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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  64,614 ratings  ·  5,075 reviews
In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part "Robin Hood", one part Ocean's Eleven, and entirely enthralling...

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Hardcover, 499 pages
Published July 2006 by Bantam Spectra (first published June 27th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
Back when I was first published, people made a lot of comparisons between me and Scott Lynch.

The sentiment was mostly along the lines of "Pat Rothfuss is the next Scott Lynch!"

Here's the thing, Lies of Lock Lamora had come out almost exactly a year before my first book, The Name of the Wind. It was Scott's first book, the first in a fantasy series. The world was gritty and real, and it had knocked everyone over with how good it was.

So I knew it was a flattering comparison, but at the time, I
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Michael
Ocean's Eleven was great and everything, but know what would've made it cooler? If the setting had been during the late middle ages, possibly the Renaissance. Better yet, a fantasy world version of the Renaissance with an intricate system of magic and a complex set of political conspiracies to add some flair. And what if the city was built upon the ruins of an earlier city, and the earlier city was built by some enigmatic science fiction creatures that have since disappeared?

And if instead of a
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Nataliya
Apr 02, 2012 Nataliya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy full of humor, adventures, and blood.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is a love child of Ocean's Eleven and The Godfather. With blood, deaths, betrayals, money, and drowning in horse urine. With a sh*tload of non-PG humor. All for the price of one. And it's SO. GOOD.

“Some day, Locke Lamora,” he said, “some day, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope that I’m still around to see it.”
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Kat Stark and the headless Ned
Oct 17, 2014 Kat Stark and the headless Ned rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kat Stark and the headless Ned by: Julie Covington


Buddyread with the super sweet Sakina (Click to read her review)

This will be a checklist review. The only reason why I didn't give this a 5 is because it took me almost half the book to actually get into the story. Other than that, it was superb.

Locke Lamora
"'Someday, Locke Lamora,' he said, 'Someday, you're going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hop
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Kelly
From the first threat to use someone's balls as fish bait to the last attempt to drown someone in horse piss, I absolutely adored this book. It is absolutely everything it should be, and then some. Emphasis on the and then some because it completely defied my expectations on many levels, both genre-wise and quality wise.

Set in a freaky, mystical alternate Renaissance Venice, the story takes place amongst the underworld thieves and gangs of the city. Our protagonist (I definitely won't call him a
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mark monday
this was a wonderful, wonderful experience. it is hard to give a specific rationale for why i loved this book - there are so many reasons! it has adventure, flair, great characters, a robust narrative, a satisfying conclusion, is exceedingly clever and well-written, and just heaps of fun. it is a good-hearted book. terrible things do happen, but the book has at its core a love of humanity, of life, of loyalty, of kindness, of the ways that family can be created, of the ways that children can sur ...more
Mpauli
Hello, distinguished review reader. What a nice coincidence stumbling into you here on this expression of thought.
Odd chance, you say? Well, I have to be honest with you. I actually planned this for quite a while. I'm playing the long con game with this review.
I set up a profile on this site, joined some groups and build a network of friends. And all leads up to today's review.
So, I kind of tricked you to lay eyes on these lines of lies.

All that I learned from my days with the Gentleman Bastards
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Mark Lawrence
So, I was surprised to discover we owned this book, since it's a very well known book but nobody in my house had ever mentioned it to me.

Turns out my wife bought it, tried it, found it too slow, and gave up. I've convinced her to give it another go.

I enjoyed Locke Lamora and his lies quite a bit. Immediately I liked the writing, which combines wit with solid prose. Like my wife I hit a bit of a soft patch early on, though for me it was that I was finding the point of view very 'surface' sharing
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Kay
Apr 20, 2012 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: circumspect people
Recommended to Kay by: those with larceny in their hearts
This is one of the most unique books that I've had the utmost pleasure of reading in a long, long time. The best way to describe this book is that is has a dam-breaking volume of pure, unadulterated



People compare this book to the likes of The Godfather and Ocean's Eleven. I'll follow the pattern and compare the book to the grit and vulgarity of Goodfellas! But such flattering associations notwithstanding, this book is undeniably unique and stands strong by itself.

This book is an opus of careful
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Dan Schwent
Locke Lamora and his gang, the Gentlemen Bastards, have been fleecing the nobility of Camorr for several years. While engaged in their latest scam, Locke gets betrothed to the daughter of the Capa, the crimelord of the city, and the Gray King starts picking off the Capa's subbordinates. Can The Gentlemen Bastards finish their con, free Locke from marrying the Capa's daughter and avoid the Gray King's attention?

Yeah, that summary's as misleading as a transvestite hooker but this isn't the kind of
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Feb 20, 2011 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Epic fantasy readers who enjoy antiheroes
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) by: Fantasy Aficionados Group Read
I have to say that I was very impressed with this story. The worldbuilding was excellent and distinct to me. The setting of this book was like Pre-Renaissance Italy, with Faerie architectural elements and fantastical magic thrown in, but never overwhelming. I especially appreciated that Mr. Lynch went with a group of characters who were admittedly seedy, but utterly lovable, The Gentlemen Bastards. This whole world is very much on the edge of unpalatability. You can see and smell the filthy and ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
So this one was an interesting journey. I can't recall the last time it took me so long to finish a book (not counting the Song of Ice and Fire books and that was only because I was reading along with the t.v. show one episode at a time). Was it two weeks about to get through Lies of Locke Lamora? I don't even know now but it took for-flipping-ever.

You'd think if the book was so hard to soldier though, I would have quit out. Well Crystal and I were buddy reading this and I think we both stubbor
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Catie
I’ve seen a few readers refer to this book as “fast-paced” and my honest opinion is that this book is anything but. This story wanders; it spends time on the small details; it reveals itself slowly. Reading this book is like standing nose to tile with a mosaic and backing away one tiny step at a time. We’re given a tile here, a tile there…one from the past, one from the present, a piece of random history, a side-note about one of the characters. The completed picture isn’t visible until you’re a ...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I could not put this book down. I haven't been this excited to read every time I pick up the book since, well I guess I've been reading lots of good stuff lately so... since very recently. But, great read nonetheless. This group of thieves piqued my interest when I heard they were called the Gentlemen Bastards and they didn't let me down. Thank you Scott Lynch, this was great.
Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" Novels...and probably in my overall top 5. As good as anything I have read in a long time. I have recently read both this book and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and I must say that the genre's future certainly looks bright.

The good traits of this novel are almost too many to name, incredible world-building, superb use of magic, outstanding characters that create a real sense of connection with the readers and a fast-paced, well thought out
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Rick Riordan
Another great fantasy, this novel follows a talented rogue and conman, Locke Lamora, through his adventures in Camorr, a city loosely patterned after Venice, but set in a world where humans have built their society over the ruins of a much older race called the Eldren. Locke rises from an orphaned beggar to become one of the most wanted thieves in the city, and along the way makes some enemies in very high places – the Duke’s head of secret police, ‘the Spider,’ the capa of the city’s underworld ...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Apr 08, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of rogues, fantasy readers
Scott Lynch has made a name for himself in fantasy circles with The Lies of Locke Lamora. It is an enjoyable read that focuses on the initiation of a roguish Locke into the underworld of Camoor, a city that bears no small resemblance to Venice (minus the sharks, I suppose). It is populated with interesting characters, has a swiftly moving plot, and takes place in an interesting fantasy setting, so there's something to appeal to most fantasy readers.

From the beginning, dialogue is a strength in t
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Nancy
It took me over a month to read this, not because it was a bad book, but because I had a couple of tough classes to get through. Still, it was a very enjoyable and much needed break and maybe one of these days I’ll read it again. Oh, how I hate those real-life intrusions that keep me from getting immersed in a story!

Many comparisons have been made to the film, Oceans Eleven. While I enjoyed the film when I saw it a few years ago, I cannot remember a single detail now. I have a feeling that this
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colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
2 1/2

I'm not really sure what I think of the book.

I liked it from the outset - the description of all the trouble little Locke gave the poor Thiefmaker was fun. For a large part of the first half of the book, I actually enjoyed the "Interludes" more than I did the plot they were setting up. I felt too much time was spent with the Salvaras and setting all that up, and even though it became relevant, it still coulda been cut down, I think.

Also, the disjointed time-line in the beginning, that luc
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Manny
Jun 16, 2014 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

As enjoyed by top Grandmasters. Photos taken yesterday at the World Rapid Chess Championships in Dubai suggest that Peter Svidler, current world #13, would rather be reading Scott Lynch than pushing pawns...

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Conor
The Lies of Lock Lamora was a fast paced story filled with likeable characters and interesting developments in an intriguing setting that was unfortunately let down by the characters lack of depth and the occasionally predictable plot. The heroes were clever and funny making them easy to root for, while other characters were still interesting and sympathetic. The plot was fastpaced with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting right up to the end. The real star of this book however was the ...more
Michael
This book reminded me a great deal of Ocean's Eleven taking place in a fantasy setting (which is a good thing). I liked the way it played out and will be definitely going on to the next book in the series. While I've gone on record as not liking gritty and dark fantasy, the infusions of humor in this book conveyed by the witty on-liner helped to lighten the mood. And hey how could I not like a story about a band of thieves? A very good debut novel and I will definitely be reading the second in t ...more
David Sven
I had a lot of fun with this one. Fantastic story telling, well paced, great main character, excellent side characters, despicable villains and top-notch audio narration from Michael Page.

The world building was centred mainly on the city of Camorr; a city made of indestructible Elderglass built by an unknown presumed extinct race of beings called The Eldren. Camorr is divided by a network of canals and the city and its people have a very Italian Renaissance feel. Combine that with an Oliver Twi
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Becky
4.5 Stars

If books were boys, with the exception of two really awesome but short flings, my relationships in 2012 would be stuck firmly in the dreaded friend-zone.

But this book, this book took me by surprise. For about 200 pages, I thought this was another book for the friend-zone. It was good, smart and funny, but it didn't really hook me until almost the mid-point. After that, I couldn't get enough. After that, when everything started to come together, I realized how masterful this book is, an
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Michael
I had lots of fun and thrills with this fantasy entertainment. The fantasy world is richly realized, with both a semi-medieval flavor with respect to its technology and a modern cast in its corrupt power balance between the greedy rich and the greedy criminals. A gang of orphans trained to be thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards, are led by Locke Lamora into a career of bigger and bigger rip-off schemes applied to the wealthy aristocrats of the city of Camorr. I soon came to admire their camaraderie, ...more
Hanne
I feel like I have unfinished business with this book. I look at all these 5-star reviews and I scratch my head. (Thank goodness there are a few other mixed ones out there pointing roughly to the same issues I had with the book, so I know it’s not just me!)

I liked reading it, but it completely failed to grab me and pull me into the story. I really liked the start of the book, but more and more I felt like a witness, much like the falcon flying through the sky, wondering how Locke was going to ge
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Jonathan Peto
I can only speculate, but Scott Lynch’s query letter for this novel may have gone something like this:

Dear Agent,

Locke Lamora is a thief working with his small, tight-knit gang, the Gentleman Bastards, on another complicated scam to fleece a noble out of as much of his fortune as possible. The Gentleman Bastards have succeeded before, anonymously, a necessity because all nobles are beneficiaries of a secret agreement between Capa Barsavi, leader and master of all the city’s gangs, and Duke Nicov
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Josh
This is one of the best books I have read, in the fantasy genre or otherwise. Reading this, it's hard to imagine that this is Scott Lynch's debut novel, as it reads like a book from someone who has had plenty of time to master their craft.

I hate always bringing a comparison to George R.R. Martin, but here it's inevitable, for me anyways. First, I bought the book because of Martin's blurb of praise on the cover. Martin has great recommendations and he's never let me down. But not only is it a gr
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Ben Babcock
(Second review on October 9, 2009.)

In case the following new review doesn't make it absolutely clear, on a second reading, my admiration of The Lies of Locke Lamora has only increased. Even though I knew what would happen and anticipated every twist, I still enjoyed the book. While I don't think "re-readability" is a requirement for a great book, it certainly helps.

I quite enjoyed the story. It starts out as a con game and quickly becomes about intra-city politics, class warfare, and revenge. No
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Veeral
"1984" made me a fan of dystopian/speculative fiction.
"Eye of the needle" made me a fan of world war/ espionage thrillers.
"The Gulag Archipelago" made me a fan of historical non-fiction.
"Pillars of the earth" made me a fan of historical fiction.

On the other hand, I didn't encounter a book in the past that would have made me a fan of the epic fantasy genre. Sure, I read fantasy; I have had my fills of Tolkiens and Rowlings (and these books are great and I like them) but I needed one book from the
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73149
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 2, 1978, the first of three brothers. I've lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area my entire life; currently, just across the border in Wisconsin, about half an hour east of the Twin Cities.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, my first novel, was bought by Simon Spanton at Orion Books in August, 2004. Prior to that I had just about every job you usually see in this s
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More about Scott Lynch...
Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2) The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) The Bastards and the Knives (Gentleman Bastard, #0) The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard, #4) The Gentleman Bastard Books One and Two (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, #1-2)

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“Some day, Locke Lamora,” he said, “some day, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”
504 likes
“... It's perfect! Locke would appreciate it."

"Bug," Calo said, "Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are 'Locke would appreciate it.'"

"Rivalled only by 'Locke taught me a new trick,'" added Galo.

"The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games ..."

"... is Locke ..."

"... because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons ..."

"... and fifty thousand cheering spectators.”
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