Literature professor and lover of mystery books!
rich, funny, well-written
All of them were very good. Bones was funny because of the American accent.
It made me laugh a lot and it moved me in some parts.
This is such a rich book, made even more enjoyable by the narrator. I plan on listening to it again just because of the writing--it is delightful and intricate.
Howard has created some very memorable character in this unique story of morals on earth and below. A race against time, brotherly competition and love are all entertainingly intertwined. Listen deeply or on the surface...you'll find whatever you are looking for.
I really wanted to like this book. The narrator was amazing and the premise sounded great. I just couldn't get into it. I must have restarted it three times before I finally made myself stick to it. In the end I listened to it at triple speed just to finish it. I just couldn't make myself care about Johannes Cabal. I like anti-heros as much as the next gal but this guy was just "anti", no "hero".
Hilarious book, one of the few I've listened to that made me laugh out loud. Funny characters, very dark humor. There was a lot of missed thematic potential, though, so don't expect deep personalities who seek redemption or anything similar. Just people with questionable morals doing really funny bad things - the book made me think of a world populated with Edward Gorey characters.
I greatly enjoyed this listen and have since added his second book to my collection. The narrator give life to the well-written characters and the situations and dialogue kept me hooked from open to close. If you like a little dark British humor and humorous social studies, I highly recommend. Those that gave this a low mark obviously didn't know what type of book this was or were closed minded to characters making wagers with a sarcastic devil and the reanimation of the dead to create light-hearted carnival workers.
One of the best reads I've had in a while. John Howard brought Johannes Cabal and all the characters to life in such a unique way, that allowed me to build images of the characters and the scenarios in my mind. I was able to envision all the dark imagery in a very Tim Burtonish style. This would definitely make a great movie if it fell in the right hands.
I found this book light and amusing, with a delightful flavour of morbidity. It is great if you want something along those lines. It is not High Literature, but it is not intended to be. The reader gives it the proper tone and I didn't catch any mispronunciations. However, it does drag at the end and become focused on letting the plot twist, rather than on the writing.
Witty from start to finish, with some of the sharpest, most literate dialog in any fantasy. The titular directive not to be fatuous is but one of many erudite retorts from this steampunk smartmouth.
Johannes Cabal is compelling, mordantly funny, and a generally despicable asshat. He also raises and manipulates The Dead, and understandably mistrusts all of creation.
Affronted by the earthly fallout from selling his soul to Satan, the arrogant Cabal talks the Devil into a do-over. He then must achieve Lucifer's new ends by operating a janky traveling Carnival, with the marginal assistance of imps, ghouls and freaks. Cognizant of his utter ineptitude at any enterprise close to hospitality, Cabal humbles himself a bit less than the bare minimum required to enlist the aid of the story's unexpected moralist. And we all board his crazy carny train.
Jonathan Howard manages to keep Cabal a selfish jerk who gets himself out of jams using esoteric texts, mad science skills and an enormous Webley handgun. His wit is decidedly British, with a gloomy, Teutonic pall and creepy, forensic coruscations. If you're well read in fiction, religion (including apocrypha,) science and fantasy, you'll delight in the myriad allusions. There's a lot to love here.
This is one of my all time favorite stories ever. The writing is sharp and witty. Johannes Cabal is the greatest anti-hero ever; and his brother Horst is just perfection. It is a unique take on the Faustian tale that will make you laugh and cry. I could go on and on about how amazingly brilliant this story is, but just do yourself a favor and read (or listen to it). I love it.
Mr. Cazenove was perfect. A wonderfully expressive narrator that portrays the characters and events with all the wit and verve that is needed.