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I, Lucifer [Paperback]

Glen Duncan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

6 Jan 2003
A brilliantly written portrait of Lucifer encountering the world of the senses, telling his version of the Bible, and discovering what it's like to be human - in Clerkenwell. 'Now, Your million questions. All, in the end, resolvable into one: What's it like being me? What, for heaven's sake, is it like being me? In a nutshell (which, thanks to me, is the way you like it in these hurrying and fragmented times), it's hard.' Finally, the other side of the story. The Prince of Darkness has been given one last chance: he will be readmitted to the company of his fellow angels if he agrees to live out a human life. Highly sceptical (naturally), the Old Deal-maker negotiates a trial period - a summer holiday in a human body, with all the delights of the flesh. The body, though, turns out to be that of Declan Gunn, a depressed writer living in Clerkenwell, interrupted mid-suicide. Making the best of a bad situation, Luce himself takes to writing - to explain, to strip back the Biblical spin, to help us see the whole thing from his point of view. And to knock that Jesus off his perch. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, Lucifer slowly begins to learn what it's like to be us. Glen Duncan's brilliantly written new novel is an investigation of the world of the senses - the seductiveness of evil, and the affection which keeps us human.

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I, Lucifer + The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf 1) (The Last Werewolf Trilogy) + Talulla Rising (The Last Werewolf 2) (The Last Werewolf Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; New edition edition (6 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743220137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743220132
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer begins one steamy summer as some heavy negotiations are taking place in Heaven. God has decided to give Lucifer, the furthest-fallen of all fallen angels, a second chance. The Prince of Darkness can return to the fold, provided he manages to last one month on earth without sin. The human form chosen for this celestial experiment? A depressed novelist of little renown, currently contemplating suicide in his Clerkenwell garret.

Lucifer eagerly grasps the opportunity for a holiday on earth, and uses his host’s identity to re-write the story of Creation in a format that has Hollywood moguls kissing his feet. It’s not popular with Him Upstairs, of course, what with the Devil being portrayed as a maverick free-thinker and God as a humourless autocrat. But Lucifer’s having too much fun to care. He’s experiencing the pleasures of the flesh for the first time and everything – the odour of sweaty tube trains, cocaine, ice-cream, dirty sex--delights him. By the time the archangels are dispatched to bring him back, the Lord of all that’s inhumane can’t think of anything he’d rather be than human.

Lucifer befogs his audience, alternately spitting fury at them like some sulphur-charged Dennis Leary and then insisting that he’s a nice guy, just misunderstood. What’s clear, however, is that Glen Duncan is not merely one of those writers who can come up with amusing concepts. He’s a sharp, sometimes savage observer of the human condition, whose talents are as many as the legions of Hell.--Matthew Baylis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A film version of the novel might be exciting but it would not be a patch on Glen Duncan's wonderful act of ventriloquism' -- Times Literary Supplement

'Clever and challenging...sizzling with mephitic energy' -- Independent

'Duncan is a sharp, sometimes savage observer of the human condition, whose talents are as many as the legions of Hell' -- Matthew Baylis

'Fiendishly funny, wickedly eloquent' -- Big Issue

'Lucifer is charming and sexy and very very funny. Glen Duncan knows way too much and says it far too well. I fear for his soul' -- Stella Duffy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A friend of mine works in a bookstore and recommended I,Lucifer a couple of years ago. He knows my taste in books so I thought I'd give it a try. Saying that it's a page-turner, that I couldn't put it down even after I had read it twice over, is a huge understatement. Truth is, the reader is immediately drawn into witnessing a series of events and afterthoughts that are unbelievably funny, cheeky, wicked and dark at the same time. Before long, I found myself empathising with which point, having been a sad soul entrapped in a catholic convent school for many years, I felt compelled to put the book down and tell myself "It's Lucifer, for God's sake! You're feeling sorry for THE DEVIL". is at this stage that Duncan's work should be appreciated beyond it's literary value....because despite the nuns' influence and years of daily doses of guilt tripping, I picked the book back up and said " what?!"

Read it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sypathy for the Devil? 6 Jun 2006
I, Lucifer is devilishly clever, fiendishly funny and angelically beautiful all at once. It's so jam-packed with description I felt I was literally being bombarded by all that Lucifer experiences all at once, but its so wittily done that it just washed into me and became an integral part of the story. Deeply satirical, Duncan has created a version of the Great Adversary that I could really get on board with - I could sympathise with his predicament and understand the motives for his every move.

The style is light, witty and highly enjoyable - I whizzed through it at lightning pace and loved every roller-coater moment of it. A Heavenly read from start to finish.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Devil's a Charmer 28 Jan 2011
By HeavyMetalMonty VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From a descriptive-writing perspective, this book is almost flawless. Glen Duncan has the ability to engage all the senses of the reader, and to do so in a way I've never seen bettered. Were I to review this book purely on the power of its evocative descriptions, it'd earn five stars without a doubt. I could overlook the peppering of grammatical misdemeanours (comma-spliced sentences; commas where they don't belong; missing commas where they do belong; several instances of using 'her' where the correct pronoun is 'she'), as they don't happen frequently enough to impede one's enjoyment of the text. They're niggles, that's all. Those schoolboy errors do, however, draw attention to the irony that - while he has developed a writing style which is heavily reliant on long, esoteric words - Glen Duncan never mastered the basic mechanics of the English language. He gets the difficult stuff incredibly right, but sometimes trips up on primary-school basics. Strange indeed. His writing is the literary equivalent of a sparkling gold Rolls Royce with breathtaking aesthetics and a sense of majesty, yet a peek under the bonnet reveals a few clunks and rattles in the heart of the machine. I couldn't shake the impression that Duncan often uses the longest word for the job, rather than the best one. Yes, he's an artiste who wants to impress with sweeping flourishes of poetic language, but Norman MacCaig - perhaps the greatest of all poets - would have advised, "Study brevity." Sometimes the epic multisyllabic prose works beautifully, but it can begin to feel more than a little pretentious. Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spiritual guide of the millenia! 18 May 2003
It's tough judging humanity and the human experience objectively when you are a mortal yourself.
And so Glen Duncan guides the reader on a journey of revelation, riding on the back of Lucifer's wit and fury, where he explores what it is like to be taxpayer. We see the world from the view of Satan himself, and get to know this being that the preachers warn us about.
However, seeing as half of our worlds greatest writers have "human behavior" as their subjects, this isn't really that great of a feat. What Glen Duncan REALLY manages here is to remain objective; that while Satan portrays himself as the free-thinking rebel, the underdog constantly blighted by the power of God, "I, Lucifer" holds the balance dearly between good and evil, wonderfully demonstrating that everyone has their flaws, be they mortal or a member of the angelic host. Littered around the pages are short stories of various eras, such as the extermination of the nephilim, the Nazi regime, the redemption of the playboy satanist and the iron grip the Inquisition held on the peasant people, not to mention the life story of most of the books most prominent characters, each and every one colourful yet broken, sad husks. And while Lucifer enjoys his newly-acquired five senses, he starts investigating his own fragile psyche...
"I, Lucifer" is much more than a mere book, but a collection of stories that each carry a meaning, a myriad of tales that each teaches us something about the dangers of the flesh and mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I have loved all his books apart from this one. 11 April 2013
I have read all of Glen Duncan's books since Hope first came out but gave up this half way through when I first read it. I recently decided to give another try. Unfortunately, I want to give up all over again. It's clever, but obviously too clever for me. Not much of a review, but I just wanted to say that if you don't get on with this, don't let it put you off his others books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay
I think it was free. It gives an interesting perspective on the god/devil relationship. The book is worth a read but is not a work of art
Published 4 months ago by Wrant
1.0 out of 5 stars Super smug Satan....
Was really disappointed with this as I loved The Last Werewolf and liked the follow up but have now reached rock bottom of an unfortunate downward trend. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and original...Anyone else get the anagram?
The book is based on Lucifer, if you haven't already guessed, and the writer he posses called Declan Gunn. If you take Declan's name and Glen's, both names (and surnames) match up. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ruth Llewellyn
1.0 out of 5 stars I stuck with it...
..but I wish I hadn't. This guy has the capability of writing something good, but not until he gets over himself and stops trying to use his writing to prove how clever he believes... Read more
Published 8 months ago by T. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny funny funny
As long as you're not religious! Black, wicked and very black humour. Lent my copy to a friend, must get it back.
Published 9 months ago by Ms. E. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
Extremely witty, dark and fun.
Excellently written and well observed of London life.
Would totally recommend to anyone!
Brilliant read!
Published 10 months ago by Ms Jemma L Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.
Original, funny, heartbreaking and mesmerizing. I, Lucifer belongs to be a literary classic and I'll be reading more of Glen Duncan's work in the future.
Published 11 months ago by Luke Piechowski
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't build yourself up for this
Ok so I must have been bad in my previous life and felt like I was suffering reading this. I so wanted to like this book it had all the ingredients I look for;quirky , offbeat and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jackie Tunnah
3.0 out of 5 stars I, lucifer
I found this book quite hard going, but I kept going, I did enjoy the book, but I would not read it again.
Published 12 months ago by S. F. Skelton
4.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent and witty, but NOT for everyone
This will NOT be to everyone's taste. A great idea, with insights and humour and wit, but lots of very bad language that will offend many too. Read more
Published 13 months ago by K. J. Noyes
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