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58 Reviews
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first of a series
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...
Published on 7 Nov 2004 by Naomi

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like it, but...
I found the book actually dificult to get through, because it was just too forgetable. Though I read it in the space of a few days, every time I picked it up I had trouble remembering what had happened before. There was both too much and not enough in it. The writing style was too heavy and the plot was too thin; perhaps the problem was exactly that the writing was too...
Published on 2 Jun 2011 by Amazon Customer


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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first of a series, 7 Nov 2004
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning : illustrations stripped from Kindle edition!, 22 Sep 2010
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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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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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absurdities, profanities and bawdiness, 7 April 2006
By 
Deborah Harrison (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, quick read, 5 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly debauched, marvalously funny, Must Read!!, 3 May 2006
This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Originally I spotted this title in it's graphic novel form, enticed, I searched Amazon and came up with the book. I read the whole thing from start to finish in one sitting and I would read it again in a heartbeat. Mystery, Sex, death, humour, and violence all wrapped with Edwardian eligance and just a hint of the surreal. A seriously entertaining read, the characters are good, the story is excellent and the writing is brilliant. A little mystery, a little romance and salted with some genuinly good action scenes. First Class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like it, but..., 2 Jun 2011
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This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I found the book actually dificult to get through, because it was just too forgetable. Though I read it in the space of a few days, every time I picked it up I had trouble remembering what had happened before. There was both too much and not enough in it. The writing style was too heavy and the plot was too thin; perhaps the problem was exactly that the writing was too heavy for such a thin plot. I bought it knowing it was nothing more than a blend of escapism and parody, but ultimately it was so unsatisfying that reading was a chore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will blow your mind, 21 May 2009
This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Outrageously decadent and unutterably wicked; Doctor Who and League of Gentleman stalwart Mark Gatiss has produced a filthy gem of a novel. Subversive, droll, and downright disgusting in places; Lucifer Box is a thoroughly modern (anti) hero. Bring on the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer Box's grand entrance, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
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 League of Gentleman, Crooked House, Sherlock...the list is endless) but Lucifer Box comes out on his own as the less than PC protagonist. It's witty, bizarre and filled with twists that I would never have expected. READ THIS BOOK! Just starting The Devil in the Amber the sequel and that's brilliant so far, also I think this will be my new series of favourite books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most wondrous adventure, 28 July 2012
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Ah, The Vesuvius Club. A wonderful book that is quirky enough to keep you laughing on every page and suspenseful enough to keep you gripped on your seat, made even better (if that is even possible) by the magnificent, (and slightly ovary-busting) tones of the delightful Author, Mark Gatiss. If you have any sense of what makes good literature, you should listen to this. Then the sequels. Then go, find where he lives, and give him lots more money to write more. It's honestly worth it.
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The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1)
The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) by Mark Gatiss (Mass Market Paperback - 4 July 2005)
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