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Author Topic: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch  (Read 1714 times)

Darkon

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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« on: April 10, 2016, 11:39:32 PM »

If you haven't read the Lies of Locke Lamora yet, then this thread may spoil for you. Read at your own risk. Seeing that this topic is about the first book of the Gentlemen Bastards sequence books, do not borther putting spoiler tags around information regarding the first book. However, if anyone has anything to say about the other Scott Lynch Gentlemen Bastards sequence books, then use spoiler tags! For more Scott Lynch discussion, see also this thread. :)

The Lies of Locke Lamora (LoLL) was one of the books I recently picked up for ten cents a piece. (Yes, very happy about that.) It was also one of the books on my list of books I still wanted to read because an array of friends, colleagues and acquaintances had recommended it.

So here we are, I own the book and I have read it. And I must say I too like it. Its strong suits are the buildup, switching between normal chapters and flashback chapters, thereby creating nice cliffhangers every chapter that makes you keep reading. The downside is that some of the flashback chapters are infodumps, and also that after a while, you can guess what will happen next, depending on the sort of information dumped in the flashback chapter.

I quite liked the descriptions, and how they added to the atmosphere of the story, which are especially strong in the first half of the book. The cursing was over the top and artificial at times near the start, but seemed to work better as the work progressed. Especially if it was Locke doing it.

Locke not using his real name didn't come as a surprise to me. Especially when it was stated that Lamora was probably not his real last name. I suspect that Locke may be connected to the Throne Therin in some way, but if so, then that will probably be revealed later. The Sanza brothers and Bug were also all marked for death from the start, when it became apparent that the only other Gentleman Bastard worthy of backstory was Jean Tannen. (Poor sods.) Nonetheless the characters and their interactions felt more dimensional than what can be read in other works of fantasy fiction.

As an European the whole Venice-Italian canvas the story is painted against is one that I found pretty dull and uninteresting, and the reference to the Camorra was pretty straightforward, but the group of friends that were the Gentlemen Bastards made me keep on reading (together with the cliffhangers). I wanted to know more about them and for the rest of the sideshow bob's bobbing around the story, I couldn't care less. Although I felt that Nazca could have been more interesting to read about, had she not been killed off a few chapters later. (Pity.)

The fights were well done though, and balanced. Which is something that sometimes goes overboard. Nonetheless the 'good guys' win in the end. But at least it was in a satisfying way. ;)

All in all an entertaining read that made me interested in part two.

What did you think of LoLL?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 11:42:46 PM by Darkon »
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James

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Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 12:01:54 AM »

Quote
Seeing that this topic is about the first book of the Gentlemen Bastards sequence books...

A point to be made first: this is not the title of the series. It is commonly referred to as such, but the series is actually titled The Gentleman Bastard. Singular. That is worrying because Locke is obviously the main character and will no doubt survive to whine endlessly about whatever is thrown at him, but Jean could die despite being the best damn character in the series.

I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora and ended up reading it several times, enjoying each read more than the last. I liked Locke, how he was irreverent in the face of danger. I loved Jean, perhaps the first overweight character I ever encountered who was treated seriously instead of as comic relief. I liked that the book took a darker turn and I still don't mind it, even if I have fallen out of love with the dark'n'gritty path that the genre went down after A Song of Ice and Fire became popular. I was not bothered by Lynch setting up the plot through his flashback/world-building chapters and even applaud the one or two times he successfully set up a joke with it.

It is a great book and it has a successor that is almost as worthy in Red Seas Under Red Skies. I would love to be able to call it a great series, but the third book, Republic of Thieves, took it in a weird and unwelcome direction.
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Gorath

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Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 08:24:58 AM »

I can guarantee that the first time I heard of this book was a recommendation from this forum, and I loved it a lot. The humour is fantastic, and you care about the characters despite them being bastards (in their own words). I quite liked the incidental nature of the story, where the big bad didn't even figure Locke and company into his plans except as a small means to an end which ended up going south, that's always more fun than a fated battle.
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Darkon

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Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 09:34:09 PM »

Gentleman Bastard has a lot of Robin Hood-ness to him. Except that he doesn't give his money to the poor, and he's extremely arrogant.  :D

When it came to the characters, I enjoyed Chains most, then Jean Tannen, before Locke and finally the rest of the gang. My biggest pet peeve is that Locke doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. So far Jean has been Locke's loyal puppy, but I wouldn't be surprised that eventually Jean too will die because of Locke's miscalculations.
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James

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Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 07:57:40 AM »

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My biggest pet peeve is that Locke doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes.

Get used to it. After reading three of these books, I am not sure whether this a genuine character flaw or a problem with the writing, but I am leaning toward the latter. He never learns a lesson, but he doesn't really need to because there is always an easy out on hand to mitigate the consequences of his actions.

Jean is awesome and the latter books make it pretty clear, to me at least, that he is being held back by Locke. I would love to see him wander off alone into the night to do his own thing, but his loyalty to Locke is a big part of his character. The Bastards were his family for a good long while and Locke is the only one left. I mean, Locke might be a mouthy child likely to get himself and everyone else killed because he can't show even the slightest restraint, but he's still family and you got to protect that.*

* Actually, you don't. Family or no, I would have given them the finger and been on my way.
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Darkon

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Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 09:43:13 PM »

It makes sense, the Bastards have a honour code where its members are family you do protect.

I wouldn't be surprised if that indeed will cost dear Jean his life. But I hope not.
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