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'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!'
'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'
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT.
'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"'
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.