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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale about sadism, and much more, 23 Jan. 2004
By 
Paul Lagden (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
I read I lucifer from Glen Duncan, and enjoyed it. It was a bit hard going in places though, but funny and intelligently written.But,seeing it was a book that he knocked out on the quick, whilst writing Weathercock, it was a pretty good effort! I work in the book trade, and asked Duncan about it, when he came to sign his books. Weathercock though, is something different. Its a far better book - more then just a book about sadism, and the infatuation Domonic Hood has with the mysterious Deborah Black, although this is the on going theme throughout. Its about friendship and kinship with the kids he grows up with - namely Penn and Kelp, and this is something most of us can relate to. What Domonic also has to deal with is his dark side. Whilst his head says he shouldnt, his heart wants to experience the darker side - ie sadism. But, this book makes you feel for Domonic and his turmoil, even though some of what he does is definitely something most of us wouldnt contemplate. Through life, and tragedy, Domonic has to deal with more than the ghosts of dead friends, but also the battle within himself and the lure of perversion.We follow him through his early adult life, and through his search for the seemingly unobtainable father Ignatious Malone, who he feels holds the answers he needs. As a (once) good catholic, it is a struggle within himself to justify what he wants, and what he is doing.
It may seem a deep read, but I couldnt put this book down Duncan has indeed excelled himself, and has written a piece of fiction that you will be thinking about long after you have read it. My mumber one book of this year, for sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively!, 26 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
I've read all Glen Duncan's novels so far and always marvel that he isn't better known. Weathercock is the best and a rollicking read; a whooshing ride through Dominic Hood's life and innermost thoughts. It gets surreal but is always entertaining, dark, and unflinchingly human. Mr Duncan is just fab at friendship, sex, religion, guilt and the sweet absurdity that keeps us at one remove from understanding it all. He's more honest than many other writers, and you can tell he really enjoys working at phrases until they record exactly what he means. This might sound a bit facile, but it's what sets apart a certain tradition of authors who are often dismissed as overwrought or contrived. The thing I find about the very best of these writers is that when you surrender to their style, submerge yourself in their metaphors and make the extra effort to understand their words (dictionary at hand for looking up their hard-sought words) and allow the narrative pace to change and interrupt itself because there's simply something urgent and tangential to express, then you can often feel the full impact of beautiful, simple things. Intimate and exhilarating. (In case fans of powerful but unshowy writing feel put off, know that Mr Duncan can do the plain man, and write him plainly too - check out Death of An Ordinary Man, the antithesis of his deliberately OTT I, Lucifer.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern-day Marquis de Sade., 3 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
After laughing my way through I Lucifer, this book was my second Glen Duncan book. Although not as acerbic with wit as I, Lucifer, Weathercock is no less affecting and disturbing.
It's all about the things some people shouldn't want but do, as the main character tries in vain to resist, to pull away and disentangle himself from the black-hole like draw of sadism and in particular the woman who introduces him to this nastier side of life. Just like most people, our anti-hero Dominic Hood feels inquisitive from an early age but with religion looming over him, he feels deep shame about what goes on in his mind, questions his sanity and more importantly the state of his soul. He turns to an enigmatic priest who quickly becomes almost an obsessive figure for Dominic as the priest pops up sparingly throughout the novel and always seems mysterious, leaving Dominic grasping at shadows. As the book follows Dominic through life, he reminisces about his childhood friends and the things they got up to, including a camping trip that is in turns sad,bizarre and funny whilst, as an adult Dominic tries hard to be good but through either sheer chance or deliberate albeit subconscious acts, keeps getting sucked back towards darkness.
The writing is splendid, deep and enthralling, particularly an exorcism scene that is ripe with sometimes disgusting detail. There is no shying away from the bleaker things that occur as Dominic struggles for his soul and, most importantly, despite some of the horrible things he does, you find yourself sympathetic towards his plight. He is a thoroughly believable character in a novel that sometimes pushes the boundaries of inconceivability but always makes you want to read the next chapter..and the next. Never predictable or slow. Always provocative and mesmerizing. The only reason for four stars not five stars is that I expected a little more scathing wit and humor after reading I, Lucifer so I suggest you get this first then get I,Lucifer as both books,in their own way, are at the top of list on tackling the nastier,bleaker stuff. Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of infatuation, and a lot more!, 22 Jan. 2004
By 
Paul Lagden (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
I read I lucifer from Glen Duncan, and enjoyed it. It was a bit hard going in places though, but funny and intelligently written.But,seeing it was a book that he knocked out on the quick, whilst writing Weathercock, it was a pretty good effort! I work in the book trade, and asked Duncan about it, when he came to sign his books. Weathercock though, is something different. Its a far better book - more then just a book about sadism, and the infatuation Domonic Hood has with the mysterious Deborah Black, although this is the on going theme throughout. Its about friendship and kinship with the kids he grows up with - namely Penn and Kelp, and this is something most of us can relate to. What Domonic also has to deal with is his dark side. Whilst his head says he shouldnt, his heart wants to experience the darker side - ie sadism. But, this book makes you feel for Domonic and his turmoil, even though some of what he does is definitely something most of us wouldnt contemplate. Through life, and tragedy, Domonic has to deal with more than the ghosts of dead friends, but also the battle within himself and the lure of perversion.We follow him through his early adult life, and through his search for the seemingly unobtainable father Ignatious Malone, who he feels holds the answers he needs. As a (once) good catholic, it is a struggle within himself to justify what he wants, and what he is doing.
It may seem a deep read, but I couldnt put this book down Duncan has indeed excelled himself, and has written a piece of fiction that you will be thinking about long after you have read it. My mumber one book of this year, for sure.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weathercock - a tale about sadism, and a lot more, 5 July 2003
By 
Paul Lagden (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
I read I lucifer from Glen Duncan, and enjoyed it. It was a bit hard going in places though, but funny and intelligently written.But,seeing it was a book that he knocked out on the quick, whilst writing Weathercock, it was a pretty good effort! I work in the book trade, and asked Duncan about it, when he came to sign his books. Weathercock though, is something different. Its a far better book - more then just a book about sadism, and the infatuation Domonic Hood has with the mysterious Deborah Black, although this is the on going theme throughout. Its about friendship and kinship with the kids he grows up with - namely Penn and Kelp, and this is something most of us can relate to. What Domonic also has to deal with is his dark side. Whilst his head says he shouldnt, his heart wants to experience the darker side - ie sadism. But, this book makes you feel for Domonic and his turmoil, even though some of what he does is definitely something most of us wouldnt contemplate. Through life, and tragedy, Domonic has to deal with more than the ghosts of dead friends, but also the battle within himself and the lure of perversion.We follow him through his early adult life, and through his search for the seemingly unobtainable father Ignatious Malone, who he feels holds the answers he needs. As a (once) good catholic, it is a struggle within himself to justify what he wants, and what he is doing.
It may seem a deep read, but I couldnt put this book down Duncan has indeed excelled himself, and has written a piece of fiction that you will be thinking about long after you have read it. My mumber one book of this year, for sure.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disturbing...in the best possible way, 20 April 2004
By 
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
After having read I, Lucifer by Duncan, (which was great, by the way) Idecided I ought to take the plunge into some more of Duncan'sliterature.
Like I, Lucifer, Weathercock offers a dark and disturbing view of humanlife, addressing issues many authors steer well clear of.
Following the life of Dominic Hood, a young Catholic sado-masochist, thisbook offers everything from love to lust, light to dark, goodness andevil, and an exorcism thrown in for good measure.
Though slightly worried about Glen Duncan's state of mind, I thoroughlyenjoyed this book. It's a novel that almost makes you ashamed to like it,because of it's graphic and frankly quite disgusting content. Butunderlying this not-so-cheery exterior is an accurate, and insightfulcommentary on the human exisitence. It gives a view of life that is bothintriguing and disturbing for the character as well as the reader.
Speaking of the characters, they are all very well developed, andinteresting to read about. Father Ignatius Malone, for example, is anextremely mysterious character whose exploits make brilliant reading. AndDominic himself is both lovable and disgusting at the same time, aconflict which he also sees and must overcome within himself.
This is definately not a book for those without strong stomachs. However,if you can get past the scenes which aren't so politically correct, thisis a very enjoyable (despite it's darkness) read. A must read for allliterature fans, and those with a taste for a darker, different view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...the earth was urgently and at all points on its scale alive...", 3 May 2013
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
Glen Duncan can be problematic for some readers, precisely because his books often have an aspect of sexual exploration. This book is a case in point, with one or two quite nasty moments and if sexual frankness offends, don't read him. On the other hand he is a sublime writer, cool, irreverent, supremely controlled and adventurous, sometimes outrageously so. I am a convert. I love his daring; I love his refusal to be cautious. There are plenty of writers merely re-exploring the known and comfortable and he is not afraid to explore the edges of existence, the profane and outrageous limits of a maledictive heart. He does this so elegantly that his infelicities are almost understandable, even while he is taking you to places you might not wish to go. He is so much a master of language, such a seducer, that you don't resist, caught up with the eloquence and beauty, even as you are sometimes brought to the limits of your tolerance.

Weathercock recounts the story of Dominic Hood, from Lancashire schoolboy to publisher's agent in New York. As a boy, the target of a particularly vicious bully, Burke, he meets Father Ignatius Malone who saves him by performing what might have been a miracle, or a misunderstanding. Dominic and Penguin meet as a result of a cruelty performed on Kelp by Burke and their lives will intertwine as they grow up. Malone haunts the novel, even more than an actual ghost, as we segue between Dominic's childhood and a time far into the future where he is living with Holly in New York. But Dominic is not a hero, he is a man in thrall to a beautiful and sadistic woman, the loathesome Deborah Black.

There are some absolutely brilliant pieces of writing in this novel, it is packed with observational wit and is a sheer pleasure to read. Take this excerpt describing a seaside scene for instance: "Normally unseen bodily bits were bare to the generous weather: toes, backs, midriffs knees - the pathos of the Great British body's reckless heliolatry. Children rode the peeling shoulders like midget mahouts, with plastic spades for goads, their mouths ice-lolly dyed betel or woad. Groups, gangs in fact, of blokeish men, pendulous with downed pints, swaggered in too-tight shorts and criminally obvious perms, each with clutched lighter and fags, each with sun-surprised faces and pickled eyes."

This is a long and complex novel exploring the nature of evil and sadism and as such is intricate, retributive, and often shocking. It contains an extraordinary story of exorcism, love and degradation, violence and the power of belief, with an astonishingly redemptive ending. It is not for the faint of heart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read-but not for everyone, 27 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
I have read a number of Glen Duncan's books and decided to dip into this just to see what the fuss is about. The writing is, as always, exceptional. The style providing a really satisfying reading experience. Although the subject matter is challenging, I cannot agree that you need a strong stomach to read it. There are no graphic descriptions in the prose. The challenge comes in working through the conflicts the lead character encounters and staying with him even when he swings to the dark side. There are some really inteersting characters and the book deals with a number of themes, most surprisingly to me was the exorcism sequence.

Did I enjoy it-yes
Would I recommned it to friends-no

The book has to be read because the reader makes a decision to read it-that might sound odd, but it is not a book I felt I could pass on, given the subject matter and the denseness of some of the sequences. If you do choose to read it- with an open mind- you will find the journey very satsifying indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars strong stuff, 23 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
An enjoyable read, well paced, funny, and shocking in places. But what happens 2/3rds of the way through ? I think Glen didn't really want to write such a long book but couldn't work out how to finish it. Funny considering the narrator and hero works as a book editor. I'm not either so I'll shut up. Good read. Worth it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearless writing, 24 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
A wonderful, on-the-edge tale of love, compulsion, loss, friendship, and the darkness that lies within. Although it deals with the more sinister side of human thought and action, it never alienates the reader. Glen Duncan has the powerful ability to capture raw emotion and convey it without embarrassment. An intelligent read which leads you to question your own morality, but gives you hope before it lets you go.
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Weathercock
Weathercock by Glen Duncan (Paperback - 5 Jan. 2004)
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