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Dark and witty: Johannes Cabal is clever and callous, but his story is hilarious

  • Aug 10, 2010

Johannes Cabal's not exactly evil (in spite of his profession, that consists of controlling the dead) - but he is extremely focused, to the point of being utterly oblivious to the needs of those he harms in pursuit of his own secretive and scientific purposes. Of course, lacking a soul might have something to do with his callous demeanor. He gave it up in a Faustian bargain, and now he wants it back and there's hell to pay, literally. He's got to run a seductive carnival in order to secure 100 other souls for Satan in exchange for the return of his own soul, and he's on a strict deadline to make it happen. He's got help, but no friends, and he's got a knack for making enemies. Mostly, he tries to get soul deed signatures from bad people who are already on the highway to hell. The question is whether he'll keep that up when crunch time comes.

Cabal is one of those guys you love to loathe, a bad guy you can't help but root for. His story is a darkly comic carnival ride, where things are never quite what they seem, and where the most serious of subjects are treated with levity. Along the way you get an inventive look at the demonic underworld, that reads like a mix between Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams. Lots of fun, and I can't wait to read the sequel, Johannes Cabal the Detective.

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November 10, 2010
Great review- it reminds me of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus- are the stories similar? This sounds really intriguing....have you read the sequel yet? Looking forward to that review ;p
More Johannes Cabal the Necromancer reviews
review by . July 21, 2010
johannes cabal marches into hell, and makes a (second) wager with satan. he will win 100 souls, and will sign them over to the devil, and in exchange he will get his own soul back. he is given a demon carnival, and recruits the assistance of his vampire brother horst to aid him in the task.        at first, the souls that cabal that is able to sign over seem already to be headed to hell anyways, but as the tale progresses, the reader wonders if cabal is willing to consign …
review by . June 05, 2009
Johannes Cabal is a necromancer with a problem.    See, he sold his soul to Satan a while ago and now he wants it back. Satan is understandably uninterested in returning it, but he offers Cabal a little deal: get 100 other people to sell their souls and Cabal can have his back. Satan even provides him with a dark carnival (not the same as Dark's Carnival), to get the job done.    Hilarity ensues.    The book is an easy, light read with …
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #68
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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Cafe Libri, Gothic, Death, Vampire, Black Humor, Carnival, Wagers


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