The Devil in Amber: A Lucifer Box Novel Paperback – Jul 2 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in the 1920s, British author Gatiss's second novel (after The Vesuvius Club), an awkward mix of P.G. Wodehouse and Seabury Quinn, finds English spy Lucifer Box targeted both by his country's foes and by rivals within the British secret service. After an assignment in New York almost costs him his life, Box comes across a mysterious parchment that appears to be of interest to a megalomaniacal fascist leader, Olympus Mons, who heads an international band named F.A.U.S.T., an acronym for the Fascist Anglo-United States Trinity. Box's chance discovery that his sister, Pandora, has become part of Mons's inner circle provides him with an in, leading him back across the Atlantic, and in and out of a variety of sexual encounters. The light-hearted action sequences don't quite mesh with a supernatural element involving the devil.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Darkly erudite and fiendishly unputdownable -- Lucifer Box is the most likable scoundrel since Flashman."-- Jasper Fforde, author of "The Big Over Easy" and "The Eyre Affair"See all Product Description
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Sometimes the laughs appear to be more forced than real but some moments shine through and are quite touching. Yes he's a cad and will do anything to get the job done or get his end away but at the same time the lonliness of his situation is quite touching.
Fun but nothing great.
However, I must strongly protest the treatment of Charlie Jackpot. I'll not spoil it for those who haven't read the book yet, but Mr. Gatiss, I'm ever so disappointed.
That being said, it really is a top notch story, and well worth the price of admission.
Mark Gatiss starts his books off in the established fashion of the murder mystery. However, they soon drift into Ian Fleming territory, with the villains and situations becoming increasingly preposterous as the stories progress, sliding headlong into the supernatural, science fiction or the down-right bizarre. In this new book fascists have found a way to unbind the devil in the misguided belief that he'll grant them dominion over the Earth. Box must save the day.
What differentiates these novels is the uniquely absurd sensibility of their author (a frequent contributor to the world of "Dr. Who" - writing both series episodes and novels). Lucifer Box is a marvelous creation, and Gatiss obviously revels in his characters adventures and exploits, which are detailed and punctuated with wry, often sexual humor. Additionally, the author delights us with a cast of supporting players with names such as Jocelyn Poop, Everard Supple, Bella Pok, Pandora Box, Sal Volatile, Olympus Mons and Charlie Jackpot. However, as full of fun as both books are, they are models of suspense and mystery.
If I liked the first book more, it is for one reason only - I love that it was set in the Edwardian era. This second book is set in the late 1920's, and the third book, "Clawhammer" (which is to be published in February), is set in the 1950's - I can't wait!
And hero Lucifer Box does jump on every Page.
The aptly named Box is always probing while he slams into this meaty tail, heading off and rogering in on exotic danger as he leaves a trail of tears in pillows when he gives `em the bum's rush. There is pan-Atlantic conspiracy between the occult and Fascists, and there is so much aesthetic detail to describe we are almost left breathless sucking every drop in. But Box is is never one to Miss Adventure, and he sheathes his sword long enough to globe hop, but always manages to catch someBODY's violet or green eyes or notice their jawline.
Critic and author Stephen Fry cries for more, and while there are plenty of hard passages, nothing is boiled except boiling over passion. As in passion fruit.
I enjoyed it okay, but it the joke got tired after a while.