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I, Lucifer

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  8,746 ratings  ·  907 reviews
The Prince of Darkness has been given one last shot at redemption, provided he can live out a reasonably blameless life on earth. Highly sceptical, naturally, the Old Dealmaker negotiates a trial period - a summer holiday in a human body, with all the delights of the flesh.

The body, however, turns out to be that of Declan Gunn, a depressed writer living in Clerkenwell, int
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2003 by Grove Press (first published July 1st 2002)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  8,746 ratings  ·  907 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
”Once upon a...
Time, you’ll be pleased to know--and since one must start somewhere--was created in creation.
What was there before creation? is meaningless. Time is a property of creation. What there was was the Old Chap peering in a state of perpetual nowness up His own almighty sphincter trying to find out who the devil He was. His big problem was there was no way to distinguish Himself from the Void. If you’re Everything you might as well be Nothing. So He created us, and with a whiz and a ban
Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
3 of 5 stars to I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan, a fiction novel with some elements of fantasy buried about. Sometimes I don't know how books fall into my lap, sometimes I do. With this one, it flew in the wind, also known as a former book club, and slapped me in the face. I still feel the sting every so often. While I didn't dislike it, the book felt a bit like a satire of a satire -- and frankly, I'm just not that clever enough to always get it.

I really enjoy books where Satan makes an appearance. I
Mark Rice
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
From a descriptive-writing perspective, this book is almost flawless. Glen Duncan has the ability to engage all the senses of the reader 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 pronou ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, favourites
Many authors have played with biblical mythology, using angels, daemons, God and Satan as characters in their stories. For my money I, Lucifer is among the best of these stories, and is certainly the funniest I’ve read.

Duncan approaches a theme that has been done to death (off the top of my head I can recall three novels dealing with angels/daemons/hell/lucifer- Chuck Palaniuk’s Damned, Elizabeth Knox’s The Vintner’s Luck, Pratchett and Gaiman’s Good Omens) and takes it in a different direction.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Jesus Christ, this is the worst book I've read in a long time. This portrayal of Lucifer, while attempting to be witty and acerbic, comes across as a severe case of arrogant fallacy-of-youth A.D.D. suffering rebellious adolescent, scribbling into their hastily written diary.

Want a well-written and interesting portrayal of the devil? Read Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, Mike Carey's Lucifer series (based on Gaiman's Lucifer) or Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, all of whom have charming
Very funny, very intelligent and very original! The tag-line for this book (when did books start having tag-lines, anyway?) is "Finally, the other side of the story." and that is exactly what we get. Lucifer is offered a chance to return to live in Heaven, by God, if he can live on Earth, as a mortal, and not cause trouble, for one month. The body he is given as his instrument of redemption belongs to a writer, and that inspires Lucifer to use the time to tell his version of Creation, Adam and E ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jessica by: Jesse Mack Johnson
The premise of the book is interesting, of course: the Devil, fallen angel Lucifer himself, gets a chance to live on Earth as a human for one month. And it would have been good, I believe, if the first-person narrative didn't dwindle into long rants and digressions of infinite tedium. Lucifer talks in circles and tries to play with words in a means to be clever, but just comes off as boring instead.

The only relevant and cohesive parts of the book were those in which Satan tells the famous bible
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
"I, Lucifer" seems at first like your typical redemption-of-the-Devil story. God has decided to draw the curtains on the world, and gives Lucifer one last offer: live as a human, in a human body, for one month, and if he can do so without committing sin and doing harm, he's back in heaven.

Thankfully, this is where the typical story and this story part ways. Lucifer takes the offer, but only to get the identity. Once he's in the body of suicidal author Declan Gunn, he throws the prospect of a go
Sherryl Wynne
Feb 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Okay, truth be told I hated this book and would have put it down after the first 10 pages if it wasn't my book club's selection. A very difficult read. Disturbing - well, you know, Lucifer just isn't a very nic guy. Some really interesting takes on the Garden of Eden and the "fall" though. And it was interesting to read of his appreciation (and our lack) of everyday things like smells and colors... Still... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know!
Jack Bruno
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
effing gorgeous style of prose
amazing storytelling
loved this
effing loved it
Jun 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who can read past this sort of shit.
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Page 6 and the book just described a majestic trajectory across the room. The concept has so much promise but I don't think I can go on reading a book narrated by such a blatant asshole. He dishes out homophobia nice and early on page 1 (ONE!)* and a yummy side of misogyny on page 4** and then goes on to boast about how successful he is at tempting men into SEXUALLY ABUSING CHILDREN (ha ha ha so funny!) on page 6... Wait, I'm just going to check the book again because I can't quite believe--no, ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Some of the sentences in this book were enticing and constructed so deliciously. And other parts of this book seemed to drag on and on. The story was interesting and well-written, but it seemed like there was no real end game in sight.. and then it seemed to just end, so maybe there was no real end game in sight. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the parts that I enjoyed, trudged through the slow and boring bits, and was left feeling a little lost and confused overall. Good book. Not my favorite, ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took me several years to finish this book.
No exaggeration in that. Several years.
I picked it up, I started it, got about one-quarter of the way done with it and put it down again only to repeat that process two more times.
I am not sure.
The premise was not a new one, but the telling seemed compelling.
It opens with Lucifer (our protagonist?) telling you, the reader, of some of the earthly delights/things that he must have had a hand in along with various twists on his name.
I hear in my head
Kim Mallady
Jun 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
The true genius here is in whoever wrote the description on the back of this book and, without lying, made it sound interesting. Because when it comes down to it, this book was really quite awful. The worst part about it is that the idea of the story had merit (Lucifer is given a second chance to redeem himself by spending a month as a mortal) and the writing showed so much potential, but it turned out to just suck. Unless you think reading about someone drinking a lot, doing all sorts of drugs, ...more
All hail seitan! Oh, wait, that line is for my review of a vegetarian cookbook.

I, Lucifer is a little bit of a treatise on how we'd do exactly the same things Satan has done if we were in his position. And it was pretty damn convincing: "The idea of spending eternity with nothing to do except praise God is utterly unappealing. You'd be catatonic after and hour. Heaven's a swiz because to get in you have to leave yourself outside. You can't blame me because - now do please be honest with yourself
It makes me sad to see so many low ratings for this book, but also I get it because it's definitely not for everyone. This is my 2nd favorite Lucifer book, the first being Mike Carey's Lucifer series, and they are probably the only two Lucifer books I've found that don't either A. paint this ~pure evil~ caricature of Lucifer or B. decide he's just some poor misunderstood precious baby. I find both of those options incredibly boring, why not just write a nuanced well-rounded character instead? Th ...more
Brooke Ashley
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I give this three stars because it took so long for me to actually enjoy it. Also, I had to try three different times to give this book a chance. The beginning is slow, the middle is funny, and the end just drags ass.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So I borrowed this book from my roommate's boyfriend, but I'm going to buy a copy. I want to read it again and again. In the beginning, everything is very clear cut. The devil gets to be a human for a month? sign me up. He's debaucherous and witty and gets into all kinds of biblical discussions about the history of creation and the Fall. the book tricks you into thinking it will all be fun and shenanigans. But it gets very mind-bending towards the end. Lucifer contemplates a lot of possible outc ...more
First-person Lucifer, and all I could hear was Al Pacino's voice...
witty, outrageous, fabulous turns of phrase...
Veronica Perdomo
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like alternate perspectives
Recommended to Veronica by: Aisha
Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith...
-Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones

A positively wicked romp through what the titular character calls "the concussive world of matter." The book chronicles Lucifer's brief reincarnation and experiences in fleshy form. Like Roald Dahl's My Uncle Oswald, I, Lucifer is explicit without being raunchy, vivid without being too overt, and tastefully navigat
WOW. So many chills on that last page. Adored it. The most compelling, witty, & vivid first-person narrative voice I've read in a really long time. All kinds of thought-provoking. ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012, e-books
3.5 Stars

This is a well written and interesting take on Lucifer taking an offer from god at an attempt at redemption as he takes over the life of a suicide victim. Without spoiling anything, Lucifer is the devil after all and nothing should be surprising. What really blew me away was the way that Glen Duncan described senses. Lucifer is not prepared for all that the human senses entail, and we the reader take for granted and overlook the miracles that Duncan pens as Lucifer takes it all in. Ther
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy a rambling journey
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Literary Fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: People who like to look at things from a different perspective
Trigger Warnings: This is a story told from Lucifer's point of view, so he often thinks about things that aren't at all nice, such as possibly raping a woman, or killing people, etc. It's mostly just thoughts, but be aware of them. Attempted suicide.

My Thoughts: I'm still trying to make sense of this piece. The book isn't much about anything but the journey, Lucife
Benjamin Siess
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
"I, Lucifer" is kind of what "Screwtape Letters" would have been if C.S. Lewis hadn't been so afraid of using profanity, making poop jokes, and talking about his erectile dysfunction.

In both, they give us a completely different picture of what temptation is really all about. Subtlety.

"I, Lucifer" has complex prose which is what makes Duncan's sometimes middle school humor unique. It is also responsible for making the book difficult to read despite its short length and big print. Also difficult
John Wiltshire
Mar 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-up-on
Blimey. This started off quite well. Lucifer, a witty queen, given a last chance by God of redemption if he can live a good life in human form for year. Lucifer, of course, has different ideas.
But, gosh. I once had someone next to me in a plane turn around in their seat, look for a convenient place to vomit, and then empty the entire contents of their stomach over me and my kindle, both of us sitting peacefully together minding our own business. Reading this book was a bit like that experience
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely NOT for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. That said, if you have a dark sense of humor, this is the book for you.

Lucifer is the best anti-hero of all time. What makes this book so special (besides the high quality of the writing itself) is that Duncan manages to make the character both sympathetic and, well, as horrible as you would expect Lucifer to be. He commits terrible acts and says terrible things while still managing to be hilarious and likeable. The depth
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
I really expected Lucifer to be smarter, wittier and more charming. The premise that Lucifer is in fact "Bad" was a serious put down. I wasn't expecting the writer to be loyal to the modern- let's say Christian- definition of Satan. The writing style is sometimes hard to follow, and the sentences -sometimes- hardly make any sense. But still a moderately good book. It did have a few good lines. It's a pity that such a beautiful idea was not presented in its best possible form.
Robert Day
Oscillated between four and three stars and them plumped for three because this promising book turned into something kinda profane and then ended with a whimper rather than the bang I wanted. Still, there's no accounting for other writer's tastes in finales.

Loved the parts where Satan enjoyed his month in the mortal realm. Tolerated the parts where he stepped out of character and considered staying mortal. Hated the parts where he ran his host body into the ground in search of sensory experience
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Having observed newborn galaxies tossed prodigally, milkily, into the void, having straddled event horizons and strolled bodilessly ’twixt time’s wrinkles and matter’s loops – how, exactly, am I to accommodate the crenulations of Harriet’s toenails?"

Thinkin bout prose that's so rich I experience nausea consuming it like being lactose intolerant and eating ice cream because even though your body can't handle it, it's freakin awesome / speaking of which, there's a lovely bit about how much Lucife
David Sarkies
Jul 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: A friend
Shelves: modernist
The Devil lives it up
19 Sept 2010

I remember when I first discovered this book: a friend of mine (who isn't actually a friend any more) had this habit of reading a book and once he had finished it he basically leaves it at a friend's house for somebody else to pick it up and read it, which ended up happening to be me. I guess the reason I ended up with it is because the friend whose house that he had left it at basically doesn't read books (he is too busy playing Civilisation and building comput
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Aka Saul Black.

Glen Duncan is a British author born in 1965 in Bolton, Lancashire, England to an Anglo-Indian family. He studied philosophy and literature at the universities of Lancaster and Exeter. In 1990 Duncan moved to London, where he worked as a bookseller for four years, writing in his spare time. In 1994 he visited India with his father (part roots odyssey, part research for a later work,

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