Monday, May 5, 2014

The fact was, if you paid attention, people tried to persuade each other all the time. It was all they did.

I can't remember exactly when I first heard about Max Barry's Lexicon but I want to thank all of the people that read it and recommended it. Good job, you guys because this was excellent.

Lexicon is a thriller that focuses on the power of words. And not in a metaphorical sense. In a "this word will fuck you up big time" sense. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

The book opens in the middle of the action with Wil Park being attacked and has needles shoved in his eyes in some airport bathroom. He doesn't know what's going on other than these two guys are talking about some impending war or battle or SOMETHING and neither you nor Wil know if these are the good guys or bad guys. They keep insisting there's something about Wil that makes him special, although no one will say what and Wil definitely doesn't know.

In between Wil's chapters are Emily's chapters. She's a teenage runaway making her way on the streets scamming people out of their money playing them in three card monte. One day someone recognizes her powers of persuasion and she's recruited for this special school to learn how to be a poet. Not a "I write pretty sonnets" but the "Imma control you entirely just by saying the right combo of sounds at you" type. The type that Wil's captors mention. Dun dun duuuuuuun.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago how much I luuuurve the multiple perspectives. Here you're set up to believe one thing and then suddenly you see the situation from a different point of view and you realize how wrong you were.

This was a great thriller. The action kept going and kept me guessing. WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT? WHO'S ACTUALLY THE VILLAIN HERE?

I did have some trouble getting into this at first. Part of that is because you're just thrown into the action and you have no idea what's going on. Which is cool cos you're a lot like Wil but at the same time, Wil is confused and now you're confused too. Then the perspectives shit. And not just perspectives but time. NOW, I think the issue was mostly on my end. I started reading this right when work was at its craziest last month, so in general I was working with less brain power than normal. But I did find myself re-reading pages and sections a few times to make sure I knew what was going on. At least what I'd been told so far.

Yeah, this was very good. I'm sure I was making ridiculous faces as the secrets and twists were revealed. You should probably read this. And you don't have to just listen to me. Check out Megs' and Sarah's reviews.

The Terrible Desire
Sarah Says Read

Title quote from page 91

Barry, Max. Lexicon. Penguin Books, 2013.