Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Gentleman by Forrest Leo

The Gentleman
Forrest Leo
4/5 stars

Victorian poet Lionel Savage marries the lovely and wealthy Vivian, loses his ability to write as a result, and subsequently falls out of love with his wife.  After a pleasant surprise visit from the Devil, Savage finds that his wife is missing and realizes that he has, unknowingly, sold his wife to that Gentleman.  Suddenly in love with Vivian again, he recruits friends and family to storm the gates of Hell to get her back.  Things, as you might expect, don't turn out quite the way anticipated.

The Gentleman is a delightfully absurd novel, written in the first person by Savage with footnotes by an editor (which are as fun as the book itself).  Leo balances the over-the-top-ness by having Savage completely serious about the events.  Occasionally the silliness becomes a bit stereotypical, but the book never looses it's charm.  It's a quick, fun read that both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed.

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