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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
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2012 Reads > TLOLL: I am glad it is not a single timeline

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message 1: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments One thing in fantasy that I have no patience for is the "coming of age" backstory, the growing up and discovering what is what. I prefer a tighter plot and these backstories tend to be just character development and I keep wanting it to get to the "real" action. I guess I just like stories with adults as the primary actors, not children. Using books often discussed hereabouts as examples, I prefer the approach in The Blade Itself to The Name of the Wind.

So, the beginning of this book worried me a bit, since it was starting along that childhood path. Then it DID jump ahead to the primary plot story, allowing me to tolerate the "interludes".


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments I liked the two strands structure too.
It felt like any time I was getting fed up with one narrative we jumped back or forward to another.
And it allows Lynch to mostly get through the childhood stuff in interesting little chunks, rather than dwelling too much in it.


message 3: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments Exactly, Kate. If it had been written in a single chronological narrative, I would probably have given up before it got to the adult Locke. Just an irrational pet peeve of mine.


Mark Nuhfer | 32 comments Vance wrote: "One thing in fantasy that I have no patience for is the "coming of age" backstory, the growing up and discovering what is what. I prefer a tighter plot and these backstories tend to be just charac..."

I had the opposite reaction. I was enjoying the prologue of Locke as a boy and looking forward to the "coming of age" story. I as thrown for a loop when I started in on the first chapter and it looked like he had grown up, but it wasn't immediately clear that was what had happened.

And I was feeling sad that I wouldn't get that coming of age back story. So I'm glad to hear that the book follows both timelines apparently.


message 5: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments Mark, you will be very happy to hear that it picks up again right where you left off! :0)


Mark Nuhfer | 32 comments Vance wrote: "these backstories tend to be just character development..."

Vance, I was also thinking about how I liked the characters introduced in the prologue, and that maybe this would be a character-driven book. And I started to think about how much I seem to like character-driven stories, and especially more in fantasy books maybe more than in science fiction books. Something I don't know that I've especially noticed about my reading preferences.

Looks like a book that can satisfy tastes for both character and action?

Don't get me wrong, though- I like some action in the story too!


Ewan (ewanreads) | 94 comments I liked the interludes. They seemed to be tactically deployed to make you absolutely rabid to get back to the main storyline while still adding some much needed flesh to the bone of the characters.


message 8: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments As a means of providing the backstory without one long childhood narrative, I think the interludes are a nice way of handling it as well.


message 9: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments So - is the title of this thread a spoiler ?


message 10: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy (andy_m) | 311 comments Stan wrote: "So - is the title of this thread a spoiler ?"

Not at all. I just started on the book and I can say that so far knowing that the author handles the back story in chucks or time-lines does not affect my enjoyment of the story.

In my opinion it works rather well for the story.


Gregory Lynn (gregory_lynn) Stan wrote: "So - is the title of this thread a spoiler ?"

Not remotely. Two paragraphs into Chapter 1 you know it's not a single timeline.

Personally, I think if you have an excellent character I'll read what they eat for breakfast.


terpkristin | 4142 comments I'll admit, I was confused by the bouncing timeline at the very first. Then I realized what it was and I definitely dig it.


message 13: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments Ahhh.. Timeline as in flash backs. Not timeline as in "Alternate"


Kevin Ashby | 119 comments Maybe it is just me but the jumping around in the time line is driving me crazy. Just finished with the alley scene - it starts with them set up in the alley, then jumps to them on their way to the alley, then back in the alley, then on the way to the alley - aaaaauuuugggghhhh! What the heck is the point of that! I can understand two narratives set in different times in the story - but why flashback to an hour before the event you are in when it serves no purpose whatsoever.


message 15: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam | 33 comments Kevin wrote: "Maybe it is just me but the jumping around in the time line is driving me crazy. Just finished with the alley scene - it starts with them set up in the alley, then jumps to them on their way to the..."

I tend to agree. I haven't gotten much further than this myself, but far enough to see that it will be a reused method. There doesn't seem two be much, if anything, added to the story by jumping time within the same approximate frame. It just added confusion when done in conjunction with the multiple-year jumps between young Locke and older Locke (which I enjoy).


Louis (osiramon) | 60 comments I normally have no problems with jumping, but this had characters that are mentioned but never seen. For instance in his dealing with Nazca, it's mentioned his love for another. We think we know of her and may know heard her name but know little of her. And there should have been more interplay between Nazca and Locke, perhaps early explorations of romance.


message 17: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments Louis, I agree that the "friendship" which seems so strong was very lightly treated. I suspect that the other girl will make an appearance in later books.

I am about halfway through and I am finding that I just don't enjoy the "young Locke" interludes, but this is likely just my prejudice against stories with children as the main characters.


message 18: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Hansford | 52 comments Vance wrote: "One thing in fantasy that I have no patience for is the "coming of age" backstory, the growing up and discovering what is what. "
I agree in principle, I've never been big on kids as main characters either, but this book is the exception to the rule for me. Locke's relationship with chains is turning out to be everything that Boy Scouts wasn't and has me hooked. I think I'm enjoying the younger narrative more, which is a surprise.


message 19: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments This one one of the rare cases where the flash back format worked well. Particularly since they tended to relate to the ongoing story,


message 20: by Amanda (last edited Feb 29, 2012 02:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amanda (amanda-andonian) | 19 comments Sam wrote: There doesn't seem two be much, if anything, added to the story by jumping time within the same approximate frame. It just added confusion when done in conjunction with the multiple-year jumps between young Locke and older Locke "

I agree that it's confusing, especially in the beginning, but I do think that the flashbacks have a purpose in the narrative, if only to show why the boys are the way they are in the present-day storyline. However, it seems like Lynch is doing it much more than necessary. I'm over half-way through the book, and I love it for the most part, but all these flashbacks have an irritating way of taking me out of the urgency of the moment.


message 21: by Mike (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mike | 43 comments Interesting, I actually really appreciate the flashbacks - even as quick as they are. I think it is like an onion, the narrative is unfolding for us layer by layer. Just when we think we are seeing the story for what it is he unlayers another layer. Furthermore, bits and pieces of the story are revealed to us at a time, not always in chronological order. It has a neat feel to it that feels to me like a puzzle that is lovingly being put together in what seems a funny order but ultimately is revealing a beautiful picture.


message 22: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth Buchsbaum | 31 comments Mike wrote: "Interesting, I actually really appreciate the flashbacks - even as quick as they are. I think it is like an onion, the narrative is unfolding for us layer by layer. Just when we think we are seeing..."

Like an onion? Or like a parfait?

//shrek jokes


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2479 comments I liked the fact that the interludes decreased in length towards the end so they did not interrupt the climax of the novel. If the ones in the exciting ending were as long as the ones in the beginning, it would have totally thrown me out of the story.


Jacob (lilgoodlad) | 7 comments I liked how he presented the story in separate pieces but it did get confusing sometimes when I thought the ipod had jumped ahead.


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