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.
Both the Brothers were my favorites. They were like day and night.
My favorite scene was when Johannes 1st went to meet with Satan. Very funny!
My husband and I would love to see this series on film.
The dry and witty humor in this book make me laugh every time. The narrator was perfect for this book, handling the voices and mannerisms of the character extremely well. I will definitely be revisiting this one!
Johannes Cabal is an arrogant, amoral, annoying sod and I really like him. Wouldn't want him to be my friend but his wit and social obtuseness make for a great character. I have listened to this book several times. I really enjoy the series.
Chronic multi-tasker; Audible feeds my addiction to well loved genres, and allows me to explore new, unexplored arenas
This book is completely outside of my 'normal', which is a good thing - Tired of the same old thing? Take a ride on a demon train - with a carnival from Hell.
All of the characters were very different in their own right - I really can't choose at this point.
I think his way of invoking irony, sarcasm and humor in his voice really adds to the story
By the time you cut this down for a movie - most of the interesting stuff would be on the floor
I hope Cabal will really develop and become a new 'classic' in the 'classic detective' genre
I read this in book form but listening to it brings it to a whole new life. It's fun and quirky. It has a serious side that makes you contemplate how precious life actually is. You will NOT be disappointed.
Love epic fantasy, war stories, monsters, and zombies.
Just a solid piece of fiction, with clever and intelligent writing. I plan to purchase its sequel.
Not sure. I had a hard time with the english accent of the reader and found myself getting distracted from the book. For a while I was considering moving on, but the story was interesting.
Have it read by someone with a more clear accent.
Good question. I have to think about that one.