Book Review: I, Lucifer, by Glen Duncan

2 Stars

The Apocalypse is coming, and God offers Lucifer a deal: if he can live out a life in Declan Gunn’s body, he’ll be welcome in Heaven once again. Lucifer takes him up on the offer, but only for a trial basis. He’s looking for a vacation of sorts, not truly wanting to make amends with his maker. While he’s in the human realm, he decides to clear up a few ‘mistakes’ history has made when it comes to him.


I was excited to read this book. I’m a sucker for anything that tells familiar stories from the ‘villain’s’ point of view (Gregory McGuire, Death: A Life, etc.). My excitement waned quickly.

The author has a way with words that you don’t often see. The way he describes senses and the things Lucifer experiences for the first time is quite amazing. This use of language, however, becomes tedious further on in the story. To me, it seem the author was using his vocabulary to hide the lack of plot.

The most interesting (and cohesive) parts are when Lucifer is setting the record straight about well-known Bible stories: the Fall, Eden, the Crucifixion. These are told with a creativity and wit that are well worth the read. If only the rest of the book had done the same.

The writing style is, much of the time, leaning toward stream of consciousness. It’s a rambling (sometimes ranting) book that reminds me of speaking with a toddler with ADD. The author takes you on so many tangents, it’s hard to remember (or care) what the main storyline is.

A note to the more sensitive souls out there: This is a story about Lucifer. As in, the Devil. So please don’t read it and then complain about the use of vulgarity (which, relative to other books, is actually extremely tame). I mean, really, what do you expect from the memoirs of the Devil? Puppies and rainbows?



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