• List Price: CDN$ 10.99
  • You Save: CDN$ 1.07 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Vesuvius Club has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by bwbuk_ltd
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Your purchase also supports literacy charities.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Vesuvius Club Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 2004

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 9.92
CDN$ 4.11 CDN$ 0.01

Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; New edition edition (Sept. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743483790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743483797
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #289,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The most delicious, depraved, inventive, macabre and hilarious literary debut I can think of. In the appallingly appealing Lucifer Box, Mark Gatiss has created an anti-hero for the ages. Watching the number of chapters, then pages, dwindle was heart-rending...no one has ever combined the seedy, the stylish, the rumbustious, the raffish, the egregious, the outrageous, the high and the low with such wit and grace. More, I want more!'
Stephen Fry

'Self-deprecatingly subtitled "a bit of fluff"...Gatiss's prose is upholstered in a rather superior grade of fluff: redolent of soft leather chairs in fine gentlemen's establishments, and the cracking of whips in the basements beneath them. Set amid the decadent fleshpots of the Edwardian demi-monde, the novel introduces the raffish toast of London society, Lucifer box, leading portraitist of the age and undercover agent on behalf of His Majesty's government. A dandy and a bounder, Box works his way dandyishly through a sequence of adventures which leads him to penetrate a secret Neapolitan crime ring, plus the willing rings of several secretive Neapolitans.... perniciously addictive piece of escapism'

'A breathless caper set in Edwardian London. Although it's humbly subtitled 'A Bit of Fluff' it far more resembles the kind of monster fur ball you'd find lurking beneath the bed in a seaside hotel...A stylishly published volume...but beneath all the fuzz lies a genuine darkness'

'With its quaint dust jacket and Beardsley-inspired illustrations, the book feels like a visitor from a more elegant era . . . Giddily inventive and packed with delirious incident, it suggests a post-modern project comparable to Michel Faber's pseudo-Dickensian 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. It is easy to imagine Oscar Wilde, on a chaise longue, smoking an absurdly expensive cigarette, reading THE VESUVIUS CLUB and laughing out loud at its playful decadence and wit. There can surely be no higher praise'

'Gatiss mixes in THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN's penchant for horror with large doses of arch wit and louche laying about. It's Oscar Wilde crossed with H.P. Lovecraft....this could be the bit of fluff you've been looking for'

'If you're going to have humorous pastiche, give me this any day, with its evocations of Edwardian melodrama and derring-do'

'It's Gatiss's impeccable lightness of touch and huge delight in wordplay that makes this a joy. Studded with epigrams, asides, such wonderful names as Strangeways Pugg and Everard Supple, this is a wickedly written romp to put a smile on the face of anyone amused by the strange alchemy of the words "a peculiar horror of artichokes"'

About the Author

Mark Gatiss writes for the multiaward-winning British television comedy The League of Gentlemen, on which he portrays a debt collector, a cursed veterinarian, a dog cinema owner who has recently branched out into VHS and DVD rentals, and a Knight Rider fan, among many other characters. He also stars in the feature film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse and has written episodes for the rejuvenated Doctor Who television series. He lives in a laboratory with a stuffed cat.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not to Everybody's Taste - But I Thought It Was a Hoot! Feb. 12 2013
By Happy Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You know this is going to be a saucy book from the very first line: "I have always been an appalling judge of character. It is my most beguiling virtue."

It's the early 1900's, and the speaker is Lucifer Box, an Englishman serving in His Majesty's Secret Service, HM being Queen Victoria's successor, Edward VII, previously known as Bertie. Box lives at No, 9 Downing Street, telling us, "I know, ostentatious, isn't it? But somebody has to live there."

Though serious about his work, which includes an "artistic license to kill", Lucifer Box is a hedonist, not to mention bi-sexual, and nominally makes his living painting portraits for the not-quite-upper-crust.

The real upper-crusters go to his best friend, Christopher Miracle, to have their portraits done. Being rich and popular, however, is of no help to Miracle when one of his students, Mrs. Midsomer Knight, turns up drowned in the River Thames, and Miracle is arrested for it.

A loyal friend, Lucifer works to absolve Miracle, fitting his efforts into his new secret service assignment. Two important geology professors have died mysteriously in Naples, Italy, and HM's agent in Naples, Jocelyn Poop, has disappeared. Lucifer travel to Naples, meeting Poop's 2nd in command, Cretaceous Unmann, and eventually discovers that the two mysteries are entwined.

Just from the names of the characters, you can tell that "The Vesuvius Club" is a romp. There is some clever writing and lots of humor, not to mention a positively gothic potboiler plot. Such as men turned into superhuman zombies by the installation of metal helmets feeding drugs into their brains: "With their curious, sluggish movements, the helmeted fiends began to fire back at us."

It is also Raunchy, and that will not be to everybody's taste. Actually, it's usually not to my taste, but in this case, the raunchiness is not accompanied by gross language. Mildly described sex accompanied by loads of humor is a hoot.

"The Vesuvius Club" is a quick read. After I picked it up in the Mystery section of a book sale, I found out it has a gay cult following. You don't have to be gay to enjoy it (I'm proof of that) - but you do have to have an open mind.

Happy Reader
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Wilde's dandy reloaded Oct. 7 2005
By Critique that - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I rarely give out five stars but this stylish, aloofly decadent novella is worth it. A tongue in cheek look borrowed from Wilde and partly from Flemming's delightful Bond. Lucifer Box is the perfect Victorian gentlemen, with their respect for values and morals-only upheld in the most hypocritical sense, devastatingly beautiful and leading the most successful dual personality since The importance of being Earnest. A bit of fluff certainly, blending all genres into one from horror-gothic, romance, drama and tragedy. With an exaggerated air for the melodramatic, Gatiss leads us on the most addictive journey around England and the 'continent'. One can almost smell the orchids and feel the sweltering heat of Italy and see the finely cut suits of Mr. Box as he fights 'the forces of evil' impecabbly cut and dressed with a dashing mysterious femme fatale hanging off his arm. Mr. Box explores all that is truely 'Victorian' (in the most underworld, revealing meaning) in a laugh out loud, yet charismatically seductive way. Read it. Well done Gatiss, a true tour de force.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Deliciously Subversive, Rollicking Romp July 16 2011
By Blake Fraina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naughty, bawdy, silly, witty, over-the-top.

Just a few ways to describe Mark Gatiss's rollicking caper - which I enjoyed enormously.

Sure, it can be described as Sherlock Holmes meets James Bond (if they'd been brave enough to cast the estimable, dishy Rupert Everett in the role), but it seems to share more DNA with a lesser known British export, The Assassination Bureau, a film starring Oliver Reed and Diana Rigg. Like The Vesuvius Club it's an anachronistic mash-up of Edwardian starch, wild espionage spoof and hippie era sex comedy. In a word - delightful.

What I enjoyed most about the whole affair was that, at the heart of it, narrator and ostensible "hero" Lucifer Box, is rather a pompous ass. I suspect author Mark Gatiss is taking sly aim at the English class system, using the preening, egotistical Box as the perfect model of (in the parlance of Monty Python) the upper-class twit. Time and again, we see that Box's mission would fail utterly without the help of his "domestics," the servants and underlings who aide him nearly every step of the way - whether it be with investigating, researching, alluding capture or fisticuffs. Unlike with Holmes, there isn't a lot of deduction going on here, as every revelation seems to come to Box by chance or after the fact entirely. Despite all that, he continues to trumpet his virtues throughout. The only area in which he doesn't appear to overestimate his abilities, is in his powers of attraction, as evidenced by his multitude of conquests - both male and female. A fact that adds a delicous level of subversiveness to the proceedings.

This is a terrific, light romp - outlandish, funny, sexy - even a bit suspenseful and surprising. Perfect for a hot, lazy day at the beach.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The fluff that dreams are made of. July 27 2007
By I. Sondel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you read my recent review of "The Devil in Amber," than you already know I'm a huge fan of Mark Gatiss and Lucifer Box. I'll not bother you with another tired synopsis (other's have already done that). I'll just say "The Vesuvius Club" is more then simply amusing and diverting, it's clever, titilating and wicked good fun from start to finish. I love Lucifer Box (and Charlie Jackpot for that matter) and look forward to reading more of his adventures.

RE: the graphic novel. I enjoyed the iluustrations by Ian Bass, but the story has been abridged - so, I recommend the original.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Best I've Read in Ages! Oct. 18 2005
By Lenore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Since the plot has been sufficiently covered, I'll just say that I picked this book up on a whim and I'm so utterly glad I did. I believe one of the reviews said it best in that one *despairs* when they see the pages disappearing behind them. Fantastically likeable protaginist, deliciously melodramtic plot, and a extrodinarily satisfying sending up of the Bond Girl. I've finished it but I can't bring myself to put it back on the shelf, so it's also proving itself to be quite re-readable. Honestly one of the most enjoyable books I've read in ages.

Look for similar items by category