Lucifer by Richard Carr
The book I chose to review was Lucifer by Richard Carr. Of all of the books we were assigned, I found that this one was the one I liked the most. The book doesn't hold back any punches when it comes to the struggles of Lucifer's pet project. Carr pulls you into the world of the narrator, and keeps you there. He uses imagery and references in his poems that you can relate to, and his constant shifting of Lucifer's different forms intrigued me. He's still the devil, but just our devil. The devil that walks in your shoes, wears your clothes, and wakes up every day to start anew. Lucifer is the main reason why I liked this book in the first place. He's evil, but he still tries, or at least attempts, to help out the narrator just a little bit. Lucifer follows around the narrator to watch his miserable little life fall to pieces, but needs to keep himself entertained. Most of the time, it seems like Lucifer is mocking him, choosing to take different obscure and sometimes annoying forms, such as blinding sunlight reflecting off of water. In other scenes, Lucifer is just accompanying the narrator, and walking alongside him. The narrator occasionally notes Lucifer's opinion on some things – such as abortion, in “I walk with Juliet to the free clinic.(XXXIV)” Julia, his ex-or-something turns from his lover to Mick the Bastard's on-and-off date partner. I think this just highlights the narrator's downward spiral. Everything is falling apart, she chooses to ignore him in multiple poems, and even told him to leave in the poem “I follow Juliet to the campus library.(XLVII)” But it seems that for what it's worth, she still has some form of feelings for the narrator. For the most part, I find this love-hate relationship a little too cliché for my liking. But hey, you never really get what you want, eh? Mick the Bastard. I love this character. Let's just start out with the fact that he's an alcoholic with a passion for singing, poetry, and literature. According to the narrator, Mick is also a womanizer, as described in the poem “At least the cool bookstore in the city...”(VII). About halfway through the book, Mick dances with Juliet, but the narrator notes that Juliet is “disgusted by his touch,” and later on, the two are seen studying together before Juliet shoos the narrator away. Mick the Bastard also seems to get a bit wonky when he's drunk, as seen in the following poem, “Mick the Bastard issues deranged ultimatums.(XXXVI)” “Mick the Bastard issues deranged ultimatums from the roof of his building. We stand in the wind like a hippie rock band and yell out our best ideas.
Mick waves the broken schnapps bottle in one hand, his poems in the other. I dance on my toes among the shards.
The long, late dusk of summer fades to night, bringing the police. Lucifer flies in circles…