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Vesuvius Club: Graphic Novel (Lucifer Box 1) [Paperback]

Mark Gatiss , Ian Bass
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2005 Lucifer Box 1
When Lucifer Box Esq - dandy, rake, portraitist and His Majesty's Most Dashing Secret Agent - wrote the first volume of his adventures, The Vesuvius Club, he could never have imagined that one hundred and one years later he would end up as an artwork himself. But - like Dorian Grey before him - he has. Inspect Box at home in Number 9 Downing Street (but try to ignore the mess) and in the Turkish Baths. Witness his coach-chase though London, on the path of the murderer of Britain's most eminent scientific brains. Spy on the secrets he uncovers when that path leads him to Naples, including the biggest secret of all - the nefarious (but nice) Vesuvius Club. n reading Mark Gatiss's novel, Stephen Fry exclaimed 'More, I want more!' Well here it is. A book that might just match the wildest dreams of its hero, The Vesuvius Club: The Graphic Edition illustrates Lucifer Box deliciously sandwiched between Edwardian low life and high society.

Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; New edition edition (7 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743276000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743276009
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 16.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 620,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A perniciously addictive piece of escapism' -- GUARDIAN

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

'The most delicious, depraved, inventive, macabre and hilarious literary debut I can think of. More, I want more!' -- Stephen Fry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Gatiss is one of The League of Gentlemen from the multi-award winning television show, and the author of the hit novels The Vesuvius Club and its sequel The Devil in Amber. He has also written acclaimed radio and television scripts, including episodes of Doctor Who and Poirot. He has a thick comma of hair that will never stay in place and a rather cruel mouth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first of a series 7 Nov 2004
By Naomi
I've declined to give this book 5 stars for one reason; it's not long enough! Having devoured it in one sitting (pausing only briefly for the necessities of life) I find myself wanting more of Lucifer Box's adventures and wanting them NOW. A grotesquerie of characters leaps fully-formed like Athena from the page: Delilah, the indispensable domestic, Tom Bowler, the inappropriately cheerful undertaker, and Joshua Reynolds, the head of the Secret Service whose choice of office gives new meaning to 'meeting at your convenience'. Lucifer himself is arrogantly irresistible (and is it really arrogance when it's justified?) There is, of course, a fiendish plot for world domination and Lucifer finds allies and enemies in unexpected places as he attempts to foil the dastards. Sherlock Holmes was never this much fun, Harry Flashman never bettered Lucifer's savoir-vivre and Bulldog Drummond was a mere amateur in comparison. There is excitement, romance, gentleman's tailoring and, best of all, Charlie Jackpot.
N.B. Should there NOT be a sequel (nay, several) to the Vesuvius Club, I shall be contacting my MP forthwith to complain.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm about half way through the Kindle edition of this book and am enjoying the colourful, bizarre & playful story immensely. Unfortunately, this enjoyment is continually interrupted with lines stating:

Images are removed here.

Why is this? Bowdlerisation? Copyright issues? Cheapskate production [although the Kindle edition is about the same price as the paperback]?

Unfortunately, I purchased all 3 books in the series at once, so am even less keen to repurchase as paperbacks.

I would suggest that Amazon is obliged to post a conspicuous warning to purchasers if a Kindle edition is compromised in this fashion.

[I should add that, having checked out a sample, the iBook version is similarly compromised]
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absurdities, profanities and bawdiness 7 April 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up 'The Vesuvius Club' purely on the strength of the quotes from Stephen Fry and the newspaper reviews on the back cover. Oscar Wilde is my favourite author and so I thought, if this is thought to be good enough for Wilde, it's good enough for me. And I was absolutely thrilled with Gatiss' debut.
I am not a fan of 'The League of Gentleman' and had never heard of Gatiss before, so I came to this novel with no preconceived ideas about its themes, characters or sense of humour (a fact, I think, that has led to many of the negative reviews on this website) and simply took the book on face value.
The hero, Lucifer Box, has a deliciously decadent voice and Gatiss successfully maintains this throughout the novel's 240 pages. I frequently found myself laughing out loud at the absurdities, profanities and bawdiness on every page, relishing the scrapes that Box and his companion Charlie find themselves in. As far as spy novels go, the story isn't that original; a megalomaniac trying to destroy the world, but the way that Gatiss approaches his subject matter is what made the novel stand out for me. Box undertakes his secret service missions with gusto, diving headfirst into perilous situations and always with a pithy aside to put down his opponent. The twists and turns keep the reader on the edge of his seat, despite the somewhat predictable ending, but the novel doesn't lose anything for this; just like Bond, the intrigue is not whether he is going to escape and save the day, but how he is going to manage it.
I wholeheartedly disagree with those who have condemned this novel for being simply "A bit of Fluff" (Gatiss' words), in my opinion it is exactly this that is the novel's strength; "a bit of fluff", yes, and all the more entertaining for it!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A Bit of Fluff" - Precisely! 8 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Like some of the previous reviewers, I too bought this book on impulse because of its fabulous cover,the nostalgic layout and the promise of illustrations. Not a fan of "The League of Gentlemen", I didn't immediately recognise the author's name, but it was a hardback, and half price in the sale, so this didn't matter! In my view, I got exactly what I paid for, and to look as deeply into the inaccuracies of language and period as others have seems to me to be self-indulgent and somewhat pompous. Mark Gatiss does not pretend that this is a great literary work - it is however fun, witty and ridiculous, with a comic, world-weary flavour of Wilde minus the cruelty. Personally, I look forward to more of Lucifer Box and his cute little assistant especially if the publishers retain the gorgeous packaging - the illustrations may not be perfect, but thankfully, I am sufficiently uneducated not to regard this as a major flaw. Lose your pretensions if you want to enjoy this little romp, 'cos that's exactly what it is - get over yourselves!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, quick read 5 Oct 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is exquisite. The writing style captured me right from the start. The illustrations add a little something extra to this book as well!

I wont bother with the story details, you can read them elsewhere.

The characters are excellent, even those who only appear briefly. The accents are great fun and give the characters another dimension not often found in characters these days. For a short book (240 pages), Gatiss has crammed in some wonderful concepts and a great story. I would happily read this again and again.

Lucifer Box himself is a wonderful, Wilde-style character, as has been mentioned many times by other people. But it's true, he is highly reminiscent of many of Wilde's characters. This, I must add, is most definately a good thing. For Wilde created some of the most wonderful characters ever written.

This book is decadent, and wonderfully written in first-person. It wouldn't be the same without Lucifer's quirky little habits, like how he notices just how goodlooking he is all the time, and how he percieves other characters within the story.

Saying that, I wouldn't say it's a 5-star book. Something didn't quite bring it up to that standard, but it is well worth a read, and I hope to read the rest in the series soon!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Oscar Wilde meets 007! Brilliant! I loved it. I will definitely be buying the other Lucifer Box books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kate Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Carry on Campery
Not the deepest work of literature, this book is a gloriously pulpy romp through the world of gentlemanly spies and ridiculous over the top villains - Carry on Screaming meets... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stevie Egg-Pac
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer box is a secret agent for the British Government during the...
The book is fantastic. I love the protagonist, even if it is difficult at the beginning to feel empathy for him. The plot is very thrilling and the style is exceptional, so witty.
Published 2 months ago by Valentina Romanzi
3.0 out of 5 stars Images removed
I've only read 20% of the book and am quite disappointed to find the images are removed. Having read a few reviews here, I see this has been a problem for a few years and Amazon... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Claire Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Really funny, really enjoyable surprised by negative reviews
The Vesuvius Club begins a trilogy of tales about one Lucifer Box, he lives in Downing Street (someone has to) and works for King and Country behind the scenes in the earliest form... Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. A. Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars I had been told I was going to like it and I have.
It's great fun, with everything you can ask for: special agents, mad scientists, sex and adventure. I'm ordering the next one.
Published 13 months ago by Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book-just not for me
This book is very well written and I can imagine it as a tv drama which I would definitely watch,however,ultimately it isn't my kind of book. Maybe it is more of a man's book...?
Published 14 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars good purchase
The book arrived on time. It was well packaged and reasonably priced. It was a good buy and I would use this company again.
Published 15 months ago by Ms. S. H. Pether
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer Box's grand entrance
This book is the best book I've read in a long time and it's the only spy book I've read and liked. I mainly bought it because I love anything to do with Mark Gatiss (check out... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Danni_Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and sleazy
This book absolutely hits the spot for me. Mark Gatiss has created a louche, narcissistic and impossibly stylish master spy whose dissolute lifestyle makes James Bond look like a... Read more
Published 20 months ago by James Adamson
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