Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lies of Locke Lamora questions, part ONE

Hey everyone, and welcome to the first of many posts in this fantastic Scott Lynch Read-Along! Please wander over to The Little Red Reviewer's neck of the woods and answer her questions about what we've read so far. I'll post them here, too, just in case you want to get crazy in my comments section. Go nuts! If you're interested in promoting this read-along, make sure to post on facebook, tweet about it (hashtag #lynchmob), email it to your friends, etc. We're super excited, and hope the book has been great for you so far. Now, onto the questions!

I'll put my answers at the bottom, just in case anyone wants to hear what an unabashed fanboy of the series thinks (you might be surprised).

Also, don't forget to check out all these wonderful blogs to get a feeling for what everyone else is saying about the Read-Along.

Nashville Book Worm
Dark Cargo
Rose’s Thingamajig
Felix Pearce
Books Without any Pictures
Lynn’s Book Blog
Geeky Daddy
Scruffy Fiction
Vilutheril Reviews
Booky Pony
Tethyan Books
Paperless Reading
Beware of the Froggies
John Ayliff
My Awful Reviews
Just Book Reading
Kaitharshayr’s Musings
All I Am – A Redhead
Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers
The Hugo Endurance Project

1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far?  If this is a re-read for you, how does the book stand up to rereading?

2. At last count, I found three time lines:  Locke as as a 20-something adult, Locke meeting Father Chains for the first time, and Locke as a younger child in Shades Hill. How are you doing with the Flashback within a flashback style of introducing characters and the world?

3. Speaking of the world, what do you think of Camorr and Lynch’s world building?

4. Father Chains and the death offering. . .  quite the code of honor for thieves, isn’t it? What kind of person do you think Chains is going to mold Locke into?

5. It’s been a while since I read this, and I’d forgotten how much of the beginning of the book is pure set up, for the characters, the plot, and the world. Generally speaking, do you prefer  set up and world building done this way, or do you prefer to be thrown into the deep end with what’s happening?

6. If you’ve already started attempting to pick the pockets of your family members (or even thought about it!) raise your hand.

1. This is probably my 6th or 7th read of this book. It's a yearly deal with me, usually a book that I go to when I'm burnt out and want something comforting (yes, like Little Red Reviewer, I like my comfort with lots of violence, torture, sex and vulgar language). This book never disappoints me, which is why it was perfect to read after I finished Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds and felt that anything I read after it would disappoint.

2. The timelines were confusing for me the first time I read the book, but now they're old friends. I remember having to think really hard about what was going on the first time I read so that I could understand whether we were in the past or the present. I think for a lot of readers, this could throw them off. I stuck with it, and I'm incredibly glad that I did.

3. Camorr is amazing. This is the book that I look to when I want to read great description. I think that it can get a tiny bit info-dumpy for my liking, but I'm a recovering addict to skipping descriptive paragraphs in favor of the action. I understand now that I was hurting my abilities as a reader AND as a writer by doing that, so I've been correcting it of late. Camorr is a fantastic place to see, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to live there (unless I were rich and far from the eyes of The Gentleman Bastards, that is).

4. I have always enjoyed the idea of thieves having a code of conduct. I think it also makes it easier to root for thieves if they have honor and an organized style of pilfering. Knowing how stubborn Chains is, I would think that he's molding Locke into exactly what he says he is, the head of a guild of thieves that will make the heavens weep and will be richer and cleverer than everyone else.

5. Reading for the umpteenth time, as LRR said, the beginning is starting to get just a tad slow for me. I'm about 60% of the way through so far, and a little surprised that there was so much set up. Thankfully, when the book starts kicking, it REALLY starts kicking and doesn't stop until the end.

6. Look in my hand, that's your wallet.


  1. 1. I recently read this book for the first time and loved it. It was so different from other fantasy novels and refreshing in many ways. While its fun to read a book now and then where the protagonist is the best magician, fighter, lover, etc it can often become repetitive and annoying. Locke is similar to Kvothe from Pat Rothfuss in that their main asset is how clever they can be - that makes for a fun read if the author is talented.

    2. The timelines were slightly confusing but done in a way that I was able to enjoy them. Too often flashbacks are plot back-fillers and painful to get through.

    3. Camorr is a world that felt real to me by the end of the book. I could picture it in my head clearly and would love to see it in a movie some day for comparison.

    4. Thieves without conduct are thieves you want captured and hung. Lynch was able to make me root for the Gentleman Bastards as the quasi-good guys without a second thought.

    5. As long as the world building is good, I generally don't care how the author decides to tell their story. 

    6. Hand raised.

  2.  Glad to hear you enjoyed it! If Locke had any skills other than his creative thinking, he would have seemed "too talented" for me, and I wouldn't have enjoyed the book nearly as much. If you're into thieves that you can cheer for, you might give Douglas Hulick a try. His first book was a real treat for me.

  3. 1. Time number 3 or 4 here. I loved it just as much this time as the first time, which is weird for me, I usually get burned out on books.

    2. I LOVE the timelines being spliced. I feel it makes it harder to have a stale spot.

    3. The worldbuilding in this book is really very good. I'd go so far as to say it's one of my favorite fantasy worlds.

    4. It's always made sense to me for thieves to have a code, at least among themselves. Otherwise they'd rob each other blind.

    5. I actually prefer it done in little bits and pieces, but I like the worldbuilding so much that the info dumping at the beginning was interesting to me.

    6. Bryce you stole my wallet? How?! You are all the way on the other side of the country!
    Also, I have your son.

  4.  Looks like I'd better start channeling Liam Neeson again.

  5. 1. This is my first time reading the book, and after a brief look around at all the postings, it seems as though I’m one of the few reading for the first time! I’ve actually owned the hardcover since its release (based upon the recommendation of George R. R. Martin when he was reading it) and I’m now thankful to have an excuse to pull it off the shelf (well actually a library copy to keep mine pristine in sense) and give it a read.
    2. I enjoy multiple interspersed timelines and as long as they tend to follow a pattern (A-line 1, B-line 2, C-line1, D-line 2 etc) it’s not too confusing. I’ve always enjoyed novels where every other chapter or so is either a different timeline or a little anecdotal story, like those in Grapes of Wrath and American Gods. They’re great for building the world and giving little insights. And then of course there’s the masterful interweaving in Ian McDonald’s Use of Weapons.
    3. To be honest, I haven’t felt that the world building has been laid on all that thick to this point. Other than the Revel, I haven’t seen too much to me that seems all the unique. I’m sure more will be revealed, especially in what seems to be an underground network of several different gangs.
    4. It’s interesting to discuss a thieve’s code for Chains’s crew but I don’t really see them as thieves. To me, he’s clearly grooming (and succeeded) Locke to be a master Con Artist. Cure cons are thieves, but they do always tend have a sort of panache. They tend to be suave and high society. And sometimes the actually cons are so involved and clever, the “victim” almost has to nod and approve that they have been so masterly “had.” The intricate nature of a well executed long con is so much fun to see played out. I suggest watching the show White Collar and other great movies like House of Games, the Sting, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Paper Moon as excellent Con Movies.
    5. I do tend to get my worldbuilding as a slow build up, rather than info dump. I do not feel that these first 100 pages have been weighted down with too much exposition but I guess it has been quite heavy with description. I don’t mind being thrown directly into the action/world but I think I prefer have little bits revealed to me as it goes along. Check out Mieville’s City and the City for a masterful story where you truly get to explore the world and it’s rules. You get to live it and discover it without being “told” how it works.
    6. Already swiped to two crowns and a copper! (okay, found the copper on the banks of the South Needle.Hope that wasn’t too much to put in a comment. Don’t really have an active blog (have an old one that hasn’t seen a post in six years of so) to post to.  Plus I tend to like when all the discussion tends to take place in one spot anyway. (and here I am copying this post into two different blogs. ;) )

  6.  The first 140 pages are a great beginning
    and I look forward to continuing. The writing is engaging and it
    promises to be a fine adventure all around. So far, the changing
    timelines aren’t detracting from the story.

    Camorr sounds like an interesting place. I
    keep finding myself wondering about it – would I live in a place where a
    lot of travel was by boat? (No.) Does Elderglass stay smooth and shiny

    I do prefer, as shown in THE LIES OF LOCK
    LAMORA, that there be somewhat of a set-up of a world in the beginning
    of a book, not too much, but just enough to get me settled in for the

  7.  Thanks for dropping by! I think you might be a reader like I am, and when we hit right around 50% of the way through the book things will really start popping for you. I know that's the point where things really take off for me every time. :)

  8.  I definitely wouldn't live in a place where I had to go by boat. I hate the water, and have since I was a little boy. I find myself wondering about the Elderglass quite a bit as well. It seems like only the previous inhabitants could affect it in any way. The set-up to this story is amusing enough and just fast-paced enough to get me through to where all the crazy action starts. From that point on, I'm locked in, and you can count on me reading all the way to the end, rules or not :P

  9. This book will definitely be one of my 'comfort' books int he future. I am enjoying it immensely. 

  10. I guess reading this for the first time makes the world building just right for me (I actually wish I'd get more information on some of the parts but I guess they will come with time - at least I hope so).
    OK, so now I know what is Chains molding Locke into - it makes sense. :) Now I just need to see how exactly will that pan out. (and enjoy the ride of course)

  11. Shit Bryce, where have you been my whole life? we are like comfort read long lost siblings!  or we're just total freaks, which is cool too.

    only difference is that amazingly enough the beginning never gets slow for me. It's always super shiny, just like Elderglass. there is a ton of set up, but set up for me, it's like a nice warm blanket for me to curl up in and wait for the dreams to arrive. 

  12. I am glad to hear that this book does not get old even reading it multiple times. It seems like that from many other bloggers that they could read over and over and it would never get old.

    I thought that the code of conduct was quite interesting when I finally got through the part 1. Never expect that one, but yet again it about thieves..:)  I do tend to agree that Chains is molding Locke into what he is that leader of the gang.

    I just canot wait to get reading more of this book. I love the description as well. Lynch does a great job making the reading feel that he/she is right there in the thick of it all.

  13. #1 is amazing!  6 or 7 times already!
    #2 yeah, I was really thrown off the first time it skipped because, listening to it, there wasn't a great indication that anything had changed.  I quickly recovered though.
    #5 Wow.  I have thought this first weeks reading was crazy and worth reading over and over without even thinking it's going to get that much better.  I'm loving it so much, if it really gets as good as everyone is indicating, I'm going to have some serious LoLL/Scott Lynch worship issues :)
    #6 give it back.

  14. Every time I read the post of someone re-reading it, I'm just dying to do the same. It's unfair not to have time for it!! I think I like my comfort with violence, torture and abusive language too, because I definitely see myself enjoy this book again and again. I think when the series will be complete, it will be amazing to start again from the beginning...

    And shoo, give me back that wallet!!

  15.  Thanks for dropping by! I think you might be a reader like I am, and when we hit right around 50% of the way through the book things will really start popping for you. I know that's the point where things really take off for me every time. :)