Johannes Cabal

Johannes Cabal

The Necromancer

Book - 2009/07/07
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Random House, Inc.

In this uproarious and clever debut, it’s time to give the Devil his due.

Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul . . . He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.

To make the bet even more interesting, Satan throws in that diabolical engine of deceit, seduction, and corruption known as a “traveling circus” to aid in the evil bidding. What better place exists to rob poor sad saps of their souls than the traveling carnivals historically run by hucksters and legendary con men?

With little time to lose, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire (an unfortunate side effect of Johannes’s early experiments with necromancy), to be the carnival’s barker. On the road through the pastoral English countryside, this team of reprobates wields their black magic with masterful ease, resulting in mayhem at every turn.

Johannes may have the moral conscience of anthrax, but are his tricks sinful enough to beat the Devil at his own game? You’ll never guess, and that’s a promise!

Brilliantly written and wickedly funny, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer combines the chills and thrills of old-fashioned gothic tales like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the mischievous humor of Wicked, and the sophisticated charms of Jonathan Strange &Mr. Norrell and spins the Faustian legend into a fresh, irreverent, and irresistible new adventure.



Baker & Taylor
Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul--he hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Sataon, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager, Johannes has one years to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.--From publisher's description.

Blackwell North Amer
Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul... He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to-retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.
To make the bet even more interesting, Satan throws in that diabolical engine of deceit, seduction, and corruption known as a "traveling circus" to aid in the evil bidding. What better place exists to rob poor sad saps of their souls than the traveling carnivals historically run bv hucksters and legendary con men?
With little time to lose, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire (an unfortunate side effect of Johannes's early experiments with necromancy), to be the carnival's barker. On the road through the pastoral English countryside, this team of reprobates wields their black magic with masterful ease, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
Johannes may have the moral conscience of anthrax, but are his tricks sinful enough to beat the Devil at his own game?

Baker
& Taylor

Tormented by a dark secret and obsessed with raising the dead, discriminating scientist Johannes Cabal travels to hell to retrieve the soul he sold to Satan, who challenges Johannes to win back his soul by capturing the souls of one hundred others in the course of a year with a traveling carnival.
Tormented by a dark secret and obsessed with raising the dead, discriminating scientist Johannes Cabal travels to hell to retrieve the soul he sold to Satan, who challenges Johannes to win back his soul by capturing the souls of one hundred others in thecourse of a year with a traveling carnival.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2009/07/07
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385528085
0385528086
Branch Call Number: SF HOWARD
Characteristics: 290 p

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r
rugolin
Nov 27, 2017

Quite enjoyed this book. The writer is quite witty and clever and you could tell that Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes was a big influence on this novel. One of those books that goes by quickly and real page turner. Looking forward to other books in the series.

m
mrudy16
Oct 27, 2015

I like the style and atmosphere of this story. Johannes Cabal often switches between a character you mildly dislike and a character you can sympathize with. Some aspects of the story were predictable, but the character and emotional development will keep you invested.

forbesrachel Feb 21, 2015

Johannes Cabal is a cleverly contrived character. He is a rational, determined, and intelligent necromancer who is seemingly without heart for all but himself. Due to his sharp tone, dislike of the intellectually inferior, and moral ambiguity, he often finds himself in difficult situations. In this case, having sold his soul to the Devil, he now makes a deal to get it back, but in exchange he must deliver a hundred others. To do this, he is given a satanic carnival, scooping up the unwary with contracts. His conscience, and some unexpected developments don't make this easy though. While the premise is quite dark, the tone is surprising light in execution because of its unusual brand of humour. Descriptive observations of the peculiar, wit, clever dialogue, and a cast of clownish demons play a huge part in this unusual mixture. Even Hell and Satan are more often caricatures of themselves, than truly terrifying. The serious roles are left to a handful of people including, Johannes, his brother Horst, and the late arriving ex-detective Barrows. There are many parts of this story that require this, where soul-stealing is involved, ethics has a lot to say, also, it is in these moments that the characters truly define themselves. Very different, intelligent, and quite good.

b
blennetr
Nov 12, 2014

A fantastic fiction with a compelling main character and a great supporting cast. I loved the dark humour and banter between Johannes and his brother. I also found that the emotional development at the end of the story was really spot on. If you like sophisticated characters, a story that holds back the most interesting bits of plot development until the end and tons of loquacious language, you are in for a treat :)

j
johnsnowden
Jun 24, 2014

Kept plugging along looking for wit, insight, anything...
Just a waste of time.

b
becker
Oct 29, 2013

The writing was clever, sharp and witty. I thought it dragged just a bit in the middle but the writing style kept me tuned in. Dark but fun at the same time.I listened to the audio of this book which was extrememly entertaining.

p
paperclypse2
Sep 11, 2013

Rollicking good fun!

GeoffAbel Jul 23, 2012

Wonderful. Very witty - although it occasionally seems like the author is trying to pack a joke into every line. Basically read Lord Novermber's review below - I feel the same way (barring the favourite part - that's reserved for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)

a
AndrewL
Aug 14, 2011

liked it

l
Lord_November
Jan 31, 2010

A amazingly humorous, but at the same time, extremely dark book. I fully recommend Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer to anyone looking for a break from the normal and boring. It's an extremely entertaining, thought-provoking read that has remained firmly as my most favorite book for the past year or two. I can't see that changing in the next couple of years either!

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mrudy16
Oct 27, 2015

mrudy16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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