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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 Maria


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolly japes!, 3 Oct 2010
By 
M. O. HAYNES "couch magpie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book based on the fact that I enjoyed 'The League of Gentlemen' BBC series immensely, enjoyed Dr Who episodes written by Mark Gatiss and also the new 'Sherlock' on the BBC and so already had a fair idea of how 'off the wall' it would be. I was not disappointed in that respect. The book is stylishly written and manages to capture the details of the Edwardian time period in which it is set very well. The dialogue is very good with one character reminiscent of one of Terry Pratchett's witches doing her 'posh voice'. The story is wildly ridiculous and delivered on the back 'blurb' and then some.

Some readers may feel uncomfortable with the sexual references scattered througout the book which ensures that this is not a book for children, however without this side of the story the main character Lucifer would not the complete 'dashing rogue' that Gatiss wants to create. Some would say that perhaps some of his writing is 'wish fulfilment', but then that could be said of so many authors (Ian Fleming springs easily to mind) and it is only perhaps because I have seen so many 'behind the scenes' interviews with the author that I get this feeling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully depraved entertaining read, 20 July 2010
By 
Katie Stevens "Ygraine" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I liked everything about this book, from the bizarre but neatly self-contained plot to the delightfully improbable character names. Lucifer Box is an enjoyably depraved anti-hero with the louche, disaffected air of one of Oscar Wilde's creations. His wry first person narrative style was amusing and easy to read, so I sped through this book in less than a day. The book was missing the final sparkle and wit of Wilde's writing, but it seems unfair to criticise one author for not being enough like another, and this did not detract from what was a thoroughly entertaining mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fluff, 1 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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A cross between James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with the over-confident, over-sexed style of Torchwood.

As a comic novel it doesn't break any new ground. but the deliberate mixture of the historical and the absurd will be a familiar read to fans of Robert Rankin, Jasper Fforde, Malcolm Pryce, and so on. It's fast-paced and all very tongue-in-cheek, but if you can go along with the ride you'll enjoy it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what you want... but not what you expect., 29 Nov 2004
As one quarter of the League of Gentlemen, Mark Gatiss is responsible for some of the most warped but funny comedy ever made. If you're expecting the same from the book you'll be dissapointed, but if you want a cool story with a genuinely great narrivative and VERY dry humour this is for you.
Lucifer Box is an assassin/spy/many other things only hinted at in the book, who uses his contacts to make his way in London. What follows is a bizzare series of events working for many people, with brilliant series of co-stars to leave you equally amused/bemused.
Hopefully, as the Amazon title suggests, this is the first in a series... I'd love to read more. Kind of like The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, with a homerotic edge!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite do what it says on the, er, box, 10 Jan 2005
By 
hwade17 (near Doncaster, West Riding) - See all my reviews
If I were reviewing "The Vesuvius Club" on the basis of packaging alone, I should give it five stars. Gorgeous to look at and expensively produced, with a Mucha-esque cover artfully faded to look like a vintage cloth dust jacket (which is printed in Mars red, but which, given the outrageous content of the book, surely ought to be Yellow?), this book also comes equipped with a selection of spoof and presumably genuine-but-curious advertisements on the inner covers, a different font (and a twin-column layout) for the opening page of each chapter, and several full-page black and white illustrations, highly unusual in a debut novel, and enhancing the period atmosphere very nicely.

The story itself is pure music hall, gruesome, lewd and baroque, reminiscent of the old Vertigo comic "Sebastian O," presented with the narrative spin of "The Loo Sanction." Lucifer Box is an artist, aesthete and government assassin; his allies and foes (whose affiliations gradually reveal themselves at the plot thickens) are a motley collection of imaginatively realised grotesques. There are set pieces in a Turkish bath, a mausoleum, in Bohemian Chelsea and Pompeii; the chapter headings are pleasantly evocative of the period; there are stagy dollops of fin-de-siecle slang, and a cinematic showdown in the villain's steampunk lair. In theory I ought really to have enjoyed this book, apart from the rude words. And yet ... there's something rushed about it - an unevenness of pacing, a handful of loose ends, a feeling that characters have been given lines of dialogue as feed for Lucifer rather than to develop their own personalities - that leaves the reader, despite the terrific inventiveness of the author and his obvious enjoyment of the story, with a feeling of being vaguely short-changed.

Maybe it's the packaging itself. Maybe nothing could live up to the expectations it engenders. Given the lavish send-off the publishers have laid on for their protégé, the reader already starts out expecting nothing short of Oscar Wilde or Max Beerbohm. And given that they have taken the rare step of employing an illustrator, it is a great shame the illustrator couldn't have vindicated their decision and gone for a bit of authenticity himself by going out and investing in a Gillot nib and a bottle of ink, instead of the technical drawing pen that has only too clearly been used. (And perhaps learning to draw a horse's bridle. And while he was about it, maybe a horse as well). As it is, the illustrations are at best a disappointment and at worst an annoying distraction, and do not to my mind justify the publisher's investment. Four stars, but loses half a star for the rotten pictures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 18 May 2014
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A wonderful read. Exciting and well written story. I would certainly recommend it. Have already read the other two Lucifer Box novels and they are just as good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but rushed, 25 April 2014
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Not bad, reminiscent of the 'glass books of the dream eaters' series but less well written. Felt rushed, and poor prose. And why no images in the kindle edition? Disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 2 Mar 2014
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Oscar Wilde meets 007! Brilliant! I loved it. I will definitely be buying the other Lucifer Box books. A thoroughly enjoyable read full of adventure, excitement, action and naughtiness.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carry on Campery, 1 Feb 2014
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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 James Bond. Never pausing to spend a second taking itself seriously it is an easy page turner, perfect for idle hands to flick through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer box is a secret agent for the British Government during the Victorian period. Quite obviously, he solves crimes., 18 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
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.
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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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