Dan's Reviews > The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
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's review
Jun 17, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

Locke Lamora is an entertaining book with likable protagonists and despicable villains--with the exception of the primary antagonist, who proved somewhat anticlimactic. The book's plot moved quickly and actually surprised me with some of its twists. It ain't a bad read by any measure.

I really liked the setting; Mr. Lynch did a good job establishing the city of Camorre and indeed its entire world. Well, okay, not the entire world: The profanity of the fictional setting is identical to our own. I'm not sure why this bothers me; I read Neal Stephenson's Zodiac immediately prior to this, and Mr. Stephenson is not one to shy away from expletives. I guess what bugged me about TLoLL's cussin' was simply that it is the same stuff I hear on a daily basis, rather than the imagined "blood and bloody ashes" of a fantasy realm. It broke the fourth wall and thus my suspension of disbelief. (As did the quotes from real-world works like those of Shakespeare. Hint: Do not include stuff from the real world in fantasy fiction.) While Mr. Lynch is a talented writer, I've read many an author who easily bests his proficiency with the pen, so it's kind of sad that the real distinctive feature of his style is a Scorsese-like affinity for the vulgar. It's like Tarantino doing Tolkien.
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06/17/2009 page 0

Comments (showing 1-3)

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Jared Great review, man, and I can agree with much of what you're saying. I think that, overall, what I mainly liked about it was the depth of the world he had created. As you said (albeit facetiously), somewhat Tolkien-esque. There are very few books where I truly feel that they created a realistic world on both a microcosmic and macrocosmic level.

Tolkien, obviously, is one of the best ever at doing this. Lewis as well. That was what first hooked me about Jordan...though I eventually became disenchanted with him: his different regions and peoples were almost charicatures and there wasn't a true sense of language or history. So, although Scott Lynch broke the fourth wall with his quotes and his swearing, I felt--otherwise--that he had created a parallel universe.

message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Yeah, easily the best part of the book was its setting. There were tons of cool details: the Venice-like canal system, the thirteen-deity theology, the daily winds from different directions with their own nicknames (it was hard not to write "the names of the winds" here), the Elderglass (although the latter reminded me of the Sithi from Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn). It all combined to make a really compelling setting for the tale. Some of it got a little bit cheesy--I'm thinking here of the shark fighting, which, while certainly entertaining, was also a bit silly.

And I agree about Jordan. For me, the worst part wasn't that the different countries lacked a historical context, it was that he increasingly described every nuance of whatever culture the characters happened to be among. I remember with the Seanchan, Jordan belabored trivia regarding how the various members of the nobility shaved their freakin' heads. It's cool that he as the author knows that, but that should be invisible to me as a reader. Also, every new society that popped up in the tale seemed to be a matriarchy run by manipulative women out to get the Dragon Reborn.

Also, the Aiel were a lot cooler before Rand went out to visit them in the desert, when they were mysterious and mythic.

Jared I thought of another one: Dune.

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