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The gentleman by Forrest Leo

The gentleman (2016)

by Forrest Leo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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714168,809 (3.92)2



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I knew The Gentleman had to be my next audio book after reading the summary. After all, a book about a man who accidentally sells his wife to the devil has to be pure gold! The book takes places in Victorian London. Which is also one of my favorite historical fiction time periods. The main character, Lionel Savage, is a poet who has seemed to have lost his muse. He blames it on his new bride, Vivien Lancaster. One evening, Lionel finds himself ranting to a stranger about his personal struggles. The next morning, Vivien is missing. Lionel puts two and two together and realizes that he must have sold his wife to the devil.

The book has an amazing cast of characters. From Lionel, an egotistical poet, to Lizzy, his forward-thinking sister. Their butler, Simmons, is an enigma. In fact, every character in this book is interesting. All the characters are brought to life by the narrators. Samuel Roukin is the main narrator. The Gentleman is told in first person by Lionel, who is relating the events as they happen. Samuel also is the many voices of the other characters as well. John Keeting is the second narrator. He is the voice of a cousin of Vivien who constantly interrupts Lionel's narration with hilarious footnotes that are more true to what actually happened in the story and not just Lionel's interpretation.

To me, these two narrators made the story even more fantastic than it already is. The Gentleman is Forrest Leo's first novel and I am impressed! If P.G. Wodehouse and Julia Quinn's books could have a baby, The Gentleman would be it. I absolutely loved everything about it. It's my favorite audiobook so far this year.

Read more at http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2017/03/audio-book-review-gentleman.html#PcQUci... ( )
  mt256 | Mar 17, 2017 |
A very entertaining novel of derring do involving a kidnapping, the Devil and a disparate band of rescuers!
Great fun and highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Penguin Press via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Sep 1, 2016 |
What a clever book! It’s been a while since I’ve read a book this smart and enjoyable to read. The Gentleman by Forrest Leo is fun and funny. Lionel Savage, a poet, has squandered his fortune on books and goes shopping for a rich wife. He finds one in Vivien Lancaster and while the courtship is fine, the marriage is less than enjoyable and Lionel can no longer pen the poems he once wrote. Lionel blames this “writer’s block” on Vivien and one night finds what he thinks is the answer. The Devil visits Lionel to thank him for being so kind earlier in the day when he’s berated on the street. The Devil is surprisingly unassuming and expresses his desire to have a friend. Lionel loans the Dev’l (his name for the man) a book and when he departs, Vivien disappears. Lionel believes he has sold his wife to the Dev’l. Thus, follow wonderful chapters that include Simmons, the brutally honest butler, Lizzie, Lionel’s delightful and rather sexually progressive sister, Ashley, Vivien’s larger-than-life explorer brother, and Will Kensington, the eccentric inventor of a flying machine. When Lionel decides he loves his wife and has made a mistake in selling her, this madcap group goes on a rescue adventure. The Gentleman is a departure from my usual read and a good flight of fancy. ( )
  bayleaf | Jul 21, 2016 |
If I was just to give you a synopsis of the plot you probably wouldn't pick this one up to read. But if you do decide to give this one a try be prepared for one of the silliest and funniest books of the year. Madcap British humor at its best set in Victorian England complete with footnotes and illustrations! Fans of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Fowler should put this on their list. ( )
  JJbooklvr | May 17, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forrest Leoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dewey, AmandaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
gray318Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singh, MahendraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In one great gulp I drank my tea and gazed
Upon the grim and gloomy world anew--
And gasped at how my griping eye had lied.
The rain still fell, the wind still blew, but now
I thought it grand! I loved the rain!
Not rain nor cloud did cloud my eye -- 'twas thirst!

-- Lionel Lupus Savage, from "The Epiphany"*

*I have included this excerpt as epigraph because I believe it gives a sense of Mr.  Savage's temperment for those unfamiliar with his work.  It is taken from his first collection, Pasquinades and Peregrinations.  I have not consulted him upon its inclusion. -- HL.
who'd have been proud
Frank M. Robinson,who taught me how
First words
My name is Lionel Savage.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039956263X, Hardcover)

A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil--then recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her.

When Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London, learns from his butler that they're broke, he marries the beautiful Vivien Lancaster for her money, only to find that his muse has abandoned him. 

Distraught and contemplating suicide, Savage accidentally conjures the Devil -- the polite "Gentleman" of the title -- who appears at one of the society parties Savage abhors. The two hit it off: the Devil talks about his home, where he employs Dante as a gardener; Savage lends him a volume of Tennyson. But when the party's over and Vivien has disappeared, the poet concludes in horror that he must have inadvertently sold his wife to the dark lord. 

Newly in love with Vivian,  Savage plans a rescue mission to Hell that includes Simmons, the butler; Tompkins, the bookseller; Ashley Lancaster, swashbuckling Buddhist; Will Kensington, inventor of a flying machine; and Savage's spirited kid sister, Lizzie, freshly booted from boarding school for a "dalliance." Throughout, his cousin's quibbling footnotes to the text push the story into comedy nirvana.

Lionel and his friends encounter trapdoors, duels, anarchist-fearing bobbies, the social pressure of not knowing enough about art history, and the poisonous wit of his poetical archenemy. Fresh, action-packed and very, very funny, The Gentleman is a giddy farce that recalls the masterful confections of P.G. Wodehouse and Hergé's beautifully detailed Tintin adventures.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 20 Feb 2016 16:25:29 -0500)

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