Lynch, S. (2006). The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]. New York: Bantam Dell
I picked this novel up in December, in anticipation of my book club for last week. Reading such a long book is usually not my first choice, but I figured I would give it a shot with having two months and several plane rides to have to pass the time. I have a mixed analysis of the book.
The book was both beautifully descriptive, but also overly indulgent in description at times. For example, one of my favorite lines was “respectable citizen stood out like serpents in a nursery and were quickly escorted out the door by mean-looking, think-armed men with very small imaginations” (Lynch, 2006, P.130). The vivid imagery given is marvelous. But, as one of the fellow book club readers pointed out, and I quote “did he (the author), really have to spend 10 pages describing the canals?” I had a similar complaint, in that I wondered if this book could be at least 100 pages less.
The fictional city of Camorr has quite a bit of brutality described. For sport, spectators watch brave young women pit their lives against sharks that have been taunted to attack. Prisoners are tortured by being carried in open cages that whisk quickly through open air and the elements. All of this while it gives is a touch of Game of Thrones like excitement, is not the best to bestow on my subconscious before a restful night of sleep.
I did like the interludes provided in the book, to provide flashbacks to the past. Only in the beginning were they confusing. Later, their purpose served to foreshadow or better understand the dynamics of the present. One flashback I particularly liked was the one where Locke (lead protagonist) took a beating, only as a means to stop his attacker from repeating his aggression. His fellow Gentleman’s Bastard, Jean, came to the rescue in this instance and several other critical times later in the book.
There are several more novels in this series, where I could read about the adventures of Locke and Jean. I assume there would be many more stories of their clever adventures as con artists that would bring me amusement. But, I will not continue in the series. The level of amusement to be had from reading about their shenanigans is not enough to pursue reading further.