I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan will go down as my biggest disappoint in a book for this year. I loved Duncan’s earlier work with his werewolf saga and when I saw the premise for this novel I was thrilled with the prospect with reading it. Six months later I am done, only because I really thought such a creative and gifted author would have found a way to make this a good read.
One more shot at redemption, that is the offer on the table for the Devil. All he has to do is live out a fairly blameless life on earth as a human being. Skeptical, he requests a trial period, a summer in the body of writer, with all the pleasures of the flesh his for the taking. Only the body he is given is in the process of a suicide, but that would not deter the Devil as he takes the body of the depressed writer Declan Gunn and sets out to re-write history. The biography of Lucifer, from creation to the fall the walk and talks with Jesus. From the Devil’s point of view.
Only it doesn’t turn out quite the way he plans as the Devil learns what it is really like to a human being. Beset by the frailties of humanity and the taunts of the angels, Lucifer begins to realize that there might be more to living on Earth than what he thought.
I found the book so confusing at points as the narrator, Lucifer could never stay on point but like a child with ADD, wanders into so many directions at a time that the story itself becomes convoluted and hard to follow. Lucifer himself, comes off as shallow and spoiled. He is neither clever or evil or devious or at any time, in desire of redemption. So why take the challenge?
In Duncan’s prior work, I was really impressed with his characterization. In The Last Werewolf and Talulla Rising, you could really get a sense of the characters and what they faced as werewolf and human. In I, Lucifer the Devil comes off rather two dimensional. Shallow, full of himself and well, pretty damn annoying.
For me, I, Lucifer comes in far short of its possibilities.