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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora (edition 2006)

by Scott Lynch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,603315893 (4.22)3 / 547
Title:The Lies of Locke Lamora
Authors:Scott Lynch
Info:Spectra (2006), Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  1. 215
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (MyriadBooks, Anonymous user)
  2. 130
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (fyrefly98, souloftherose)
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    The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: I'm convinced that "Fafhrd and Grey Mouser" books from Fritz Leiber are one of Lynch's sources of inspiration for Locke Lamora.
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    majkia: Although completely different settings, still the same lighthearted thievery going on.
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English (307)  German (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (315)
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
I'm going to have to read more since this was the first book he's ever written. I loved the setting and some of the characters, but the dialogue was so cliche I almost stopped reading the book at several points. I love a witty character as much as the next person, but writing good witty is hard, and, well, sometimes the ball gets dropped. Thankfully the plot, setting and narrative writing hold the book together for an enjoyable read. I'm hoping by the time I get to the third book now out it'll be fantastic all around.

Worth a read! ( )
  dheniges | Feb 21, 2019 |
Just a short review, as I'm quite exhausted now- I missed out on sleep since I just couldn't stop reading until I had the book finished. Out of all of the books I've read over the years, "The Lies of Locke Lamora" doesn't have the most technically-impressive writing, or the deepest characters, or the most surprising twists, but it is one of the most entertaining novels I've read in half a decade or more, and it has some of the best dialogue.

The gritty, unforgiving nature of the world the book portrays, the near-constant and oft very colorful curses from the characters (children and adults alike), a liberal helping of dark humor (you'll hate yourself for laughing so much), the outrageous actions of the protagonist as he plans and executes confidence-schemes, and some intense action when action is called for, all combine in this book to form something that's truly difficult to put down once you start.

I was impressed with the way that the author counterbalances very heavy chapters with very light "interlude" segments, featuring amusing anecdotes that give a lot of background on some of the less obvious aspects of the society portrayed in the book (and background on the protagonist, of course). I was even greatly amused at the way that a certain childhood friend was omitted almost entirely from the story, except in vague reference (similar to how "The Woman" was treated, as fans of Sherlock Holmes will understand).

The only issue I had with this book had to do with its rather ill-explained and illogical magic system. I'm a sucker for great magic systems, whether they're original or simply well-developed (this was neither, sadly), but what I love most are limitations (of which this has almost none). A thousand bullets for a pea-shooter, six shots for a revolver, one big boom for a missile- the way the world balances itself, quantity versus quality.

The mages in this story are portrayed as being very nearly all-powerful, with no limitations whatsoever beyond their ability to wag their tongues for a second or two. Freezing the thought-processes of your victims with a gesture, or forcing them to huddle over in agonizing pain, with no effort at all, as often as necessary? Also, the magic system that's employed here seems to be based on the spoken word and hand gestures, and even gives power to a person's name as if it has some sort of psychic weight for the person it belongs to. None of these things are very interesting, original, or logical to me- and yes, I do understand the seeming fallacy of applying logic to "magic", but we've moved beyond the days where "abracadabra" should be seen as a viable option in anything other than a children's story in my opinion. All of this bothers me, and it's why this book simply cannot hope to receive a 5/5 from me. ( )
  LysanderMSND | Jan 19, 2019 |
A story about a group of highly skilled con artists and their leader, called the Thorn of Camorr, set into a fantastic medieval city of elderglass structures, Camorr, and its criminal underground as well as noble circles. Neither the story nor the characters really came alive for me. Average fantasy. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Good fun.

I had a good time with this book. Took a chapter or two to grab me but once it did it didn't let go.
  jmc13057 | Jan 5, 2019 |
This is indeed one of the best books I read this year: well- written, intriguing and full of amazing characters on both sides of the fence.
*IF* there is truly a "fence", because Scott Lynch's characters all sit on the indefinite border between the shifting definitions of "good" and "bad", and belong to neither category, which makes them more interesting, real and believable.

The book is full of surprises, starting with the imaginary world where the action unfolds: not the usual medieval-like setting that seems to be the norm in fantasy literature - even considering the many variations there are - but rather a place more like 17th Century Venice, both in landscape descriptions and in social customs.

Then there is the main character: not a strong, brawny hero on a selfless quest, but a slight-bodied, flawed thief. And yet it took me no time to become very attached to him and his Gentlemen Bastards - his little band of scam artists.

The biggest surprise came from the tone of the book, though: from a light-hearted and fun story about the Gentlemen Bastards latest job, and the flashback peeks into their individual pasts, it turned into something more serious and dramatic, with some heart-wrenching, painful moments.

"Compelling" is a good definition for the first volume of this saga, and I more than look forward to the next books. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Lynchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abercrombie, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dociu, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Een fris, origineel en fascinerend verhaal van een opwindend nieuw geluid in het fantasygenre.
For Jenny, this little world that was blessed
to have you peeking over my shoulder
while it took shape--
Love Always.
First words
At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.
We don't believe in hard work when a false face and a good line of bullshit can do so much more.
Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are 'Locke would appreciate it.'
Rivaled only by 'Locke taught me a new trick'.
Catbridges were another legacy of the Eldren who’d ruled before the coming of men: narrow glass arches no wider than an ordinary man’s hips, arranged in pairs over most of Camorr’s canals and at several places along the Angevine River. Although they looked smooth, their glimmering surfaces were as rough as shark’s-hide leather; for those with a reasonable measure of agility and confidence, they provided the only convenient means of crossing water at many points. Traffic was always one-directional over each catbridge; ducal decree clearly stated that anyone going the wrong direction could be shoved off by those with the right-of-way.
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I'm Locke Lamora,
Gentleman Bastard. Can I
Have your money, please?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055358894X, Mass Market Paperback)

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part Robin Hood, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling.…

An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains–a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans–a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful–and more ambitious–than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men–and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game–or die trying.…

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Vowing to bring down the crime boss running the city, a group of Gentlemen Bastards, led by Locke Lamora, sets out to beat the Capa at his own game, taking on other thieves, murderers, beggars, prostitutes, and thugs in the process.

(summary from another edition)

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