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The Vesuvius Club: Graphic Edition by Mark…

The Vesuvius Club: Graphic Edition (2005)

by Mark Gatiss, Ian Bass (Illustrator)

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Yeahhhhh… really disappointed actually. Firstly, the abridgement doesn’t help. The fun of the book (once I finally allowed myself to enjoy it) was an element of self-indulgent meandering and the cut down graphic novel version just feels rushed. I also didn’t enjoy the artwork. It feels like the artist tried for Aubrey Beardsley and then missed the mark - by miles. It feels bare and basic when I was expecting something a little more fun and decadent. Maybe I was expecting something along the lines of ‘With Love from Eroica’ – I mean, if there was ever a time to imitate, The Vesuvius Club was the novel with which to do it.

Bit of a let-down. Glad I borrowed and didn’t buy this. ( )
1 vote h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
An Edwardian secret agent, portrait artist, libertine and cad investigates the deaths of Britain's top scientists.

I actually bought this book on the strength of the Stephen Fry quote: "The most delicious, depraved, inventive, macabre and hilarious literary debut I can think of. More, I want more!" even though he was talking about the novel and not the graphic version.

And it is a unique and funny mystery written by one of 'The League of Gentleman' (a very funny british tv comedy) and obviously a man of many talents. Lucifer Box is our dashing agent, dandy, rake and larger than life main character. Other character names are Bella Pok and Charlie Jackpot and the whole style has an almost exaggerated James Bond romp about it.

The writing is witty, the art is very good and suits the dashing dastardly action perfectly, and the only criticism would be that the novel is not long enough. I understand they edited quite a lot from the original novel to produce this graphic edition; perhaps it was toned down too far.

One warning is that this is a adult novel. There are two scenes that will surprise you, I wasn't expecting it at all and was pleased I hadn't let my kids read this first. Otherwise, a great wee read. ( )
  KiwiNyx | Jun 16, 2011 |
Read this a few days ago. I wrote a little bit about it in my book blog, Fashionista Piranha:
Fast forward to last week. I spotted the books in my room and decided to give the graphic novel a go before tackling the novel. Now that I've read the graphic novel, though, I'm really on the fence about whether I want to read the full Vesuvius Club. The art was annoyingly inconsistent, but that's exactly the sort of quibble you avoid in a book, right? Since part of the appeal of the novel (I've been told) is the voice of the narrator, Lucifer Box, and that can't really be conveyed effectively in the graphic medium (which forces the reader out of the narrator's head to become an external viewer) I have faith that the characters would be less flat their their comic-book counterparts. But I'm not sure of these elements, and I found the plot really predictable (and bits of it quite unappealing), so I'm having trouble convincing myself I need to re-visit Vesuvius Club, even in another format.

So...to elaborate a bit. I found the art, especially the costume, rather annoying. A dress that was fairly loose and billowy in one frame would be skintight the next, for no reason. Trim would change from panel to panel - three rows of lace would become two, or it would form a V-shape down the front of a bodice in one page and then the next page would have the lace forming a princess-line down the sides instead. Same woman, same dress. CLEARLY, the book is drawn by someone unfamiliar with womens' clothing, and how it falls on the body! I mean, it was nice that he tried to capture the feel of artists from the era, and in some panels the shadowing and linework does succeed in doing so. But eh...

Characters were flat, uninteresting. The "twist" at the end of the novel made me roll my eyes, it was so predictable.

Overall, it just wasn't the delightful, witty romp I hoped for.
  makaiju | May 13, 2010 |
Based on Gatiss' novel; not particularly good, but then neither was the original. Feels a bit like Mark Frost with more comedy and gay characters thrown in. Mildly entertaining. ( )
  mschaefer | Oct 14, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Gatissprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bass, IanIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743276000, Paperback)

Mark Gatiss' cult creation, Lucifer Box, as you've never seen him before—in a new graphic-novel edition of his first adventure! On it's first publication, Mark Gatiss' The Vesuvius Club was critically acclaimed as an inspired cult creation. Now you are invited, more intimately, into the world of Lucifer Box, as his first adventure plays out in this graphic-novel edition. Here, Lucifer Box—the greatest portraitist of the Edwardian age and England's most dashing secret agent—investigates a series of bizarre disappearances and plunges headlong into low life and high society. Who is killing Britain's most prominent vulcanologists? What secrets lie beyond the grave? See him…Confront the purple undead. Instruct the mysterious and beguiling Bella Pok. Disguise himself with a false mustache. Face an ominous evil in the depths of a volcano. And come to grips with his new manservant, Charlie Jackpot. A fiendishly unputdownable treat for "the discerning mature reader."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:18 -0400)

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