Glen Duncan,
I, Lucifer: Finally,
the Other Side of the Story

(Grove, 2003)

This is a gimmick of a novel -- Lucifer gets a chance to go back to Heaven if he can successfully inhabit a mortal's body for a period of time. The mortal he occupies is the suicidally unsucessful writer Declan Gunn. (Notice that's an anagram of author Glen Duncan's name?) There's a lot to wade through to get to the point of the novel, and the narrator (Lucifer) constantly interrupts himself to go off on any subject at all.

While there are some funny parts to the narration, for the most part it is overly long and drawn out, rambling and self-serving. It made the entire book very inaccessible to me, and it exercised my brain to try to follow along and stay on top of where the narrator was going with his point (he often didn't know himself).

Of course, Duncan tries to have his Lucifer explain the backstory to Adam and Eve and angels like Gabriel, and so on, but the stories are just boring and don't really add anything amazing to what we all know from the standard Bible lore. If you want to read a really amazing backstory of the Bible, go check out Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend. The book succeeds in having a snarky self-centered narrator explain the real story behind the Bible in every way that this book fails.

by Jessica Lux-Baumann
16 September 2006

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