- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Hodder And Stoughton (20 June 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444754815
- ISBN-13: 978-1444754810
- Product Dimensions: 29 x 20 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,64,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lexicon Paperback – 20 Jun 2013
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Description for Lexicon
About the Author
Max Barry is the author of four previous novels, including New York Times Notable Book Jennifer Government and Syrup, soon to be a major film. He is also the creator of the internet mini-phenomenon NationStates, an online political simulation game. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. He is a cat person.
Visit Max Barry's website at maxbarry.com, find him at facebook.com/maxbarry or follow him on twitter.com/maxbarry.
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Top customer reviews
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So a premise shallower that what I wanted to see, but a very nice pacing that kills time.
Barry introduces us to an alternate version of the present; one dominated by a secret society of "poets"; men and women who have been trained in the art of literary manipulation to such a degree that they can use their knowledge to manipulate others, causing injuries and deaths. A young orphan, Emily Ruff, rescued from the streets of San Francisco, becomes the prize pupil at the poets' suburban Virginian private school, until she allows herself to fall in love; a cardinal sin of the poets that is prohibited simply because expressing such an emotion would leave one vulnerable to manipulation. Wil, a man without a past, becomes a pawn in a bitter, deadly, civil war between rival factions of the poets; a civil war that knows no national boundaries and results in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. The fate of the poets - and of the world itself - rests on the acts committed by Emily and Wil as they draw closer to each other, setting the stage for a potential apocalypse; their separate treks will keep readers spellbound until the very end. For these reasons - and despite its flaws - "Lexicon" may be one of the most discussed new novels being read this year.
(Reposted from my 2013 Amazon USA review)
The basic premise is that everyone, or nearly everyone, is susceptible to certain power words, which will take away free will and compel one to follow commands. There is an organisation, known as The Poets, who appreciate this and use it to train suitable practitioners and to exploit its potential. The truly powerful words or Barewords, have the potential to create mayhem, destroy civilisations or even to bring down the legendary Tower of Babel. Whilst this a struggle of good against evil, it is fairly clear which side is evil, but it is not at all clear which is good. The boundaries are rather blurred.
This is a really interesting book and one in which the outcome is not signposted in advance and keeps you guessing until the end. Initially less than compelling it is a story which will reward if you stick with it. This tale is not obviously the basis for a series of books but the concept is so compelling that it must have further potential. Highly recommended!
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