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I, Lucifer

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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 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, interrupted in his bath mid-suicide. Ever the opportunist, and with his main scheme bubbling in the background, Luce takes the chance to tap out a few thoughts - to straighten the biblical record, to celebrate his favourite achievements, to let us know just what it's like being him. Neither living nor explaining turns out to be as easy as it looks. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the Father of Lies slowly begins to learn what it's like being us.


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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 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, interrupted in his bath mid-suicide. Ever the opportunist, and with his main scheme bubbling in the background, Luce takes the chance to tap out a few thoughts - to straighten the biblical record, to celebrate his favourite achievements, to let us know just what it's like being him. Neither living nor explaining turns out to be as easy as it looks. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the Father of Lies slowly begins to learn what it's like being us.

30 review for I, Lucifer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”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 ”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 bang (quite a small one, actually) Old Time was born.” When he fell it created hell Evil is supposed to be charming, seductive, handsome, beautiful, and...well... naughty in the best possible way. There are many names for the angel that personifies evil: Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Prince of Darkness, Satan, bête noire, dastard, diablo, djinn, dybbuk, enfant terrible, evil one, and the Devil are just a few choice epithets that have been hurled at the DARK ONE, but the only name he answers to is the one that god gave him...Lucifer. Lucifer from the TV show Supernatural The basis of this novel is that GOD sends his emissaries to chat with Lucifer about forgiveness. The deal is that Lucifer has to spend thirty days walking the Earth as a human. Now Lucifer isn’t even sure he wants forgiveness and besides how out of balance would the world be without his seductive whisper moving things along. He decides that this experiment, at least, might be fun. Lucifer tussles with JC in the wilderness and had him right where he wanted him except GOD cheated. Lucifer ends up in the body of a suicidal writer, are there any other kind, and is less than thrilled with the chassis he has been issued. As he watches Declan Gunn’s girlfriend... ahhh... well pleasure him he makes the mistake of looking in the mirror. ”Watching in the mirror turned out to be a bad idea, what with Gunn’s wayward gut and hairy legs, what with his double chin, dugs and jug-handle ears, what with his body being a sort of anti-aphrodisiac.” Lucifer is happy with the evolution of women’s looks. Women had touched themselves up--cosmetically, thank you--and their features glowed and gleamed: mouths like scimitars in claret, plum, sienna, mimosa, pearl, burgundy and puce, smokily shadowed eyes with diamond hints and sapphire glints, flecks of emerald and fragments of jade. Easy there Lucifer you are just passing through. He meets up with Lady Harriet Marsh who is made to order for a fallen angel obsessed with sin. Lady Harriet Marsh, you’d think, what with the bevelled vowels and Susanna-York-on-smack looks. Sixty years old now (quite a while since I’d last seen her) with a freckled body of complicated wiriness under a black halter-neck cocktail dress. Magnificently bored green eyes. Hair dyed a colour between platinum and pale pink, pinned up, with wispy bits dangling. The odd liver spot. Brazenly crafted Los Angeles teeth. Susanna York had the devil in her eye. I gotta hand it to Harriet with most of the female population younger than her she still had the goods to catch the eye of the devil himself. It wasn’t so much how she looked, but how her life’s resume is red inked with sordid behavior. Lucifer decides to write a novel about himself, after all he is supposed to be a writer and wouldn’t it be great to make Declan Gunn rich. The added bonus of this idea is that after he vacates the body he would have one more potential sinner to cultivate. As the story progresses and his sense of himself becomes more and more murky he starts to write less about himself and more about Declan Gunn. I read The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan and thought it was snarky and witty and fun. When I discovered that he had written a book about Lucifer I thought... wow... what a perfect idea for this writer. Maybe my expectations were too high. Is it possible I failed as a reader? Well maybe, but the one thing I can not abide is a book to be BORING. The book had some wonderful lines, but the chatterbox, whiny, nagging voice of Lucifer took all the sparkle out of what should have been a slam dunk wonderful novel. I will end with a dash of Duncan getting it right. ’Do you ever have those dreams,’ Harriet rasped, slowly, ‘where you’ve done something, something terrible and irreversible? Something horrific, and no matter how much you’re sorry it’s no good? It’s indelible?’ ‘No.’ I didn’t look at her. Didn’t need to. I knew what she’d look like, lying on her side, face to the window, the city’s lights minutely captured in the glossy convexities of her tired eyes. I knew she’d be unblinking, her cheek squashed in the deep pillow, her mouth dripping a single strand of spittle. I knew she’d look sad as hell. ‘I have that dream all the time,’ she said. ‘Except when I’m asleep.’ If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    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 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 know how that makes me sound, but it's true. Lucifer brings in the drama, especially when he's reincarnated as a normal man named Declan Gunn, who has just died -- but I guess he really didn't since Lucifer took over his body on a little wild venture into human reality. The premise of the book is brilliant: Lucifer wants to know what it's like for real people, as well as to cause a little fun and crazy on Earth, so he inhabits a body just before death. Sometimes he knows his "victims," but not always. When he enters Declan, he assumes he's got a quiet little ride where he can do some exploring. Nothing ever goes as planned. Up til this point, if you're not offended by or able to read books where the Devil is the protagonist (I get it, not everyone's cup of tea... totally understand!), then you probably think this is gonna be a great ride. And parts of it were. But sometimes the satire was over my head and over the top. I think because I read this in the very beginnings of my "foray into fantasy," I wasn't as open-minded as I might be now in reading something a bit abstract. That said, it's not a common theme or option, so I'd suggest it is worth taking a chance. But put your seat belt on because the hilarity and venom is all over the place. Randomness is the style and if you prefer a bit more order, add a harness and "oh-shit" handles onto the car, so you have something else to keep you from flying out the windshield of what you thought you knew about this jalopy. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. [polldaddy poll=9729544] [polldaddy poll=9719251]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Rice

    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 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 pronoun is 'she'), as they don't happen frequently enough to impede one's enjoyment of the text. They're niggles, that's all. Those schoolboy errors do, however, draw attention to the irony that - while he has developed a writing style which relies heavily on long, esoteric words - Glen Duncan never mastered the basic mechanics of the English language. He gets the difficult stuff incredibly right, but sometimes trips up on primary-school basics. Strange indeed. His writing is the literary equivalent of a sparkling gold Rolls Royce with breathtaking aesthetics and a sense of majesty, yet a peek under the bonnet reveals a few clunks and rattles in the heart of the machine. I couldn't shake the impression that Duncan often uses the longest word for the job, rather than the best one. Yes, he's an artiste who wants to impress with sweeping flourishes of poetic language, but Norman MacCaig - perhaps the greatest of all poets - would have advised, "Study brevity." Sometimes the epic multisyllabic prose works beautifully, but it can begin to feel more than a little pretentious. As for the story, it's not particularly original; God offers Lucifer a sabbatical from Hell in the form of a one-month inhabitance inside the body of a recent suicide victim, writer Declan Gunn (an anagram of Glen Duncan), as a chance for the Devil to achieve redemption and stand once again at the side of his Maker. Duncan's description of Lucifer's overwhelming joy - and surprise - upon experiencing the world through human senses is gorgeously creative. True to his hedonistic reputation, Lucifer goes on to overstimulate all his human senses through every vice available as he follows his own agenda. As weeks pass, the fallen angel comes to see existence from a human perspective. He even feels flashes of empathy for humankind. Duncan's Lucifer is a foppish luvvie, a bisexual lecher, a seducer who charms humans into committing evil deeds. The luscious descriptions of human sensual experience are so vivid that they jar the reader out of his/her taking-them-for-granted attitude towards the senses. Whether you love or hate it, this book reintroduces the reader to the miracle that is human perception in all its forms. Glen Duncan writes with an authentic voice, descriptive flair and a passion for words which is palpable. If he ever gets around to truly mastering the nuts and bolts of grammar, while retaining his unique voice and breathtaking descriptive ability, then Duncan could become England's equivalent to Salman Rushdie. Until then, perhaps it is appropriate that this story - impressive as it is - contains the little flaws that make it all the more human. Just like the experience of its main protagonist.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    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. 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. Lucifer, Lord of Hell, is approached by an angel and offered a deal- God will give him redemption if he can spend a month in a mortal form without sinning. Lucifer accepts the offer and finds himself in a bathtub, inside the head and body of Declan Gunn, a suicidal writer who was on the brink of slashing his wrists. So begins Lucifer’s life as a mortal human, and a story that regularly had me laughing out loud. This is Satan as you’ve never seen him. He spends his first hours on Earth stuck in the bath, overwhelmed by the incredible physical sensation of having a body, the water on his skin, the smells of the bathroom. When he discovers the pleasures that having a body, a set of genitals and a pair of hands can bring, he doesn’t leave the house for days, caught in a fugue of self-pleasure. Once he discovers booze, drugs and women, well you can imagine that he overindulges a tad (Leaving Gunn’s body a little worse for wear). I’m making this book sound like an undergrad comedy, but Duncan’s story is one with nuance that is blended through with biblical mythology and it is an interesting take on the Satan fable. Lucifer tells his own story, and working through Gunn, plans to tell it to the world at large. Duncan's Satan is (of course) a relatable fellow, and everyone loves a rebel, especially one with as sharp a tongue as Lucifer has in this novel. Duncan also explores Gunn’s life and regrets - Satan is party to the writer's memories while he controls his body – and there is real pathos in the life that led to a near-suicide, and a hint of Lucifer-led redemption for the depressed writer. Overall, this book is great fun to read. Duncan knows how to craft a sentence, and the arrogant, ten-dollar-word tone he strikes is the perfect fit for the Prince of Lies as he scorns the works of god and tells his story of rebellion and temptation. This is the kind of book that you want to read aloud, just to hear how the wordplay sounds and it's hellishly entertaining. I, Lucifer is not a book for everyone - numerous reviewers whose opinions I respect hate it – but for me it was an hilarious and fun packed ride. It sits on my bookshelf with pride.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    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 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, intelligent and likeable portrayals of Satan. Maybe I've been spoiled by such elegant, sexy, dapper Satans that Duncan's comes across especially petulant and bratty-mouthed, the kind of character that tries too hard to be a badass and comes across like the annoying kid in high school who wouldn't shut up with their bragging and posturing due to low self-esteem. Now I understand why I found this in the Adolescent Novels section of the library. Also, this book has way overdone it on parentheses, hyphens, colons, apostrophes, ellipses and italicized text, making it one hell of a stilted and clunky read. And holy shit, the DIGRESSIONS. In addition to the aforementioned detriments, I feel like the author should have made an effort to not make his (and Lucifer's) nationality so obvious, what with all the "bugger, fagsmoke, poncy, arse" and other British-isms coming out of Lucifer's mouth. Gaiman is also English, but I never felt like his Lucifer spoke in a manner that could be geographically placed anywhere, unlike Duncan's distinctly British Lucifer. I also felt like he should've neutralized the language of his other characters, since I doubt Pontius Pilate ever said "it's fucking hot out here, man" back in 30 AD. The suspension of disbelief that most of us adopt in order to become completely engulfed and enthralled by a novel was just not possible here due to this lazy-ass writing. And the anagram of the author's name with the name of the main character? Not impressed, and is the cherry on top of the messy, self absorbed, badly written cake that is I, Lucifer.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Djrmel

    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 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 Eve and original sin, Jesus Christ (or Junior or Jimminy Christmas or a bunch of other nick names the Devil uses for the guy who got in the way of Hell being a capacity crowd), and a lot of other things that we mortals haven't gotten quite the truth about, in his opinion. With the power of clairvoyance, it's quite easy to gather an entourage of just the type of people we've all suspected were one step removed from the dark one - commercial film makers and their ilk. Underneath Lucifer's manipulations, there's a surprising sweet story of how the Angels (fallen and un-fallen) are similar to a lot of big families where the father reigns supreme. When that subplot turns into a very satisfying ending, you know you've read a story by an author who wasn't afraid to go full out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    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 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 stories from his point of view: how he got Eve to take a bite out of that apple, what his role was in the crucifixion. However, these parts were mired by the absolutely boring and horrendous sections of his "Earth time" - I can't even describe how often I wanted to give up on these parts, and how his voice, in my head, turned so smarmy - the cleverness of the retellings went down the drain in the incessant and unintelligent ramblings of his attempt at humanity. Nonsense. Wow, this book made me really mad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    "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 "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 good clean life out the window, and takes the opportunity to relish the sinful world and write up a movie script: his side of the War in Heaven and the Fall and Creation, never before told. The book is written through the voice of Lucifer himself, keeping the typical "charming/gentleman devil" personality. The wording is clever and yes, enjoyable, but contains a flaw so big even the main character sees it and feels the need to apologize several times because of it: Lucifer rambles. A lot. Often, the main story will diverge down a rabbit trail, and then another, and then another and another, until you're so lost you've forgotten what the main point was. Towards the end I found myself skipping whole sections of rabbit trails and I lost none of the actual plot by doing this. "So wait," you say, "you give this book 4 stars despite this great flaw?" Yes, I say, I do. 4.5 if I could, in fact. Rabbit trails aside, the main story is quirky, charming, entertaining, emotional and even at times insightful. There are lots of fresh ideas and twists breathed into this plot, saving it from being just another done-and-done-again tale. It even throws in a few keen surprises, and some of the book's descriptions are downright beautiful, showing how much creative work Duncan put into this. Other readers have expressed squeamishness at the idea of a story that plays towards sympathy for the Devil, and if you feel too terribly uncomfortable with it you might want to skip by. But remember, it's just a book: a story written by a human for other humans. Read it, enjoy it, laugh, think, and like me, recommend to people looking for a fresh, intriguing, and introspective take on an old concept.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sherryl Wynne

    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!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jack Bruno

    effing gorgeous style of prose amazing storytelling loved this effing loved it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    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, 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, I'm not halucinating. THIS HAPPENED. On page 6. Look, I get that Lucifer isn't meant to be nice. The Lightbringer's not, historically speaking, a gentleman. However. HOWEVER! ...no, I can't. I need to go lie down. * Boasting that he invented anal sex, "of course". OF COURSE. ** Gratuitous use of that word is never, ever cool. I don't care that he's the devil. Please refer to The Book of Joby or see The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists for better examples.

  12. 4 out of 5

    India

    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, 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, but my love of Lucifer wins out in the end.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    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. Why? 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 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. Why? 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 a new narrator borne as the lovechild of Tim Curry and Nathan Lane as I read. It reads like a play. I could see as I read Lucifer strutting up and down a stage telling his tale. My initial take is, "This author has an amazing command of language. Wow, I am so excited to read this!" Problem is, each time, that excitement waned. Duncan's punctuation and grammar give pause, but I found myself slogging through this thing so many times and then I realized-I don't care. I just don't care. Why? This character, Lucifer, who is so electric is, well...boring. I had not realized that this was why I did not care until recently reading a well-written review of this book by Jeffrey Keeten, but there it was in black and white. Boring. I thought I was supposed to like the level of detail and the biting wit given to Lucifer. I thought I would be entranced deep in lush history and descriptive metaphor, but I found myself bored and the writer had sinned against me in this. Self-indulgent, narcissistic, and long-winded. Really, Duncan has an amazing way with words and I would actually suggest one read the first 15 pages just on a lark, but I cannot recommend a full read. Keeten and others have noted "The Last Werewolf" by the same author as being quite good so I will seek that out and hope that Duncan reedems himself there. No whiz bang here. 2.5 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    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, 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, having lots of weird sex and copious diarrhea is fun, I don't really see how you could enjoy this. It's a boring and rambling piece of meanness. Obviously this is not going to be recommended by me to anyone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    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 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 for once - you'd have left too." And it's interesting to think just how much Lucifer embodies honesty, in a strange way. He's honest about his feelings, his boredom, his ambition, and he doesn't sugar coat anything. In this book, Lucifer's original sin was just daring to think of himself as himself. Coming from a very individualistic society, I can't imagine doing things any other way, so I was on his side for most of the book. Not to say that it didn't have some problems... The problems I had with the book were that the author was going at this so full-throttle with his thoughts that occasionally it rang false (example, his Elton John vendetta got really old)- but you have to expect that when you put yourself out there like this. He was writing from the point of view of Satan, for Chrissakes. But you have to admire the author's style. Wow. The absolute best parts were the retelling of the Garden of Eden/Crucifixion/War in Heaven from his point of view. The retellings were brilliant! I'm a stone-cold naturalist, so this supernatural mumbo-jumbo doesn't sound logical to me, but it all makes a helluva lot more sense than the original versions where we're supposed to side with God! Alternatively, the non-supernatural portions of the book where Luce interacts with humans as Declan Gunn are boring, and they get worse as the book progresses. Okay, to end with another precious quote. This was a description of Eve before she met up with Adam, living in her own part of the garden: "[Eve:] had something Adam didn't. Curiosity. First step to growth - and if it wasn't for Eve's Adam would still be sitting by the side of the pool picking his nose and scratching his scalp, bamboozled by his own reflection. Off in her part of Eden, Eve hadn't bothered naming the animals. On the other hand she'd discovered how to milk some of them and how best to eat the eggs of others. She'd decided she wasn't overly keen on torrential rain and had built a shelter from bamboo and banana leaves, into which she'd retire when the heavens opened, having set out coconut shells to catch the rainwater with a view to saving herself the schlep down to the spring every time she wanted a drink. The only thing you won't be surprised to hear about is that she'd already domesticated a cat and called it Misty."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    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 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? This book definitely has a very meandering structure that some people might find annoying, but I really enjoy it and I think the style with all of the asides and just the narrative voice in general make the entire thing hilarious, even at parts when you're maybe going to feel a little bit bad about laughing. That being said, while this book doesn't paint Lucifer as some pure evil entity who is just horrible for the sake of being horrible, there's a lot of horrible things in this book. Some fairly offensive language is used at times, there's some semi-graphic descriptions of torture, and there's also an attempted rape scene that I personally had forgotten about the last time I tried to reread it and turned me off of the whole thing at the time, so it's definitely something you have to be in the mood for / be prepared for. But the thing I probably like most about it is the ending. (view spoiler)[I know a lot of people probably don't like it because there's no 'character growth' [debatable but I get where they're coming from] but I find it so incredibly out of character in books where Lucifer like ~realizes God was right~ and goes back to heaven. It's just about the most ridiculous thing I can think of and the fact that he went through all this and then decides to just go right back to where he was despite the fact that it will probably means he ceases to exist because the other option is doing what God wants is just ...well, it's the most Lucifer thing ever really. A+ great job. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Ashley

    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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    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 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 outcomes even though you know, reading, that he won't do the good thing; In the end he will still be the devil. Here's the thing: I really like religious commentary and I like when characters are barefaced liars. The whole book he doesn't even know himself, going on and on about how not-prideful he is when that's really the thing that's defined him, given him an identity since... you know. Although I do occasionally wake up in the middle of the night thinking about some of the things in this book and was a little unnerved to see them. So... if you enjoy laughing and thinking and worrying about the future of the cosmos and your own soul's fate, this book is just for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    First-person Lucifer, and all I could hear was Al Pacino's voice... witty, outrageous, fabulous turns of phrase...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Perdomo

    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 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 navigates the temptations of the flesh (in all its forms). The book's greatest credit is Duncan's positively elegant prose; he is at once conversational and engaging, teasing and seriously provocative, challenging and supplicant. His tongue-in-cheek pop culture references and name drops are hilariously apt. His unexpected turns of phrase are exquisite. He is understated where understatement is called for, and exceeds expectations throughout. I literally laughed out loud, often, and found myself grinning foolishly a good deal of the rest of the time. Notable quotes: "I, Lucifer, Fallen Angel, Prince of Darkness, Bringer of Light, Ruler of Hell, Lord of the Flies, Father of Lies, Apostate Supreme, Tempter of Mankind, Old Serpent, Prince of This World, Seducer, Accuser, Tormentor, Blasphemer, and without doubt Best Fuck in the Seen and Unseen Universe (ask Eve, that minx) have decided - oo-la-la! - to tell all." (introductory paragraph) "(Not that I can claim any credit for 'Sympathy for the Devil', by the way. You'd think, wouldn't you? But no, that was Mick and Keith all on their own.)" "(This thing about AIDS being God's punishment kills me. It's mine, you sillies. It's a nose-thumb to Himself: Look, even when it's killing them they can't stop.)" "Welcome, Lucifer, to the concussive world of matter." "A lawless horde of smells: soap, chalk, rotting wood, limescale, sweat, semen, vaginal juice, toothpaste, ammonia, stale tea, vomit, linoleum, rust, chlorine - a stampede of whiffs, a roistering cavalcade of reeks, stinks and perfumes in Bacchanalian cahoots... all are weeuylcum . . . all are weeyulcum . . . Yes, they certainly were, though they fairly gang-banged my virgin nostrils." (upon his first sensory experience) "(I've rubbed my nose in a good many places since then, but I'm damned if I've found much to compare with the honk of a dog's foot. It's the smell of idiotic and inexhaustible optimism.)" "Some humans survive concentration camps, others are driven over the edge by a broken fingernail, a forgotten birthday, an unpayable phone bill. Gunn's somewhere in-between. Somewhere in-between's where I do much of my finest work." "Truth is Adam and Eve had sex a few times [...:]; it just hadn't been much fun. It hadn't been unpleasant, but it hadn't been sex as you know it. [...:] It was just another thing they did because that was the way they were made. Edenic sex didn't feel good and it didn't feel bad. How times have changed, n'est-ce pas? Now it feels so gerd. Now it feels so bayered. Yes? No, really, you're too kind." Those are only to name a few. One of the most delightful books I've read in a while. Not recommended for young readers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    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. 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    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 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. There are many scenes that will make you think and feel about your own perspective on things, it will reopen your eyes. This to me is what makes this a special read and one worth finishing. This is a book that due to its style has many serious pacing issues. Countless side note and stories interrupt the main story too many times to keep things moving smoothly. There are however quite a few back stories about the angels, about Adam and Eve, and about creation that will make you think long and hard afterwards. I loved many of these distractions but in the end, there were simply too many. This is a book after all about Satan, about Lucifer, the devil, and as a result many will be turned off to the graphic nature of this character and some will cry moral distaste. It is a fictional story and should be taken as that... I love stories and fiction like this that stretch our views on the nature of religion and our place in the universe. I really enjoyed Duncan's literary style and I look forward to reading more by him. I recommend this book to people who like biblical horror and that are not easily offended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    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 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, Lucifer's experiences spending time in a mortal form and how he spends that time, his thoughts on various things, and his determination to write a book that will once and for all set things straight and tell the story from his point of view. As such, it tends to be rambling, wandering from topic to topic (often self-consciously so), and somewhat disjointed. It will not be for everyone, that is for sure, but I found I rather enjoyed it. Lucifer has a sort of wry voice that I found appealing (when he wasn't thinking appalling things), and his descriptions of the things around him made me see things in a new light. I mean, just imagine that you've spent all this time immaterial and suddenly you're in the material world, feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing... it would be overwhelming. I think the author did a good job of portraying that idea. The one problem I had with this is that everything is left up in the air. What happens with Lucifer? I know I”d like to know. That wasn't enough to detract from the story, though; it just left me with burning questions that I wanted answered. If this sounds like the sort of thing that would appeal to you, be sure to check this book out. Disclosure: I purchased this e-book for myself. All opinions are my own. Synopsis: 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, interrupted in his bath mid-suicide. Ever the opportunist, and with his main scheme bubbling in the background, Luce takes the chance to tap out a few thoughts—to straighten the biblical record, to celebrate his favourite achievements, to let us know just what it's like being him. Neither living nor explaining turns out to be as easy as it looks. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the Father of Lies slowly begins to learn what it's like being us.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Siess

    "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 "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 to read were the long internal monologues that Duncan seems to have an affinity for. Seems kind of silly to say, but Satan needed a buddy to bounce his thoughts off of. But a lot of this book was genius. I laughed at almost every joke Duncan made. The passage about Lucifer wondering what his identity would be without God was absolutely beautiful. I read it several times. This isn't a book that I'd recommend to everyone, but I'll definitely tell my friends who don't mind deep thinking and quips about satanic masturbation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John Wiltshire

    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 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 except that instead of Singapore Airlines chunks and odd yellow-coloured slime, this was words. No more, I cried (in both cases, actually). I had to give up on this book. I could make no sense of it whatsoever. This may be due to the fact that because of all the flying I now do I get into the lounges in airports where free alcohol flows like milk and honey in paradise. Most of my reading these days seems to be done in a slightly inebriated state. For many books this is a distinct improvement, but not this one. I think Satan won in the end, but I honestly didn't care.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    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 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 of this book is found in how God and the uncorrupted angels are depicted: at best morally ambiguous and at worst outright hypocritical and creepily detached from humanity.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Belhor

    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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne

    I wanted to enjoy this, as I enjoyed Glen Duncan's "Last Werewolf" series. This has the same grittiness, salaciousness, and dirtiness, plus a dab of historic lore that adds some spice; but I just couldn't get into "I, Lucifer" as much. Glen Duncan's writing style is hard to follow at times, and the plot seems... I don't even know. It's sorta linear, but not really. Jumping back and forth between the Biblical times and Now, a time the Devil is loaned a human body by heavens to try things out. Body I wanted to enjoy this, as I enjoyed Glen Duncan's "Last Werewolf" series. This has the same grittiness, salaciousness, and dirtiness, plus a dab of historic lore that adds some spice; but I just couldn't get into "I, Lucifer" as much. Glen Duncan's writing style is hard to follow at times, and the plot seems... I don't even know. It's sorta linear, but not really. Jumping back and forth between the Biblical times and Now, a time the Devil is loaned a human body by heavens to try things out. Body happens to be a writer, so Luce writes. But he can't just be a human doing human things, he has to do the most depraved things as well. The ol' "I'm the devil and it's what I do. You understand, yes?" The parts where we follow the Bible from Lucifer's perspective are probably the best parts of the story, for me. We actually do get, as the tagline suggests, his side of the story. But the present day storyline seems almost pointless and drawn out. A field day to show us just what the Devil would do in our time. And it's almost cliched, because it is terrible, and he's the devil... yes yes we know, get on with it, please. And in any case, a lot of it was rambling on and making me wish the chapters would end. And when it does end, it's rather abrupt. I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment or conclusion or purpose. Which, with a devil, is somewhat fitting, I guess? I wish I could give half stars, because it's somewhere between a 2 and 3 for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    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 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. I suppose it would have been even more out of character if Satan had actually intended to improve the lot of the host and the people around him, but I suppose it was enough that this happened inadvertently. God's doing I suppose. Learnt some stuff about the bible and about sin and about dogs. Learnt stuff about how the author thinks that life works. Interesting book. Would I warn myself not to read it if I had the ability to go back in time? Maybe.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    "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 "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 Lucifer loves Mister Softee ice cream in this book

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