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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
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2012 Reads > TLOLL: Final Thoughts

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Drew Miller | 9 comments Just finished this one last night. Got more sucked in than normal on a day off and ended up just reading my way through it.

Favorite thing about the book? The way Scott Lynch worked the back and forth of the timeline. I've seen this done before very poorly, and this to me was an example of it done well.

I've seen this one recommended by a lot of people for a long time and now I understand why.


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments The first time I read it I (view spoiler)

Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments I enjoyed it. I thought the writing effective and that it drew me in. I read somewhere else on the forum where someone didn't like the interludes towards the end because they had nothing to do with the story. I found it quite the opposite. I thought they were interesting and added to the atmosphere of the setting.

itrooper | 20 comments I enjoyed it enough that I followed it up with the second one.

Drew Miller | 9 comments Same here itrooper. Just downloaded the second one and started it today. Also agree with you Nick that while a lot of people liked the later interludes LESS I actually liked them more. It really increased the "world immersion" for me.

Dazerla | 227 comments I have to say I actually liked this book, and considering it was about thieves and the underbelly, I wasn't sure I was going to. And I agree I liked the interludes and looking back not only did they add immersion but hinted at actions characters might take. Defiantly reading the next one.

Joseph Well I've read this book many times before, so all I'll say is:

It's freaking awesome! I love this book, there's no magic wands, dragons, confusing derpy mythology or an 'end of the world' saga.

It's a book about a group of incredible people with massive flaws, who realise (the hard way) that "if you push the world, the world pushes back", to quote Father Chains. :D

Mark Nuhfer | 32 comments I LOVED this book! It had about 3 or 4 books inside of it.

It was exciting and intelligent.

I'm going to go download the 2nd book now.

Margaret (megallina) | 23 comments I really, really thought I was going to hate this book, so I just checked it out from the library as a matter of principle, so I could tell myself that I gave it a shot.
Final thoughts: It's the most exciting book I've ever read. Not the best, or my favorite, or anything like that. But it was certainly exciting, and kept my adrenaline level up for hours after I finally finished.

Louis (osiramon) | 60 comments People mentioned this was like Oceans eleven, but I would go more for The Sting. The ending is different because of the deaths, but if you remember, the best con is one where the money can never be recovered because its too hard to get back (Deep in shark infested waters), and they have no one to chase.

I also had problems with he bondimage being able to affect Locke when later something is missing. Was there some training that we missed?

This book had parts I really did like, but there were issues with the jumping around as they tried to hide what was going on. We have This book had parts I really did like, but there were issues with the jumping around as they tried to hide what was going on. We have characters introduced that are never met, and people introduced that disappear with little explanation. It's obvious that this is being released as a series where they will spawn threads out.

The writing that was there was good and so I will overlook some of the flaws, but the jumping around lowered its score. i wish I had the full text so I could put into a direct chronology. I think that would have been better. Note that I can handle jumping around in scenes normally but this had excess problems because of the mentioned but never seen characters and unresolved issues.

I think that last 5 syllable name given to Jean is probably another lie...

message 11: by Ewan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ewan (ewanreads) | 94 comments I've heard people criticise characters like Locke for being overconfident and too talented to make engaging reading. I loved this book for the incredible build up with the Gentleman Bastards until they felt invincible and then their (from our perspective) inevitable fall.

message 12: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy (andy_m) | 311 comments I loved the book and it was a fantastic first novel for Scott Lynch. I am definitely going to keep an eye out for his future work.

I along with some other people enjoyed the Interludes less towards the end - that is not to say I did not like them but the first few were fantastic and at the end they were less about character and more about world building. Important world building, but not quite as interesting.

I like that Locke could figure his way out of situations, not that he had perfect plans that did not ever go wrong but that he could adapt to the changes, especially in the second half.

message 13: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Hansford | 52 comments I loved it, and am committed to the rest of the series.

Nicholas | 27 comments Meggie wrote: "I really, really thought I was going to hate this book, so I just checked it out from the library as a matter of principle, so I could tell myself that I gave it a shot.
Final thoughts: It's the mo..."

This is basically a paraphrase of the review I just wrote! I've read several better books in even recent memory, but none that had the sheer fun and excitement of this (well, Snow Crash did, but The Lies of Locke Lamora didn't pause for an hour-long lecture on ancient religion in the middle). I found myself giving it five stars for that alone.

Jonathan Cassie (joncassie) | 2 comments What I love about The Lies of Locke Lamora is the time Lynch spent in developing relationships between characters. In this, I think he is a master of contemporary fantasy/speculative fiction, even better than folks like Joe Abercrombie (perhaps better at developing character, but not relationships) and Robin Hobb (whose FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool books are not to be missed).

And even with what I think is a slow start, in Red Seas Under Red Skies, Lynch does work of equally sublime depth with character relationships.

Mohrravvian | 99 comments I admit I was hoping this book would not be picked... it just didn't sound like something I would like. Not sure why really, a book about thieves just didn't sound appealing. But, I'm definitely glad it was picked because I loved it! It was exciting and the characters and their relationships were great and believable. And it had a great plot on top of all that. I definitely plan to read the next one!

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It's always nice to be surprised by a book like that.

Raymond (railer) | 9 comments Just finished it 5 minutes ago. I have to say I really enjoyed it, it was a great read. When I first noticed that he went back and forth between time lines i was a bit worried, but it worked out great in this case. The relationship between the characters was great and I was quite surprised when some characters died.

I'm for sure gonna continue reading this series.

Nicholas | 27 comments I too found some deaths to be surprising. Especially (view spoiler)

I kind of wish I hadn't seen even the cover for book two before reading this one though. Just the title and the ship on the cover made it seem likely that we'd find Locke and company ousted from Camorr by story's end.

message 20: by Ryan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ryan Olson (yollege) | 11 comments I loved this book. I hadn't heard of it before it showed up on the poll, but I added it quickly to my must read list after seeing most of my fantasy friends had read it already, so I was probably missing out...

And yes, turns out I had been. A great book, and I really look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I enjoyed the humor. I laughed quite a bit at the dialogue, even in pretty intense scenes.

(view spoiler)

Melissa | 65 comments I'm sorry to say that I just could not get into this book. I didn't think Locke had a real purpose or goal until very near the end. I understand the idea of thievery because you like it, but the way it was done here just didn't draw me in. I kept wondering what exactly the story was about. The last maybe 10% of the book finally showed some motivation, but by them I was just skimming through it. I'm not really articulating my dislike of the book very well, but I just think that it took too long to get to the point.

I believe this is the first book in a series, so I'm assuming this is meant as more of a set up for adventures to come, but even looked at that way, it was still not a good set up.

Also, I thought the use of italics was excessive! I know what italics are used for, but it felt like every third word was in italics.

I think that books about charming thieves and their adventures is not for me.

message 22: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Nuhfer | 32 comments In case it hasn't already been posted elsewhere, is having a read-a-long of this book, too:

As part of that they posted a link to Scott Lynch's blog where he talks about how he cam up with this book:

message 23: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess | 9 comments I think the test of how good a book really is is how long you keep reading it after you really should have gone to sleep because you have work in the morning. I think I finished it at about 3am. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

message 24: by Bob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob (shack) | 103 comments I didn't think I would enjoy this book at all but quickly found myself liking the character of Locke and his friends. Though I did not like the world described in this book, I did enjoy the story and the characters. I'm satisfied enough with the ending that I don't feel a need to read the second book.

Thanks Sword & Laser for turning me onto an enjoyable read that I would not have read otherwise.

Amanda (amanda-andonian) | 19 comments I agree with Kate from way up there on the thread - I really liked how Lynch (view spoiler). You almost never have authors committing characters to such a drastic turn of events, and I think that Lynch pulled it off well. It definitely affected me and pulled me further into the story, wondering what Locke would do next because of it.

While I certainly wouldn't like it if every author did this to their characters every time, the way that Lynch set it up was effective and made sense in the logic of the story. Though I suppose if everyone did it, it would be a trope, and the fact that it was against the norm is what made it surprising and emotional for me.

Ashley (amarie007) | 1 comments I thought this was a great book and can't wait to read more of the series. I thought the characters (and their relationships) were very complex and believable. Locke was probably my favorite character, especially like the way his motives change at the end. Also thought it had quite humorous dialogue. Caught myself laughing quite a bit. I really couldn't put it down!

Jordy (jordysbrain) | 7 comments Fun story, immersive world.

I do hope that the rest of the series relates to this very intriguing world in a more direct way. If this were not the first instalment in a series, I would be questioning why Scott Lynch bothered with all of this detail when the actual plot could readily been adjusted to fit in to non-fantasy, real-world setting.

I do think that the author does seem to have a real plan guiding the series. Its really interesting that so little is revealed about (view spoiler) and Sabetha's entire story. This says to me that Lynch has plotted out quite a bit of the forthcoming books. So maybe the story of the prior civilisations is also planned for later instalments.

Anyway, I've started Red Seas Under Red Skies, so obviously I'm enjoying it.

Richtea | 5 comments Finished listening to the Audiobook, I thought it was excellent.
It brought genuine tears to my eyes in moments and I really loved the way the flashbacks and interludes added to and highlighted points in the main timeline. Really clever.
I did like Locke, but I don't think he became a fully rounded character till the end and the whole repition of the (view spoiler) sections really affected me emotionally.
Brilliantly done.

I am definetly going to get the second book, in fact it's already in my Audible shopping basket.

message 29: by Jill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jill Books like this are the reason I join book clubs - something I wouldn't normally pick up but wind up loving. It took a while to get into for me - I've said on another thread that I wasn't sure about the narrator on the audiobook but by part two I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

Like others have said, not the best book I have ever read but well worth the read and I'll be picking up the next installment once my backlog clears a little. Thanks to all the S&L-ers that voted for it in the poll!

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments My only real complaint was (view spoiler) But that's an initial impression. I'm sure as I think on it some more, it won't annoy me as much. It certainly doesn't detract from everything else about the book, which is amazing for the various reasons already mentioned, and I'm eager to get into the second one.

itrooper | 20 comments "Jean's an undefeatable fighter

-Not exactly a complaint, but if you build up the character as being nigh undefeatable, then you know that it's kinda pointless"

I understand what you are saying though I generally don't agree. Many characters in this genre (Sword & Laser) are virtually undefeatable. Some of the best characters are nearly god like in their prowess with combat. Drizzt Do'Urden is a good example. You know he is going to win virtually every encounter. The beauty of this is that you can enjoy the way it happens.

Take the case of one Kvothe from the Kingkiller Chronicles. He is by definition going to make it out of every fight because he is alive and telling you the story. I don't know about you but for me none of the tension was ruined. Maybe Rothfuss is some kind of wizard (have you seen his beard) though and I am totally wrong.

message 32: by Kendrick (last edited Mar 09, 2012 09:01AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kendrick (kmartinix) I'm totally in agreement with you Kid.

(view spoiler)
Outside that, I truly loved the world Lynch created with this book. All the details and descriptions of the city districts were excellent.

message 33: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken (kenwong) | 10 comments Had a great time reading this and I agree with Kid on most of his points. Locke and Jean seem too good at what they do so I know in the back of my mind that they can always find a way to get away with what they do.

Louis (osiramon) | 60 comments itrooper wrote: ""Jean's an undefeatable fighter

-Not exactly a complaint, but if you build up the character as being nigh undefeatable, then you know that it's kinda pointless"--Kid

I understand what you are say..."

And like Kvothe, you know the person survived, but there can be consequences to the fight. For instance Jean is severely wounded. The same can always happen to Kvothe. Time heals wounds yet hidden scars can remain forever.

Mason | 20 comments I remember finding this book enjoyable, though not without its flaws. That seems to be the general consensus here (with the expected outliers forming the bell-curve shape: the lemmers and the lovers). The problems some have had with character motivations intrigues me. I don't remember having that same concern, but it does make me wonder what would be acceptable motivations for thieves and con artists like these. Some have argued that they do it for fun, or because it's all they know and they are good at it. There does seem to be a parallel between them and hackers. Not so much that hackers are thieves and con artists, but that both groups are anti-authority and get a kick in showing off how they can work around and under the system.

Laura (lrb610) | 8 comments Just finished the book and I really enjoyed the book (and I already plan on the ready the second one.) The one thing I keep coming back to even with some of the problems mentioned above is that this book was fun to read (or listen to as I did.) I laughed many times listening to this book and really liked the characters and the world that Lynche created.

Some of my favorite books are not masterpieces of literature but just great entertainment and this one was that for me.

Janie Finished the book last week! It was SO nice to be surprised by a book again and get that feeling where you don't wanna eat, live, poop, just read and read and read, and be a thief too!

I too was surprised about the lack of (view spoiler) I can only think the reason for this is that the scope of this story is so wide and that he will continue to "interlude" throughout the entire series.

On Audiobook this is freaking amazing. Michael Page has so many voices, and they all resonate in you somehow. You grow very fond and attached to them, and that makes it more difficult when they (view spoiler) At first when listening to the audiobook I was confused with the In Media Res especially because I thought maybe Winamp was on shuffle or something! I went out and bought the book too so I could have it for my collection, and was pleased that it was just written that way!

I would seriously recommend this audiobook to anyone!!! Michael Page does Red Seas under Red Skies too, which I've moved onto of course!

message 38: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
This book slowly won me over. I really liked the brash intro (the colorful cursing between Chains and the Thiefmaker), but immediately after that it became a kind-of amusing but not gripping read as Locke and his gang more or less effortlessly pulled off their long cons (I had the same issues with the effortlessness and lack of surprise that others above did).

And additional nitpick was that anyone who had a sense of humor in the book had the *exact same sarcastic sense of humor and exact same method of expressing it* -- including the narrator. Of course when the humor was excellent, like in that initial Chains-Thiefmaker dialogue, it didn't matter, but it was kind of be like if everyone in the Hitchhiker's Guide books spoke in the exact same way that Adams-as-narrator did.

Regardless, things did pick up considerably for me when the Gray King was introduced and put Locke and gang in a delicious pickle. And by the last third, I was pretty engrossed. I'm curious about the next in the series, and hoping it can be compelling throughout instead of an extreme ramp up half-way through. Also, (view spoiler)

I had some other issues similar to ones voiced above. The switch between alternate chapters being character-building flashbacks and then later alternate chapters being "meanwhile..." plot info reveals was kind of jarring. And I too wondered how the Gray King could afford a bondsmage and none of the Camorr royalty could.

And (view spoiler).

But overall, it did win me over me in the end. I especially liked the line (view spoiler)

message 39: by Stuart (last edited Mar 14, 2012 12:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stuart (stuartellis) | 47 comments There's not much that I can add to what has already been said, so I'll just mention how movie-like the whole book felt to me. Not just the plot and characters, but the number of scenes that seem like they would translate directly to screen, and would be amazing if done with a movie budget.

terpkristin | 4188 comments I haven't finished reading the book yet (about 75% of the way through), but I have to ask those that finished--is it weird that I'm simultaneously considering Lemming this and considering buying the sequel?

Is the sequel more...plot-driven? I usually claim to like character-driven stories, but this seems to be all character...I'm still not sucked in, even after the "event" happened at about 50% through.

Napoez3 | 158 comments Over all I liked the book.

At first, the timeline "game" got me annoyed, I was more interested in Locke's past than in the Salvara hit, then (view spoiler)

I didn't like how the nobility spoke, I don't care if Locke, the Capa, Jean and all the thieves use f*ck more than adjectives, but the Salvaras using such a "vulgar" vocabulary, it doesn't feet with my view of high born "1%".

A quote to finish this:
(view spoiler)

message 42: by Matt (last edited Mar 15, 2012 10:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt (msquires) | 2 comments I was ready to abandon this book (I can't use Lem, I love Stanislaw too much) even up to the 30% mark. I just didn't feel like I was getting the hang of the characters and what motivates them. But something happened after scene where Locke was told he was to (view spoiler) I made time to read it instead. Next thing I knew I was laughing out loud to Locke and crew's insults. I woke up my wife out of a sound sleep giggling about the chapter that started "Nice bird, a**hole" directly after a chapter that went on at length about the wisdom of speaking with great reverence and respect to bondsmagi. I can't put my finger on what changed, and I've thought about it a lot. Maybe it was just that it took me a while to get the hang of the characters. My only complaint about the ending was that the (view spoiler) seemed a little too Adam West Batman-y to me.

In short though, I really enjoyed this book, and I've all ready started Red Seas. So no rush with the next book, all right?

Adrian (aashdown) Having only recently become aware of S&L, and joined this forum less than 2 weeks ago, I must say I am really glad I did so!.

This book is one I probably would not have ever come across if left to my own devices, but I really enjoyed it, and look forward to continuing with the series.

As others have said here, I found the parallel timeline's to be well executed, and complementary. Being immersed in the main thread of the story, punctuated by timely chunks of back story that help explain recent or forthcoming events was a refreshingly informative and enjoyable experience for me.

Yet another author and series to add to my teetering to-be-read pile!

Joseph terpkristin wrote: "I haven't finished reading the book yet (about 75% of the way through), but I have to ask those that finished--is it weird that I'm simultaneously considering Lemming this and considering buying th..."

There's Pirates in the second book? And a lot more "stuff" happens yes, many more bastards for Locke and Jean to play and get played with. :D

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aldenoneil | 1000 comments This one took me a long time to start enjoying - like right near the end. There were certainly aspects I enjoyed. The characters mostly seemed to be having a good time, but unfortunately they were having a better time than I was.

message 46: by Rebecca (last edited Mar 15, 2012 08:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rebecca Mabe (beckegirl) | 26 comments I really enjoyed this audiobook. Michael Page is nothing short of amazing with his comedic delivery of the colorful cursing and his variety of voicings. Truly awesome. I was hooked immediately with the dialogue between Locke, and Chains. The comraderie that is formed between the Gentleman Bastards was just fun to read in general and left me in a good humor...and then...the killing. Maybe some of you are more experienced fantasy genre readers or had some insight that I did not but my audible reaction to that turn of events was; WTF!?! Really?! So I spent the next few hours of listening with a chip on my shoulder but soon lost the aforementioned chip when the action started picking up. Masterfully done. I have sooo much to read that I'm probably not going to pick up the sequel anytime soon; that being said I'm sure it's worth reading and I may cross paths with Locke Lamora again someday.

message 47: by Skriker (last edited Mar 16, 2012 05:20AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Skriker | 2 comments I agree with most posters. The beginning was dull and didn't pull me in immediately. The interweaving time lines were deftly handled and made for an excellent change of pacing. The deeper descriptions of amazing locations created by an earlier mystery race definitely peeked my interest. I also like how that wasn't really part of the story itself. Just a good story that happens to take place in a fantasy world. While I was entertained by his few special new concepts and ideas. Running through razor sharp rose gardens made for a unique training device. I actually enjoyed Scott Lynch's predictable grifter angle even more. The Sting in a fantasy setting really does work. Albeit in a predictable spoon feeding sort of way but with all the fun icing on top.

In regards to the audiobook, I want to add that I really enjoyed the narrator. He was quite good and had wonderful pacing. The only complaint was the volume levels. Sound quality was excellent but when he did certain stronger voices the volume was quite a bit louder. As someone who listens in car and in headphones this made for some way too loud (pause, adjust volume) now it's too quiet moments. Could have easily been fixed in Post but apparently wasn't... =(

All in all 5.3 out of 9.
p.s. Now I'm in the mood for spaceships too.

James Mitchell | 1 comments I enjoyed this book. The timeline changes at the start seemed to be poorly executed and made the book hard to read initially but lynch clearly improved as the story progressed. I felt that once the timeline changes flowed better, the overall pace and my enjoyment improved significantly.

I gave the book a 3/5

message 49: by Clay (new) - rated it 2 stars

Clay Hartman (ovejas) | 3 comments I normally like gritty thief stories, but I'm not to fond of Errol Flynn-y swashbuckler. I think this book did a good job of going back and forth between the two. I do feel it leaned a little to the campy Robin Hood side. Still Lynch gave me enough blood, guts, betrayal, and revenge to keep me on until the end.

It's a very well written book for sure. I really liked dialogue between certain characters. Such as the Bastard's them selves. But was less interested in the nobility. I don't like the idea of nobility, and I truly believe anyone who styles them selves that far above others is a moron. But the Nobility in Lies just seemed too dumb.

My only real complaint however is that it dragged on a little. If the book had been 150 pages less, I probably would have moved up to 3 or 4 stars, and moved on to the second book. but at 500 pages, with 7 books I feel it's more suited to fans of this type sometimes very campy story.

terpkristin | 4188 comments I finally finished it this morning. It felt like a bit of a slog. I'm somewhat disappointed, as I expected to like this book a lot more than I did. The writing was good, the characters were interesting people, but somehow, this didn't suck me in. In some ways, it felt like a lot of people being normal with a few action scenes thrown in here and there. The action scenes also seemed a little too neat...even when he lost, Locke seemed to win. Don't think I'll read the rest of the series.

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