I knew I would like Lionel Savage from the start. The poor poet's not impoverished for a lack of sales but from spending his income on books. To climb out of poverty's pit, he hatches a quixotic scheme that lands him in an unhappy marriage to a "vapid, timid, querulous creature," whom Savage accidentally ends up selling to the devil at yet another of the new bride's insufferable masquerades. One thing leads to another, and Savage and a motley cast of characters embark on a madcap adventure to Hades, Hell, Sheol, and/or the Underworld, in order to bring her back.
The Gentleman is Forrest Leo's first book, and I certainly hope it won't be his last as this zany, witty, light-hearted novel is entertaining, fast-paced, and fun. The illustrations are a nice addition to the plot, and I particularly enjoyed the repartee between Savage and his butler Simmons. (Think Jeeves and Wooster-- but with Jeeves willing to strip down to his skivvies for the sake of art!)
The Gentleman is just what I needed to help pull me out of the doldrums that this current election-cycle has me in. It was nice to be able to sit back for a few hours, drink a pot of tea, and enjoy a book that really needs to be made into a movie or Broadway show just as quickly as possible.
One thing this world needs more of is fun, and Forrest Leo delivers.
I recommend this to fans of P.G. Wodehouse and as a nice companion read to go along with "The Devil and Tom Walker."
(ARC, but views my own.)