January Fantasy Read - SPOILERS - The Lies of Locke Lamora

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January Fantasy Read - SPOILERS - The Lies of Locke Lamora

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1Morphidae
Dez 28, 2011, 11:58am

Here be the spoiler thread.

2maggie1944
Dez 28, 2011, 2:18pm

I'll be back as soon as I finish reading Lies.

3Severn
Dez 28, 2011, 7:20pm

I think I'll do a reread so I can contribute too. Yay! It's one of my favourite books.

4Morphidae
Jan 1, 2012, 1:17pm

I've finished the Prologue and while I'm enjoying the humor and the story, dang, the language is obscene! And this is someone who drops the f-bomb on occasion herself. Just... dang.

5maggie1944
Jan 1, 2012, 2:32pm

Lots of descriptions which exceeds my mind's eye ability to picture. Very lavish making the thread of the story a little hard to follow, maybe. Any way, I'm sticking to it as best I can, given that Paolini's much simpler story line, and descriptions, are also calling......

6Morphidae
Jan 2, 2012, 6:43am

I see what you mean about the descriptions. I've been skimming them. Not sure how far you are, but they seem to lessen up a bit further in.

I like the stories of Locke as a kid more than the current story so far.

7streamsong
Jan 2, 2012, 9:47am

I'm about 70 pages in.

The language is salty enough to make me careful about who I might recommend the book to, but is not stopping my enjoyment. f bombs are disappearing as the thiefmaker has been left behind.

The flashbacks can be a bit confusing but I am enjoying the technique. It makes the story as twisty as Locke himself is.

8maggie1944
Jan 2, 2012, 10:41am

Twisty is a great descriptions. Plan on reading a bunch today if I could just get finished reading the threads in the 75 books group. OMG, that is one chatty bunch of readers.

9Morphidae
Jan 3, 2012, 6:26am

I'm about halfway done and the violence in this book is really getting to me. It will definitely not be a favorite this year as I'm struggling with the desire to even finish it. I certainly won't be continuing with the series.

Also, the time change between past and present is fine. I'm used to that in other novels. But I find the time changes between present and immediate past is just manipulative to make us think something was happening when it wasn't.

10Jarandel
Jan 3, 2012, 7:30am

Re-reading it and loving it, though yes, there are a few scenes I just skip, torture isn't my thing even if it makes sense in the depicted context.

Has anyone noticed how the thief-maker strongly echoes a similar, memorable but also rather controversial Dickens character ? Though I found I enjoyed this one here more, being in a secondary world with no real-world equivalences & unconfortable possibly racist hints.

11NorthernStar
Jan 4, 2012, 1:49am

#9 - Morphidae - I felt a lot the same about this book. I did finish it, and thought the ending was OK. I started the second book, but quit not too far in after realizing I really didn't even want to know what happened to the characters. I thought I was the only person on LT who didn't love "Lies".

12Morphidae
Jan 4, 2012, 6:18am

>11 NorthernStar: No, not the only one. I'll probably rate this a 5 or 6 out of 10. The writing is good, but the story is too violent and unpleasant and like you, I really don't care about the characters. The best part of the book is the chapters on Locke's past. They make me think the author could have written something I would have liked more.

13Sakerfalcon
Jan 4, 2012, 8:20am

>11 NorthernStar:: I really enjoyed Lies, but disliked the sequel. However when I tried to reread Lies last year, I put it down and haven't managed to pick it up again. I guess I'll try it again to see if the magic comes back.

14streamsong
Jan 4, 2012, 9:27am

I prefer my gentleman bastards with more of the gentleman. and less of the bastard. Robin Hood ala Sean Connery I guess.

The other book I'm seriously reading right now is the Dalai Lama's new book on Ethics (ER read). It's a bit of mindbending combination, but it's really driving home the whole shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside theme of Locke, the nobles and the entire society.

15maggie1944
Jan 4, 2012, 4:43pm

ah, interesting point! Maybe that is one reason why are care so little; the other reason might be My Life:

sitting in my living room right now, Tom & Jerry on the TV, Kindergartener on the sofa next to me with his feet behind my back, one dog sitting on my lap trying to obscure my view of the computer screen with her head, other toddler on the floor watching the Tv.... we just finished Mac & Cheese for lunch... sigh.

And I am supposed to find time to read????

16millhold
Jan 6, 2012, 2:33pm

Hmmmm *scratches head and looks confused*

I'm reading it. I see touches of humor. I'm not--so far--dazzled, but I'm giving it a while longer. I plan on finishing it, regardless of its "dazzle" quality.

I agree that thief-maker is reminiscent of Dickens.

I keep feeling as though I'm in a retelling of something else I've read, but I can't think what it is. Does anyone else have that vague feeling?

17Athabasca
Jan 8, 2012, 9:40am

I'm only about 1/4 of the way through and I agree with most of the comments above.

I found the over-adjectival thing going on in the Prologue really off-putting, but that seems to have fallen away as the story gets going. (I wonder were the Prologue and the beginning of the book written at different times? There seems to be a bit of a difference in style)

Like others, I think the discontinuous timeline is intended to mirror the complexity of the plot (or maybe to distract you from poor pacing? Time will tell)

millhold - I'm getting quite a bit of deja vue as well. The background reminds me of Cherryh's Merovingen Nights, but I don't think that's it...something about the the hero coming from unknown origins and turning an apprenticeship in an immoral trade into an almost moral one? Creating a family along the way...it may come back to me. One of the problems with reading so much is that it can be a trial to track down allusions to previous reading. The storyline does have a rather old-fashioned feel, don't you think?

Overall, I'm enjoying this, even though I'm not usually fond of the dark fantasy stuff. I hadn't really noticed the bad language, but I am a bit averse to the torture stuff.

18Morphidae
Editado: Jan 8, 2012, 2:53pm

Here's my review. I gave it a 5 out of 10 stars.

Lynch is a good writer when it comes to his pacing, dialogue and story telling - yet I could barely finish this book because of the violence, torture and language. A couple times I got annoyed at the author when the time changes became manipulative. Lastly, I didn't like the main character. He didn't have enough positive qualities to negate the bad. Not recommended except for those who don't mind graphic and depressing stories about criminals with few redeeming qualities.

19Joybee
Jan 8, 2012, 8:20pm

I have to strongly agree with the other comments about the thiefmaker reminding me of a Dickens character. I'm only about 100 pages in, and I'm not really sure where it's going, but I'm entertained enough to continue. I also agree with the comment above, that the interludes of Locke's past are more entertaining.

20millhold
Jan 10, 2012, 12:28pm

I plan on finishing it, regardless of its "dazzle" quality.

My own famous last words, from #16 above.

I couldn't do it. Not only was I not enjoying it, but I found it way too easy to put down: in every sense of the phrase. Life's too short to struggle so hard for no return on my investment.

Sorry, everybody, but I'm out on this one.

21maggie1944
Jan 10, 2012, 1:06pm

I am joining the stampede towards the exit door! Sorry. Too many other books awaiting my attention.

22Jarandel
Jan 11, 2012, 8:51am

Booh :(

One of the things I like reading about in fantasy books is the magic system and organization(s) of mages and magical practice, when they're worth any notice. The parts about the bondsmage did a fairly good job IMO at establishing a low-fantasy feel where magic is rather scarce (apparently they all come from a single place and organization, which has them more or less in thrall), but powerful and feared even by the worst scum.

Wouldn't be surprised if Locke came afoul of them in some future book. Wasn't there even some hints that the woman he's in love with who went missing may have become involved with them ?

23Athabasca
Jan 11, 2012, 7:06pm

I finished Lies of Locke Lamora tonight and quite enjoyed it. Okay - it is a bit dark, nearly everyone ends up dead and there's an awful lot of torturing going on. On the other hand, there are some fine characters, the magic system is restrained and magic can be overset, which is a nice plot device. I found myself rooting for the heroes and there are some very funny moments. I would certainly read the rest. Like Jarandel, I think there might be more interaction with the bondmages in later books

(I should have realised earlier that book based in a city called Camorr would tend to be almost entirely about vengeance)

Thanks Morphy, for giving me the push to rescue this one from the TBR pile. (I even discovered I have a signed copy, isn't that nice?) :o)

24Severn
Editado: Jan 11, 2012, 7:10pm

22 - yeah, there are if I recall correctly. My own reread is going slowly, as I'm working, not sleeping well, occupied with writing and reading books for research. I still love it. It's a shame people couldn't finish it, but eh, its not for everyone.

ETA - I think another reason I like it so much is I'm also a fan of very restrained magic systems. The series is supposed to be long (providing Mr Lynch can overcome his depression enough to keep writing them, I hope he can -for the sake of his health, depression is no fun) so I think Sabetha and bondmage society will be revealed as the series goes on.

25reading_fox
Jan 14, 2012, 10:50am

I enjoyed my re-read of it. Full review is HERE I didn't have any trouble at all with the language or descriptions. I don't even rate it as particular dark, because many of the details weren't that explicit, there are a lot more gruesome books out there, but granted it isn't a YA fantasy story. I did struggle with the interludes though. I don't like flashbacks, I like to be carried away by the main plot, and these kept interupting.

I so want Sabetha to appear, the continual references to an absent character over a timeline of 10 years or so? was also annoying. The only other thing I don't like is the alien city - how, who, what why? More details would have been very welcome.

I do liek the fast witted characters, I enjoy an enemy who is properly clever. I liked the magic system that kept out of the way, and the sensible restraint that prevents everyone from just magicing a solution to any problem (always a difficulty in fantasy novels).

I will read the sequel even though I remember it being not as brilliant. I so hope the third part comes out soon.

26Morphidae
Jan 14, 2012, 11:15am

>25 reading_fox: Ha! That's funny because I preferred the interludes to the main story!

27Severn
Jan 14, 2012, 6:55pm

25 - the sequel should be coming out later this year I think.

28AHS-Wolfy
Jan 14, 2012, 7:31pm

Severn, that will be the third book in the series. The second, Red Seas Under Red Skies has been out for a while now.

29Severn
Jan 15, 2012, 12:23pm

Ugh, I know sorry - I have the second. The third was what I was meaning. /checks for brain

30reading_fox
Jan 18, 2012, 11:04am

Enjoyed the sequel too. Doesn't have as many interruptions which is good, and maybe slightyl less violence for those who cared about such things. Still plenty of swearing though, they're pirates this time out. Bit of a cliffhanger ending though!

31streamsong
Jan 19, 2012, 9:22am

I finished the book yesterday.

The plot kept me returning and I enjoyed the humor. Like others, I enjoyed the interludes about Locke's boyhood. I wonder if I would have stuck with it if it had been a linear story.

I'm not a big fan of books where characters you are fond of die. I still haven't gotten over Sirius Black's and Dumbledore's deaths!

I'm curious about Sebetha and also what happened to Chains, but I don't have a burning desire to start the next book, especially since others have said it ends on a cliffhanger and the third book is still in progress. Perhaps when the third book comes out, I'll revisit.

I'd call it a slightly above average read--I'd be careful who I recommended it to due to language and torture. So for me, I've rated it 3.5 stars.

32saltmanz
Jan 19, 2012, 10:59am

31: Don't be too put off by the "cliffhanger" ending of the second book. It's not really so much a cliffhanger as it is one massive loose end; the plot itself more or less comes to a full resolution.

33streamsong
Jan 19, 2012, 11:15am

Thank you saltmanz. That's good to know. If a copy comes my way, I'm more likely to pick it up after your comment.

34Joybee
Jan 19, 2012, 9:51pm

I finished lies of locke lamora a while ago. Overall I really liked it. It took me a while to get into it but by the end I realized I had formed strong attachments to the characters. I liked the humor of the book and how the good guys were criminals, but they weren't all that bad, they had good morals (for theives). I plan to continue with the series, but will wait a while.

35JannyWurts
Editado: Out 3, 2012, 1:00pm

I finally finished this.

The setting was the 'star' of the show in many ways - it was so well fleshed out and so layered and inventive, I had a real sense of Camorr - it came alive, even reveled in its filth and corruption, from its grand society to its grungy back alleys, and the mystery inherent in the old technology gave it an interesting twist.

I had a long, hard time relating to the panoramic dystopia, and to Locke - he was portrayed as so very arrogant and clever - the early half of the story gave me little sense of what was at stake - or what he stood for, because little or nothing mattered beyond his passion for thieving for thieving's sake. The overlaid time lines, developed in pastiche, tended to chop up the continuity further.

This wasn't confusing so much as a constant disengagement.

I started to relate by the half point, and finished the last quarter of the story a bit more quickly. The violence and foul language fitted the utterly cynical tone of the story. It was the constant degraded atmosphere that wore down my enthusiasm - I found it hard to root for anyone, in play after play of cleverness there was not a lot of tension, only denouement in how the gentlemen bastards pulled the wool over their victims' eyes - while the humor was deft, the constant dazzle factor - look at this cool thing, look at that bit of imaginary cleverness - I kept looking for a deeper meaning underneath.

At the finish, I'm left with mixed feelings. The writing was accomplished, the narrative voice had genuine verve and originality, the turns of imagination had an undeniable brilliance. If I was disenchanted with the characters, it's my own response to the 'new grit' trend - a 'dog eat dog' outlook coupled with the ultra nasty revenge plot - and the voice extolling the cynical that I (personally) find exhausting.

I am glad to have read this, it gave me some laugh out loud moments, along with quite a lot of flinch over the ikky bits. I didn't cry or mourn the character deaths because the bent of sick humor prevailed - for a story aimed as an elaborate, gritty joke with a punchline, it succeeded very well.

36maggie1944
Out 3, 2012, 2:06pm

Thanks, Janny. This gives me a little perspective on a book I gave up on because I did not like the characters or the story.

37streamsong
Out 4, 2012, 8:05am

Thanks from me, too, Janny. That is a wonderfully clear analysis of the book and really put into word some of my half-formed feelings.

I really hope you post this as a review on the book's page.

38JannyWurts
Out 5, 2012, 9:23am

# 37 streamsong, you're welcome, I'm pleased to hear you found my thoughts helpful. I feel better - more comfortable? - discussing a book with others who are actually reading it, than presuming to impose my take upon those who may not yet have looked at the book for themselves.