They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count. Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning.
He steals from the rich - they're the only ones worth stealing from - but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards. Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it's a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces, and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
©2007 Scott Lynch (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
I have listed to a large number of audiobooks over recent years, many of them of them excellent - however, this is the first time I have been sufficiently motivated to actually write a review. This was just a perfect combination of original story, entertaining witty characters and a wonderful narrator. Michael Page's range and consistency of voices brought the whole thing to life.
A slight warning is in order to those of a nervous disposition, however - the story contains occasional graphic descriptions of violence and frequent "colourful" language.
I bought this audiobook completely off others recommendation on audible and was really surprised. I'm now completely hooked on this series and am in high anticipation for the release of the third book.
As others have said: think fantasy mixed with a dash of oceans 11 with a plot line that is rarely predictable. Great characters but be warned there is a fair bit of violence and swearing - but nothing I found overtly graphic or gratuitous. The narrator is amazing and really hits the tone of the books. Personally I imagine this to be set in something like medieval Venice with its many gangs and political intricacies (with a bit of magic and alchemy thrown in). However Lynch is great at not making these aspects too complicated for his readers/listeners to follow.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006) by Scott Lynch is a suspenseful scam and revenge story set in a colorful and brutal fantasy world, a little like The Sting meets The Revenger???s Tragedy in a Joe Abercrombie novel. Locke Lamora is the leader of a gang of seemingly small-time thieves that actually executes complex and high-yield con-schemes utilizing their skills of prevarication and impersonation and targeting the proud nobility of the Italian-esque city-state of Camorr. Locke and his brother-thieves take pride in their talents and scorn their blue-blooded marks--until the Gray King comes to town with his hired Bondsmage and Locke learns what it???s like to be caught in the machinations of people who are more devious, powerful, and bloodthirsty than he is. Lynch interweaves throughout this main story compelling short chapters depicting Locke???s childhood education and indoctrination into the gang by his surrogate father ???Chains.???
Lynch???s fantasy world is a vivid creation, featuring different cultures, languages, and gods, alien artifacts, alchemy, magic, an economy, and a history. But it is populated by unpleasant people: scheming, thieving, insulting, cruel, violent, vengeful, greedy, and power-hungry. And these people spew foul language and references to body-parts, bodily-functions, and prostitutes, until I often felt as if I were watching a desperately gritty crime movie. When Dona Sofia Salvara (an aristocratic alchemist) says, ???Don???t teach a sailor to s--t in the ocean,??? it feels excrescent and out of character. And some scenes ring false, as when Locke visits a brothel to seek solace, and some seem tedious, as when he visits a bank to borrow a suit of clothes.
After Lynch complicates the initial scam story strand with revenge, I did come to care about Locke and his friends in their predicament. And Lynch does write some rich descriptions that are a pleasure to read/hear, like this: ???From the heights of the Five Towers to the obsidian smoothness of the vast glass breakwaters, to the artificial reefs beneath the slate-colored waves, Falselight radiated from every surface and every shard of Elderglass in Camorr.???
Michael Page does a great job reading the novel, modifying his voice for various accents, genders, ages, and moods so as to vivify the best qualities of the story. And I did mostly enjoy it. And if you like complicated scams, graphic violence, macho banter, foul language, and morally ambiguous fantasy worlds, you should give it a try.
I absolutely loved this book. The story just grabs you in from the first moment. I especially loved the fresh approach the author took compared to traditional fantasy writing. There is no dark lord rising, no coming apocalypse, no village boy who finds out he has magic powers and must save the world. It is just the story of Locke and his friends and their (mis)adventures and it is brilliant.
The narrator is excellent. I find his voice very easy to listen to and he makes the characters feel so real. I especially loved the way he handled the dialogue, it is full of dry wit and sarcastic one-liners and he delivered them perfectly.
My one minor criticism of the story is that there are patches where I feel the author gets bogged down in describing either the architecture of the city or the detailed dialogue involved in their cons. In particular the passages where Locke is dealing with the nobility go overboard in detailing all the social pleasantries and etiquette involved. But being an audiobook, it is easy enough to just sit through these parts until it gets back to the action.
Overall, highly recommended
It was a great book. Story kept you intrigued the whole time. It's a fascinating mix between The Italian Job / Oceans Eleven / Clever Crime with fantasy and a fascinating city-scape.
Definitely worth reading. The narrator does a great job too. Very good reading
Definately. This is a performance!
I've never read anything quite like this. It makes me think of the theatre rather than a book.
This is my first listen to Michael Page and I love his interpretation.
No, but I picked it up whenever I could.
A very good read. I'm going to read the next book in the series. The bar is set high now, so I hope Scott Lynch can back it up.
This is definitely one of my new favorite books, and one which I will be recommending to all my friends. It was a rare treat in a genre so overstuffed with cliches and boring, predictable books! Scott Lynch has created an elaborate city-scape, stuffed it with neat characters and interesting histories, mixed alchemy, magic and crime, AND woven together several plot threads without ever being boring or getting weighed down by the need to explain unnecessary things. A quick warning, this book isn't for the faint of heart, it's fairly gory in parts and, not to spoil things, but don't get too attached to any given character.
The plot of the book moves along quickly, following a gang of con-artist criminals in a city somewhat reminiscent of Venice. Locke is a great hero, with tons of interesting backstory (which we get in very well placed 'interlude's) who also has a reasonable number of flaws. The plot was complex enough to keep you on your toes from start to finish. I see that there are two sequels. The book is certainly written with hints of other potential, future storylines, but they're neither blatant nor obviously added as afterthoughts. You could easily read this book and not need to read the rest. I'm on the fence about reading the next one. I always find that the first book is the best. I hate to tarnish my opinion of a series/author as the following books fail to live up to expectations, but I'll probably give them a try.
The narrator was perfectly adequate. I'll admit that he'd narrated another book I've listened to that I didn't particularly enjoy, so my lack of enthusiasm for his performance is probably tainted by that other book. But he grew on me as the book went on.
The world, the language, the story, the plot twists, the characters...
The betrayal of Locke by the King.
The torture of the bondsmage.
A bit more humor or sarcasm wouldn't hurt, it is somewhat too dark and too serious. Which is not inappropriate, but the language, which is excellent and very rich, could stand a bit of... I don't know... liveliness maybe.
In any case, a great book.
Oh, and the performance is VERY good. Very very good indeed.
I really enjoyed the bad guys in this book. I mean Locke was written very well, but the bad guys we're hiatal good. I also liked how the book went from present to past in different chapters.. One chapter would leave you wonder, and a few down the road would explain it all. At first I didn't like it, but once I got into the book I enjoyed it.
Oliver Twist.. Which is why I put the hardcover down a couple years ago. Started off very much like Twist, but grows up really quick. Like I said, I'm really glad I gave the book a second chance.
Locke for sure.. The spider second.. He put just enough passion into lockes character that by the end you really feel for him like you're supposed to. I think the performer makes this book as good as it is.
Ya, the final fight scene.. But I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it was done very well. Scott Lynch is up there as one of my favorites....
This is definitely one of the best fantasy books I have read/ listened to ( and I've the read LOTR, Game of Thrones series, Potter Series, most of Wheel of Time and more). The narration is excellent and appropriate for the elaborate world created by Scott Lynch. If your a fan of gritty realism (i.e Game of Thrones), elaborate plots, witty banter and clever characters (i.e Tyrion Lannister/ Matt Cauthon) then you should definitely pick this book/ audio book up.
"Fantastic modern fantasy storytelling"
Lynch has written an excellent story in the spirit of Fritz Leiber, with characters that do full justice to their Grey Mouser and Fafhrd ancestry. Pastiche this is not. Witty, cunning, and occasionally swashbuckling, his characters dance through the stained glory of their fabulously imagined city and into a special place in fantasy folklore.
The audio book is beautifully read by Michael Page, and you can tell that he is relishing the plummy accents of the extended cast.
A fantastic listen. Highly recommended.
This is an unusual and highly original story. Set in
a rich and believable world filled with interesting
and well-rounded characters, the story is gripping
and fun. The language is fantastic - not perhaps to
be recommended for younger listeners but has some of
the most inventive and enjoyable swearing and
insults I've come across.
It's hard to classify, with elements of crime and
revenge alongside great friendships and interplay of
characters. All in all not your typical fantasy
book. The narrator was excellent - he deals with the
wide range of different voices brilliantly and
really helps the story to become real when you are
"Can't Recommend This Enough"
An excellent story with good well rounded characters, that moves along at a cracking pace. But what really brings it to life is the narration. You won't want to switch off.
"What a ride! "
A fabulous story, sprightly and witty. The novel is well structured and beautifully written and includes possibly the most imaginative swearing I've encountered in a novel. The acion takes off on the very first pages and never ceases until the very last ones. This book will make lough out loud in public places and walk around dreamily with your earohones in your ears and a big grin on your face. I can recommend it to anyone who's up for some adventure!
"Excellent well-narrated escapism"
This was my first download from Audible and it has set the bar very high. It is very witty and entertaining and the narration is first-rate.
With an eclectic cast of characters it follows the exploits of Locke Lamora as he progresses through the underworld of Camorr from his humble beginnings as a young troublemaker through to notoriety as a genius conman who plays by his own rules. It is a cracking adventure story which is a pleasure to listen to.
"Here Lies A Great Book"
OK I have a confession, I listen to my Audible downloads in the car to while away the hours spent travelling to and fro work. Mr Lynch has written a book that has meant I have found many reasons to be out visiting customers or reviewing my team mates just so I could listen to the engaging tale of Mr Lamora. All in all this book has cost me a lot extra in fuel for the car and is still worth every penny.
Finished the first book today and will be downloading the second after writing this review. I just hope the third book is recorded soon and fuel prices don't go up any more!
I think this may be the best combination of book and narrator I've found so far - many, many dishes got washed with loving attention so I could carry on listening! (Wouldn't dream of trying to drive and listen, as it's far too engrossing for safety.) I wasn't sure at first that the repeated flashbacks were going to work very well for listening, but everything was kept perfectly clear by Page's excellent reading and voices, and there was a great payoff as each story from Locke's childhood fit into place in the story in the present. Great story, a deeply sympathetic crew of characters, and brilliant reading added up to a perfect listening experience.
"A fun series to escape with"
I've just realised that I havn't reviewed this series. I typically don't bother reviewing books that already have many reviews, and to be honest I have nothing particularly new to add...........so rather, I'll review this book with reference to the full series.
This is a fun series - all three books that have been released so far are easy going, enjoyable, escapist listens. Narration is good. Each could stand alone, but each ends with the prospect of new adventure. By the time one gets to the third book in the series though, there are quite a few open questions about who Locke really is.....I may just have to start at the beginning again in order to identify new clues.
If like me, you read a review by someone who has also rated /raved about a book you feel similiarly about, that you then trawl through their other reviews to get ideas for other possible listens..........and if your taste is similar to mine, then have a go at this series too (it makes a lighter, yet still enjoyable, alternative to the heavier Sanderson/Rothfuss/Brett epics).
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was a bit like a hustle and a sting together with loads of twists and turnsSet in an unknown time and place just adds to the thrills! Bit on the bloody side for my normal taste but well worth suffering that for the joy of the book
"Hard going with this narrator"
The story's great, very imaginative and moves along at a pace, but I'm having a lot of trouble listening to it with this narrator. He uses outlandish voices for all the characters but there's not a lot of differentiation between them, so I'm having difficultly following who's who. As a result the book is dragging and I'm finishing it with gritted teeth rather than enthusiasm. I think I've been spoilt by listening to the wonderful Steven Pacey narrating Joe Abercrombie's superb novels - oh what Pacey could have done with Scott Lynch's characters!
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