness'

THE OBSERVER

'With its quaint dust jacket and Beardsley-inspired illustrations, the book feels like a visitor from a more elegant era . . . Giddily inventive and packed with delirious incident, it suggests a post-modern project comparable to Michel Faber's pseudo-Dickensian 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. It is easy to imagine Oscar Wilde, on a chaise longue, smoking an absurdly expensive cigarette, reading THE VESUVIUS CLUB and laughing out loud at its playful decadence and wit. There can surely be no higher praise'

TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT.

'Gatiss mixes in THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN's penchant for horror with large doses of arch wit and louche laying about. It's Oscar Wilde crossed with H.P. Lovecraft....this could be the bit of fluff you've been looking for'

THE TELEGRAPH

'If you're going to have humorous pastiche, give me this any day, with its evocations of Edwardian melodrama and derring-do'

THE TIMES

'It's Gatiss's impeccable lightness of touch and huge delight in wordplay that makes this a joy. Studded with epigrams, asides, such wonderful names as Strangeways Pugg and Everard Supple, this is a wickedly written romp to put a smile on the face of anyone amused by the strange alchemy of the words "a peculiar horror of artichokes"'

SFX MAGAZINE


Product Details

  • File Size: 351 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 11, 2005)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKI8M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheeky and Decadent! December 1, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sort of won a free edition of this book through a Simon & Schuster UK LiveJournal giveaway. I'm so grateful for my wicked good luck, I'm writing a review! If it encourages anyone to pick up this novel (which you should do), I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and I'm sure you will).

Lucifer Box is a socialite and a portraitist with dashing good looks, but he's also one of Britain's most witty secret agents working for His Majesty's Government. The Vesuvius Club is a first-person narrative of Edwardian high society with a behind-the-scenes (most secret) look at the people churning the cogs that make the world go `round.

This early 20th century who-dunnit tale is punctuated with black ink illustrations that are, appropriately enough, as grotesque and disturbing as some of the weird and dangerous goings-on in the novel itself. Lucifer mixes business with pleasure as he works to pay off a debt of indiscretion known only to him and his boss, Joshua Reynolds. The novel opens with a dazzling display of an artistry of the most deadly variety: a ruse to lure the Honourable Everard Supple into complacency and entrapment exercised by Mr. Box's indulgent talent for portraiture and a taste for fine dining. Soon after the messy deed is executed and with souvenir in hand, Lucifer makes his drunken way to the men's lavatory inside the Royal Academy of Art. A good sit and few minutes of waiting reveals a ludicrous meeting between Lucifer and Joshua Reynolds in a headquarters of the "Get Smart" variety. Cleverly (Or stupidly.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilde's dandy reloaded October 7, 2005
Format:Paperback
I rarely give out five stars but this stylish, aloofly decadent novella is worth it. A tongue in cheek look borrowed from Wilde and partly from Flemming's delightful Bond. Lucifer Box is the perfect Victorian gentlemen, with their respect for values and morals-only upheld in the most hypocritical sense, devastatingly beautiful and leading the most successful dual personality since The importance of being Earnest. A bit of fluff certainly, blending all genres into one from horror-gothic, romance, drama and tragedy. With an exaggerated air for the melodramatic, Gatiss leads us on the most addictive journey around England and the 'continent'. One can almost smell the orchids and feel the sweltering heat of Italy and see the finely cut suits of Mr. Box as he fights 'the forces of evil' impecabbly cut and dressed with a dashing mysterious femme fatale hanging off his arm. Mr. Box explores all that is truely 'Victorian' (in the most underworld, revealing meaning) in a laugh out loud, yet charismatically seductive way. Read it. Well done Gatiss, a true tour de force.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fluff that dreams are made of. July 27, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you read my recent review of "The Devil in Amber," than you already know I'm a huge fan of Mark Gatiss and Lucifer Box. I'll not bother you with another tired synopsis (other's have already done that). I'll just say "The Vesuvius Club" is more then simply amusing and diverting, it's clever, titilating and wicked good fun from start to finish. I love Lucifer Box (and Charlie Jackpot for that matter) and look forward to reading more of his adventures.

RE: the graphic novel. I enjoyed the iluustrations by Ian Bass, but the story has been abridged - so, I recommend the original.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've Read in Ages! October 18, 2005
By Lenore
Format:Paperback
Since the plot has been sufficiently covered, I'll just say that I picked this book up on a whim and I'm so utterly glad I did. I believe one of the reviews said it best in that one *despairs* when they see the pages disappearing behind them. Fantastically likeable protaginist, deliciously melodramtic plot, and a extrodinarily satisfying sending up of the Bond Girl. I've finished it but I can't bring myself to put it back on the shelf, so it's also proving itself to be quite re-readable. Honestly one of the most enjoyable books I've read in ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not to Everybody's Taste - But I Thought It Was a Hoot! February 12, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You know this is going to be a saucy book from the very first line: "I have always been an appalling judge of character. It is my most beguiling virtue."

It's the early 1900's, and the speaker is Lucifer Box, an Englishman serving in His Majesty's Secret Service, HM being Queen Victoria's successor, Edward VII, previously known as Bertie. Box lives at No, 9 Downing Street, telling us, "I know, ostentatious, isn't it? But somebody has to live there."

Though serious about his work, which includes an "artistic license to kill", Lucifer Box is a hedonist, not to mention bi-sexual, and nominally makes his living painting portraits for the not-quite-upper-crust.

The real upper-crusters go to his best friend, Christopher Miracle, to have their portraits done. Being rich and popular, however, is of no help to Miracle when one of his students, Mrs. Midsomer Knight, turns up drowned in the River Thames, and Miracle is arrested for it.

A loyal friend, Lucifer works to absolve Miracle, fitting his efforts into his new secret service assignment. Two important geology professors have died mysteriously in Naples, Italy, and HM's agent in Naples, Jocelyn Poop, has disappeared. Lucifer travel to Naples, meeting Poop's 2nd in command, Cretaceous Unmann, and eventually discovers that the two mysteries are entwined.

Just from the names of the characters, you can tell that "The Vesuvius Club" is a romp. There is some clever writing and lots of humor, not to mention a positively gothic potboiler plot. Such as men turned into superhuman zombies by the installation of metal helmets feeding drugs into their brains: "With their curious, sluggish movements, the helmeted fiends began to fire back at us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It takes a special kind of reader
Lucifer Box 1

Lucifer Box is an artist, a killer, bisexual, and an agent for the British secret services. Read more
Published 3 months ago by L. S. Tucker
3.0 out of 5 stars Ammoral, Narcissistic, Self-Congratulatory Hero.
It's a fun, snappy, quick read but I did not find the main character, Lucifer Box, truly like-able. Don't know that I'd bother to read more books featuring this character. Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. P. PIERCE-DAVIS
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
item as described good condition readable
Published 5 months ago by David Greaney
5.0 out of 5 stars The visuals just make the story that much better
Do you like James Bond? Do you sometimes wish he was gay? Then this is the graphic novel for you!
Published 6 months ago by Steph Strenger
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a penny dreadful - a $13 waste of money dreadful. So sad!
A pox on you, Lucifer Box! I was expecting a charming, diverting Edwardian pastiche of a mystery, and instead found a vulgar, unlikeable hero and a ridiculous, barely readable... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jill Giovan
4.0 out of 5 stars So witty and charming! A fun read!
I'm a big fan of Mark Gatiss from his work for Doctor Who and Sherlock. I love his style and that indefinable something about his personality. He's just so adorable. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Charlene
5.0 out of 5 stars One sexy Edwardian
I loved this book, and Lucifer Box! A complex and delightfully absurd novel set in the early 20th Century, it sets up the series, of which there are two more book... Read more
Published on June 18, 2012 by Vitus Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem
This is funny and witty and stylish and did I mention funny. Mark Gatiss has a great sense of humour, very tongue in cheek and he knows how to make up the best character's name in... Read more
Published on May 17, 2012 by Kendra Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book - It does not disappoint!
I was very impressed with 'The Vesuvius Club', the 1st Lucifer Box story written by Mark Gatiss. You are going to be in a for a treat when the 2nd line of the title is "A Bit of... Read more
Published on April 10, 2012 by M. Lugo
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Subversive, Rollicking Romp
Naughty, bawdy, silly, witty, over-the-top.

Just a few ways to describe Mark Gatiss's rollicking caper - which I enjoyed enormously. Read more
Published on July 16, 2011 by Blake Fraina
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