“A truly fascinating novel”

By Julie Mosow on June 4, 2015
Format: Paperback
LUCIEN AND I is a truly fascinating novel in which the seemingly random structure belies the book’s underlying complexity. The book operates on several levels, interweaving traditional plot and scene with semantic and literary digressions that often seem like tangents but which actually shore up the novel’s central themes, sometimes obviously, sometimes not so obviously. This is a challenging book that almost bullies the reader into continuing by one-upping him (or in my case, her) at every turn. The characters live a charmed, glamorous life; they are cooler, they are hipper, they are smarter and the movies they see and books they read are more obscure and deeper than anything than the reader may know well. And yet, the core story is one with which most of us are familiar. Ultimately, this is a novel about a love triangle and betrayal between friends.

Even though the plot is not paramount, the two primary storylines, one that deals with the growth of Lucien and David’s friendship and the other a slow build to David and Sharon’s assignation, run parallel in the book until they intersect wonderfully. Along the way, we are treated to a rollicking and wide ranging exploration of cult cinema, vulgarity, accents, the purpose of argument/debate, androgyny, the international club scene, Istanbul, friendship, sexuality, and the pursuit of and ultimate loss of youth, among many other subjects. The material around the central storylines both supports the novel and IS the novel. LUCIEN AND I is far more about the power of voice and character than it is about action. What ultimately anchors Wynn’s novel David’s narrative voice and the absolute trust I have in him. He’s honest and his perception of the world and himself rings true.