I, Lucifer

I, Lucifer


By (author) Glen Duncan

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  • Publisher: SCRIBNER
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 20mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 6 January 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0743220137
  • ISBN 13: 9780743220132
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 19,946

Product description

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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Author information

Glen Duncan's previous novels are Hope and Love Remains. Until recently, he lived in Clerkenwell.

Editorial reviews

Glen Duncan's second novel is based on a brilliant idea. God gives Lucifer one last chance of redemption. He can be readmitted to the hierarchy if he agrees to live out a reasonably sin-free life on earth. Lucifer agrees, if he can first of all have a trial period, 'a summer holiday, in a human body, with all the delights of the flesh'. The body is that of Declan Gunn, a failed writer and human whose suicide is interrupted only by God's decision to park the Devil in him for a while. This is a flawed masterpiece, but a masterpiece for all that. The start of the novel is jokey-funny, the ending shrouded in appalled pathos and a bitter courage and the whole thing shot through with a truly wicked sense of humour. In between, there is some superb writing that takes us a lot closer to the Devil and to humanity - which comes out of this novel refreshingly well - but some way away from God. The problems which chip away at Duncan's book are the same ones that beset Milton when he tried to tell a version of the story from the other side. God knows everything. He has to. That's the way the story is. This makes him incredibly boring, as well as omniscient. It also means that a manipulative, cynical being with some incredible powers such as Lucifer can easily look a fool for fighting a foregone lost cause, as well as raising questions about why the fight happened in the first place. Duncan wins the battle as well as anyone ever has. His Lucifer is made tragic by God's omniscience, rather than merely stupid. Duncan's problem is that he is writing a very modern book on the basis of very mediaeval theology. In history, theology and tradition, God is... God. In 2002 we need to have him as the President of the United States, both pre-and post-Watergate. I Lucifer is still startlingly witty, original and beautifully written. Glen Duncan is a very real talent. Martin Stephen is High Master of Manchester Grammar School and author of The Desperate Remedy. (Kirkus UK)