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The Gentleman
The Gentleman: A Novel | Forrest Leo
100 posts | 51 read | 1 reading | 161 to read
A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil--then recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her. When Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London, learns from his butler that they're broke, he marries the beautiful Vivien Lancaster for her money, only to find that his muse has abandoned him. Distraught and contemplating suicide, Savage accidentally conjures the Devil -- the polite "Gentleman" of the title -- who appears at one of the society parties Savage abhors. The two hit it off: the Devil talks about his home, where he employs Dante as a gardener; Savage lends him a volume of Tennyson. But when the party's over and Vivien has disappeared, the poet concludes in horror that he must have inadvertently sold his wife to the dark lord. Newly in love with Vivian, Savage plans a rescue mission to Hell that includes Simmons, the butler; Tompkins, the bookseller; Ashley Lancaster, swashbuckling Buddhist; Will Kensington, inventor of a flying machine; and Savage's spirited kid sister, Lizzie, freshly booted from boarding school for a "dalliance." Throughout, his cousin's quibbling footnotes to the text push the story into comedy nirvana. Lionel and his friends encounter trapdoors, duels, anarchist-fearing bobbies, the social pressure of not knowing enough about art history, and the poisonous wit of his poetical archenemy. Fresh, action-packed and very, very funny, The Gentleman is a giddy farce that recalls the masterful confections of P.G. Wodehouse and Herg's beautifully detailed Tintin adventures.
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review
sprainedbrain
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Pickpick

This book is hilarious and fun... and I might never have discovered it if not for my friend Angel. 🤗

Our hero (ha!), Lionel Savage, meets the devil and inadvertently misplaces his new wife, whom he comes to discover he actually loves. The story is creative and fast-paced, the humor is on point, and the characters are lively and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the footnotes by the ‘editor‘ (and Lionel‘s cousin-in-law), Hubert. 😂

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Leniverse This sounds like my kind of fun! 7mo
readordierachel I'm loving the cover! 7mo
ItsAngel Such a fun book!! I doubt it would‘ve ever hit my radar had I not received it as an ARC! I‘ve read it twice and will read it again. So cheeky and clever. 7mo
See All 6 Comments
LibrarianJen Ok now I‘m intrigued! 7mo
vivastory This one was buried in my TBR stacks. I completely forgot about it, definitely moving it up! 7mo
sprainedbrain @vivastory It‘s very fun! 7mo
105 likes14 stack adds6 comments
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Pickpick

I. LOVED. THIS! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Such a fun book. If you liked Jonathan Strange, or Cinnamon and Gunpowder, or The Gentleman‘s Guide to Vice and Virtue, give this a shot! It‘s snarky and humorous and smart. The footnotes from the “editor” actually made me laugh out loud. Highly recommend.

Libby1 I‘m sold! 😃 1y
Dragon Sounds good, stacking! 😂 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Oooh. This looks goooood!! Thanks. 👏🏻👏🏻❤️❤️📚📚 1y
53 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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brittanythebookdragon
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Mehso-so

Pretty good for a light and humorous read. Had a bit of slow start but got better once I was around halfway done. The writing style reminds of me of some of the classics so it‘s kind of contemporary but written as if it isn‘t.

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Briguy73
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#bookhaul arrived today!

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toastyfrog
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Mehso-so

It took forever to finish this book mostly because I can't stand the main character at all. The premise sounds fun but the book drags as the main characters get into a few jams. The footnotes written by the "editor" are hilarious in parts, but I want to punch the main dude in the face. Like most of the cast does.

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Insearchofbooks
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Pickpick

My new favorite book about a whimsical man who spent his fortune on books, married, and accidentally sold his wife to the dev‘l. The humor is in the footnotes!

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AmyStewart
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Oh, this book is so damn funny.

fangirlingsanity Which one is it? 2y
71 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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AmyStewart
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This is a novel about a poet who sells his wife's soul to the devil. It's very hard to sell me a book, because I own a bookstore. If I see a book I like, I'll just get it from my own damn store. But I stopped in at Rakestraw Books and the incomparable Michael Barnard did not just put this book in my hands, he opened it up and started reading aloud to me, and he did not just read aloud, he performed it. There was no way I wasn't going to buy it.

Leftcoastzen Oh wow , those indie booksellers a force of nature!🤣 2y
Cinfhen Well done! 2y
FountainBookstore We LOVE this book! If you're ever on this coast, we'd love to have you for an event. Pretty store! 2y
95 likes14 stack adds3 comments
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DGRachel
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A man accidentally sells his wife to the Devil to save his writing career. Then, he realizes he loves her and wants her back. #awkward This book got me out of a slump last year. #fallintobooks

RaimeyGallant Quite the plot. 2y
RaimeyGallant True story? ;) 2y
jpmcwisemorgan I liked this one a lot! 2y
AmyG @RaimeyGallant HA! I would say...most likely. ;) 2y
62 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 4! In the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, the story of a famous Victorian poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil (the titular "gentleman") & recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her--the butler, a bookseller, a Buddhist, an inventor, and his kid sister. Trapdoors, bobbies, art history, poetical dueling, Hell, and more. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook ?

JSW This book is a sly and funny romp. 2y
PirateJenny I can't recommend this one enough 2y
56 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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FountainBookstore
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Most anticipated! So many great books came out today, but I am most happy about finally being able to sell this gem in paperback. I LOVE this book!!!!! #anditsaugust @RealLifeReading

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Rachel.Rencher
Mehso-so

This book was funny, but there was so much unnecessary dialogue that I found myself skipping huge chunks of the book and not missing a thing. I think the author got a bit carried away, but it is still worth a read!

DGRachel This book broke an epic slump last year, for which I will be eternally grateful. It was so odd that it ended up being the perfect book at the right time. 2y
Rachel.Rencher @DGRachel I can see how that would be perfect for a slump! 2y
Lucas.Rencher I wish it lived up to the hype 😙 2y
45 likes3 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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Thanks hubby for letting me be done with yardwork after I water the flowers and letting me read on the porch while you make our yard beautiful! 😊😍🌹🌱

Lucas.Rencher Your adorable I love you 😙 2y
108 likes1 comment
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Rachel.Rencher

Imagine the thing that happened to the main character in your book is happening to you. How screwed are you?

Personally, pretty screwed. This guy is selling his wife to the devil to pay for his book hoarding habits! 😂😈

TheBookHippie Thank goodness I finished Gone With The Wind 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 currently finishing Bad Feminist so I'm good 2y
Leniverse Uh... I'm reading three books, so I either get to die brutally in the Jamaican ghetto, grow up with poverty, alcoholism, and associated violence and hopelessness on an "Indian res" in the USA, or I brave the triwizard tournament at Hogwarts. ?? I'll go get my wand. 2y
Leniverse As deals with the devil go, however... Yeah, I can see how that could happen. That kind of book hoarding habits... just #blameitonLitsy 😉 2y
See All 26 Comments
KVanRead Crap, I'm a hungry orphan now being forced into a life of crime.😩 2y
OrangeMooseReads I'm a oblivious wizard boy who has to fight the forces of dark magic, but I'm kicking butt in potions because I have a used book with a lot of helpful hints and some weird spells that I'll use not knowing what they might do. luckily the professor that hates me the most will save my ass. 2y
Jess Well I guess I just discovered that my husband may have placed a chip in my brain without my consent. Please let me be this character because the other main character has a new found sexual attraction to dolphins. 2y
rjsthumbelina Umm...I'm in jail for killing the man who bought me from my parents when I was a child. Oh, and the cops also think I am a prostitute 🤔 2y
Rachel.Rencher @Leniverse I'd much rather be in Harry Potter's world, too 😂 Thankfully my real husband would never sell me! 2y
Rachel.Rencher @OrangeMooseReads Hmmm. Wonder what that could be? 🤔😂 2y
Rachel.Rencher @Jess What the heck are you reading? 😂 2y
Rachel.Rencher @rjsthumbelina oh that sounds awful! What book is that?m 2y
OrangeMooseReads Yes what are you reading @Jess 2y
rjsthumbelina @Rachel.Rencher but it actually hasn't been a terribly depressing read. So far at least. The main character is writing to an American lawyer to try to get her to help 2y
MicheleinPhilly This comment thread is 🏅. 2y
Andrea4 I guess I'm a pretty decent, philanthropic Bishop in the early 1800s. 2y
BookBrat Based on the last book I read, I'm somewhere between 60-100 years old, single, beloved by the entire village, fond of baking and sticking my nose into local murders. Oh yeah, I seem to spend most of my time reading. Let's just say I strive to be this person in real life. 2y
mcipher I'm a teenage orphan in New York, getting over the flu, staying with a friend who restores antiques, and missing my best friend (a Russian drunk). Also I stole a painting and I do a lot of drugs. Fun!! 😂 2y
Rachel.Rencher @mcipher The Goldfinch?? I read it a while ago but that sounds spot on! 😂 2y
Rachel.Rencher @BookBrat Ooh, what book is that? Sounds good! 2y
BookBrat @Rachel.Rencher It was Aunt Bessie Believes, the second in the Isle of Man series. If you like cozy mysteries then I recommend this one. 2y
AnansiGirl According to the book in my hands, I'm in a rock band. 🤘🏻 2y
Rachel.Rencher @BookBrat I'll check it out! Thank you 😊 2y
Rachel.Rencher @anansigirl Jealous! 🤘🎤🎸 2y
Velaris_Kat In my book, I'm a queen preparing to fight to the death against my two sisters and we are a set of triplets. 2y
Lucas.Rencher I can't wait to read this! 2y
76 likes1 stack add26 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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The cover of this book 😍👌

Picking up a new read that wouldn't normally be my taste. Excited to give it a shot!

Lucas.Rencher I love the cover! 2y
77 likes1 stack add1 comment
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frankincense_and_sensibility
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Pickpick

I AM STILL CACKLING. This book was hysterical and delightfully written. It's a loving homage to/send-up of all sorts of Victorian genres, and it was an utter treat. It's a farce in book form, complete with ridiculous arguments and cleverly drawn characters. An airy, lighthearted read.

9 likes1 stack add
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Yossarian
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Okay. That does it.

The pictures in this book have absolutely nothing to do with the corresponding text.

BestOfFates That's sad because I would definitely read a book based on that image! 3y
Hooked_on_books Or reality, apparently. 3y
coffeenebula Best. EVER. 3y
azulaco Now I definitely have to read this book. 😂 3y
89 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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frankincense_and_sensibility
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Omg this exchange I'M SCREAMING

This is me. Also this book is hilarious. #amreading

EricQiao Bawhaahahaha 😂 3y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Yossarian
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It is not a Spoiler to tell you that nowhere in the text on this page is there evidence that the three men in the barn are unaware of a pair of giant floating lips behind them.

I do not know why this picture is here.

jpmcwisemorgan I don't recall this picture! 3y
Yossarian @jpmcwisemorgan Also unclear is why one of the characters is holding a miniature manta ray. (edited) 3y
jpmcwisemorgan Yeah, I don't get that either. Weird. 3y
Yossarian @jpmcwisemorgan I'm going to assume they were a picture short, so just lifted an image from the Hidden Picture page in "Highlights for Children". 3y
100 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Yossarian
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This book has great chapter titles.

Zelma Those are really classic chapter headings. Love it! 3y
monalyisha I'm definitely intrigued... 3y
106 likes8 stack adds2 comments
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Sneakybea
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Pickpick

Reasons why you should read this book: 1. Snarky footnotes 2. Lizzie 3. Airships, dueling, and a most congenial devil 4. Simmons 5. However you deal with writers' block, it must be better than this! Just a fun, fun read.

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Yossarian
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While I appreciate the occasional illustration in an adult novel, I don't rightly know what this is supposed to depict -- unless one of the characters has secretly become a Pokémon trainer.

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Yossarian
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I love a book with lots of snarky footnotes.

65 likes3 stack adds
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tracyrowanreads
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Mehso-so

Well... It did pick up for a time and became rather charming and amusing, but by the time I reached the end, I was frankly glad to be there. This is a brain candy book. Not bad, just not all that good.

RealBooks4ever Well darn. I was looking forward to reading this, although it hasn't made it to the top of the tbr stack. Maybe it never will! 😕 3y
tracyrowanreads @RealBooks4ever It's not bad. I just felt it should have been better. 3y
8 likes2 comments
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tracyrowanreads
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I can't say I'm not enjoying this book, but I'm not sure I can say I am. It's amusing, but in a self-conscious way that blunts the humor for me.

Humor is hard, isn't it? Sometimes from both directions.

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tracyrowanreads
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This was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. I am so backed up on my reading...

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JSW
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#outside My favorite spot to read is my front porch. We live in an old seaside cottage and our street is a direct route to the beach - great people-watching, perfect temperature, and the sounds of the ocean and sea lions accompany my books. This picture is from last summer.

TrishB Sounds fab 😀 3y
Smashlee I don't know that I could do much reading for all the people and ocean watching! 🏖 3y
JSW @TrishB there are two chairs. 👋🏻 come on over. 3y
See All 11 Comments
JSW @Smashlee I do have to be in a social mood. Doesn't work for #litsypartyofone 3y
MaleficentBookDragon So jealous. That looks amazing! 3y
TrishB Just packing my factor 50!! I burn really easily 😀 3y
Laalaleighh @JSW your life sounds amazing. @trishb I get sun rashes sitting in the shade on a balcony at the beach. I feel your pain. 3y
JSW Awwww, thanks all!! I'm living a dream that was 20+ years in the making. Our little cottage has a guest room. Just saying. Perfect spot for a retreat. 😘❤ 3y
TrishB @JSW it does indeed sound perfect 💟 @Laalaleighh yep, same here! 3y
Cinfhen Sounds like a perfect spot☀️💜 3y
LeahBergen Lovely! 3y
34 likes11 comments
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Leelee.reads
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Pickpick

Another one where I need a rating for "better than so-so but not quite full thumbs up." A witty, silly, Victorian-esque little comedy about a man who believes he sold his wife to the devil and determines to steal her back. The style would have suited me better in a short story; I found it a bit less clever as I went. An entertaining, light little diversion.

NerdyRev Completely agree! I loved the pics in it, but it got tiresome as it wore on. 3y
Leelee.reads @NerdyRev by the end I found myself almost skimming to just see how it ended and finish it up. Somehow Oscar Wilde can pull this kind of writing off and I love it. Maybe this one was a case of "too much of a good thing" with all the "clever wit." 3y
39 likes2 comments
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Leelee.reads
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Even the library receipt on this one is amusing. 😄

Eyelit 😂 3y
LauraJ Fun book. 3y
37 likes2 comments
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MichaelKwan
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Pickpick

First book completed in 2017. I should apologize to it. I picked it up in late August and have been reading it intermittently since. Overall, it's a witty (if a bit self-consciously so) faux period piece. A comedy of manners. Not quite Wilde, not quite Pratchett. But fun.

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MichaelKwan
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"It occurs to me with a shock that he may not like books. I dismiss the thought as soon as it enters my head as too preposterous to be borne. Not like books! I cannot believe it of a fellow man."

Needed something lighter for a break. This is perfect.

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jpmcwisemorgan
Pickpick

Funny-ish story about a man who sells his wife to the devil and all the mishaps and misunderstandings that happen along the way to her rescue. And the footnotes! Perfect. This was a play first if I understand the acknowledgments correctly and I think I'd enjoy this on the stage.

WordWaller I've been told this is hilarious but the feminist in me wants a swapped version 😜 3y
jpmcwisemorgan @WordWaller Oh, I think there's plenty there for a feminist. It plays on a lot of the tropes you find in period romances, etc. I don't want to spoil anything but there's more to it than it might appear from the description. 3y
30 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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IVLeafClover
Pickpick

Maybe not quite as funny as it thinks it is, but a lot of fun nonetheless.

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jpmcwisemorgan
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I'm remembering this line and using it the first chance I can get - you are upsetting the books! Ha! ❤️

tpixie Ha! 3y
33 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jpmcwisemorgan

If anything, read this for the footnotes. They're awesome.

22 likes1 stack add
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jpmcwisemorgan
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Started this one and am only one chapter in and I already love the footnotes.

36 likes4 stack adds
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Louise
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Pickpick

A tongue-in-cheek send-up of Victorianism, from the quietly clever butler to the swashbuckling adventurer, from fascination with the supernatural to infatuation with the latest inventions. An outrageous plot with plenty of scheming. Fun illustrations too!

Moray_Reads Sounds like lots of fun 😁 3y
DGRachel This broke my reading slump a couple months ago. I really enjoyed it. 3y
Louise @DGRachel Yes, I can see how a book like this would freshen the palate for more books! @Moray_Reads That's exactly it. An understated, witty book full of fun! 3y
See All 13 Comments
Humanatea Loved this book! So quick and snappy, it reminded me of Monty Python sketches 3y
jpmcwisemorgan I'm reading this one as soon as I'm done with 3y
Louise @Humanatea I think one of the pleasures of reading it is getting the literary and historical references. Monty Python is like that too! 3y
Louise @jpmcwisemorgan Have fun with it! Do you recommend Mistborn? 3y
jpmcwisemorgan @Louise I do, it's a very interesting take on magic. I'm definitely continuing with the series. 3y
Louise @jpmcwisemorgan Thanks. I'll see if my library carries it. 🤓 3y
jpmcwisemorgan @Louise I hope so! 3y
Louise @jpmcwisemorgan My library has it! 👍🤓 3y
jpmcwisemorgan @Louise I hope you enjoy it. 3y
Louise @jpmcwisemorgan Thanks! 👍 3y
76 likes8 stack adds13 comments
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aut_wee
Pickpick

A fun, surreal read. If you're a fan of 19th century Gothic-esque books, this will be a lot of fun for you.

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jpmcwisemorgan
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Look what's in my hot little hands!!! I'm the first person to check it out from the Austin Public Library (unless a librarian got it first). I've finished 5 of my #novembertbr and have quite a stack of library books so I'm going to have to wait a tiny bit to read this one. I don't think I can handle it.

30 likes1 stack add
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kristenm

"... I've never been out of England. Except in my head, of course. And in books. I think that should count, but for some silly reason it doesn't. ..." -Lizzie

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jpmcwisemorgan

The Austin Public Library had a copy on order and I've put it on hold. The change in status to on order is recent because I've been checking. I'm first in line. I'm the first hold!

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TheBookRamblings
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Pickpick

The one book I keep talking about nonstop to anyone who will listen. It‘s not every day you read a book where a husband conjures the Devil, and accidentally sells his wife, which results in planning a rescue mission to Hell. A variety of personas come along for the quest, and a whole lot of over-the-top encounters happen along the way that will have you laughing out loud. It is an absurd, action-packed, and witty read that is brilliantly written.

5 likes1 stack add
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kristenm
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"I don't mean to be critical, sir, but you tend toward profligacy."
"Nonsense, Simmons. I don't buy anything but books. You cannot possibly tell me I've squandered my fortune upon books."
"Squander is not the word I would have used, sir. But it was the books that did it, I believe."

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DGRachel
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Lionel Savage, Victorian poet, accidentally sells his wife to the Devil, in this light-hearted, amusing story. He's a bit of a dandy, and not the sharpest pencil in the box, bless him. #dumbandbeautiful #octphotochallenge

36 likes1 stack add
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aut_wee
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I am pretty new to Litsy and have no friends on here. I am trying to get to know the place and make some new friends. If I have added you and you don't know me, that's why!

Batman Welcome! The people are lovely here (and I will always randomly comment on your posts without warning 😛) 3y
aut_wee @Batman You are welcome to comment whenever! Nice to meet you! 3y
KilgoreTrout I don't know a single person on here IRL! That's one of the many things that's great about this community! 3y
5 likes3 comments
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NerdyRev
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Pickpick

I have 20 pages to go, but this was my second train book. It was silly, funny, and lovely caricatures. A poet accidentally sells his wife, who he married for her money, to the devil so he could write poems again. Realizing he loves her, he must venture into hell with his explorer brother in law and free willed sister to get her back. Lots of "#my good man" and other such sentences that are bothersome at first, but add to this silly book. Fun pics

NerdyRev It is a pick due to knowing it is silly, but playing it straight silly. 3y
Louise Sounds like a wild ride! Orpheus could give him a few tips: don't look back! 3y
Heather_Reads Hahaha. I loved this so much. It was such a fun book. 3y
20 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Imbookenit
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Fantastic!!!! This was just what I needed I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but because I'm dumb and locked my self out of my account I couldn't up date :/ .

If you want incredibly witty characters and woman who won't deal with their men's crap, than this is so for you! #thegentleman #forrestleo #debut novel #books

BookishMarginalia Welcome back! 3y
Imbookenit Thank you! 3y
2 likes2 comments
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aut_wee
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Very excited to start this book on a (hopefully) lazy Sunday!

4 likes1 stack add
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JSW
Pickpick

Rollicking and ridiculous, this book is a fun and funny read.

12 likes1 stack add
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JSW
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Not like books! I cannot believe it of a fellow man.

BookishMarginalia 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
17 likes1 stack add1 comment