November 17, 2011

Book Review: I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan

NOT the pretentious tripe it
could have been!

The last of my spending spree in York last fall, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I certainly didn't expect it to be the best of the bunch, but it looked interesting. I had opened it up before and was put off by the stream-of-consciousness writing style which usually heralds a book full of intellectual look-at-me-being-smart-ness.

I was so wrong!

I, Lucifer is the story of the devil who gets to hear that God, in His infinite wisdom, has decided to do away with the Human Experiment. Judgment Day is upon us and He wants to give His fallen angel a chance for redemption. If he lives in a human body when the Apocalypse starts, he can join God and the Angels again. So Lucifer cuts a deal: he will live in human form for a month and after that he'll let Him know what he'll do.

Of course Lucifer would not be Lucifer if he didn't live it up in the human world, but there are also wonderful funny and touching scenes in which he learns about our human world. The scene where it takes him four hours to get from the appartment to the subway station because he can't get enough from all the smells in the street is hilarious. And there are many others like that.

In retrospect the stream-of-consciousness style only adds to the believe that we are listening to the Devil, frantic, sexy, childishly charming, rude and with a deep sense of injustice. Duncan has managed to portray a Devil that is at once disgusting and loveable.

Although the ending is a bit puzzling and Lucifer's ultimate choice is predictable, we understand full well why he has to do what he does. For people with a love of metaphysical humour and are not easily offended by bending the christian dogmas somewhat, this is a great read!


Glen Duncan's website.

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