Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Review: "The Lies of Locke Lamora" by Scott Lynch




When Virgin Megastore first opened in Jeddah I was among the first visitors. The promise of a new bookstore (with a potentially new collection) was far too seducing for me. The place was still in soft opening mode and the books section in particular was a mess. Still, being the bibliophile that I am, I waded bravely through the convoluted sea of pulp, seeing if I could find any treasure. And treasures I did find. Among my catch was "The Lies of Locke Lamora" which has been on my Amazon wish list for a while now. When it first hit the public consciousness, this debut book by Scott Lynch made plenty of waves, garnering accolades from critics and readers alike. Even getting itself a movie license. Quite a reputation to a live up to. Unto the purchase pile with ye, then.

Locke Lamora is the celebrated Thorn of Camorr; master thief, con artist extraordinaire, and man of mysteries. A man whose prowess is the stuff of legends. A reputation that suits the less remarkable Locke just fine. But things never go smoothly in the turbulent underworld of the fantastic city of Camorr. Just as Locke and his crew, the Gentlemen Bastards, are conducting their latest con, a shadowy figure enters the city and tips the careful criminal balance, threatening to overthrow the current leaders of not only the lawless underworld, but the noble masters of the city itself.

Now this book was fun! Think of it as an Ocean's Eleven set in a fantasy city based on Venice. The city of Camorr, with its rich and detailed imagery and history, quickly becomes something of a second character in the book, with its own personality and charm. But even more charming is Locke. While he is not exactly the most complex of literary characters he is very fun to read. Following his development from cunning street urchin to charming confidence trickster is almost as enjoyable as watching him navigate through yet another scam. Don't come here looking for high literary worth, or deep philosophical insight. This is a light read that doesn't claim to be anything other than that.

For some reason people love to read about other people getting tricked, which explains the success of the "heist" genre. "The Lies of Locke Lamora" delivers the goods and should ensure an enjoyable evening read.

2 comments:

Hning said...

So you couldn't have the time to write here but you found it at the other's, huh? (◣‿◢)

Come on, Dude, you're losing momentum! Traffic like that from AmericanBedu's blog is as high as it ever gets. Write or DIE!!!

[PS: Feel free to delete this comment. I mean, it's supposed to be private. I didn't know how else I could say it to you. (∩▂∩))

PPS: You made me proud. So proud.

Newsoul said...

Hm, a book review. Someday, I'll find this book.