Jesse Bullington's Reviews > The Vesuvius Club

The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
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May 13, 09

Read in December, 2008

After Blood Meridian, a novel that, if I may use this tired device one more time, makes The Proposition look like Lonesome Dove I needed something light, and Gatiss’ first Lucifer Box novel fit the bill perfectly. I don’t want to give anything away but it is a delightful send-up of period pulp spy/adventurer novels, with--that rarest of things--a literally steampunk climax and some flourishes reminiscent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brief, fast, and fun way to end the year that somewhat restored my faith in humanity. Well done, Mr. Box! To top it all, the Beeb may adapt it into a television series--provided the dashing Mr. Gatiss plays his Edwardian creation I don't see how this could be anything but a Very Good Thing.

Gatiss is, by the by, simply amazing. In addition to being a talented actor and comedian, he has professionally worked virtually every creative angle of the Dr. Who franchise--writing novels, radio plays, recent television episodes, and even acting in a few episodes. I've yet to order a copy of his roundly praised James Whale biography (The Would-be Gentlemen), but this novel was an auspicious debut.
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