Thoughts on Lexicon


I received a copy of Lexicon by Max Barry as part of Book Riot’s first Quarterly Box which I received just before Christmas (a gift to myself, shall we say?).  It is kind of cool because included with the book was a note from the author and throughout the book are post-it notes with some of his comments.

The novel is about a society of “poets” who begin at an exclusive school near Washington, D.C..  This school teaches the power of words.  The story centers on one girl, Emily, whom the society recruited from the streets of San Francisco.  She has qualities that the society admires, but these are the same traits that can get her into trouble.  Eventually this trouble gets her sent to the Australian Outback as a test.

Meanwhile, the novel opens with a man, Wil, being accosted in an airport bathroom by men who claim that he is the key to solving a major crisis.  Wil of course has no idea what they are talking about, but he is still taken along to be the pawn in a potentially deadly game.

So this description may not make much sense, and I probably should have just copied the book jacket description.  But it kind of sums up my experience with the novel.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Without revealing anything, I had too many questions about who was who and why were certain things happening?  Was that the intent – for me to be confused?  (Sadly, the author didn’t make any comment about that).  It did hold my interest enough for me to finish, so that is something.  I did want to find out how the story was going to unfold, even though my questions were for the most part unanswered.

I could be wrong, but I would describe this as dystopic, and that may be why I didn’t enjoy it as much as other people have, since dystopia is not my cup of tea.  However if you do like that kind of story, you might want to give this one a try.

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7 Responses to Thoughts on Lexicon

  1. gsjonuk says:

    I generally have a hard time starting dystopian novels or films. However, I have to admit they do challenge a person to think and reflect.

  2. A.M.B. says:

    Dystopia usually isn’t my cup of tea either, but this one sounds pretty interesting, at least initially. It’s concerning that it didn’t make much sense, though!

  3. Leslie says:

    This was one of my favorites for 2013, too bad it didn’t work for you. The mash of genres could have been the problem. I wasn’t sure how to classify it and ended up describing it as a suspenseful action thriller with a mystery to be solved, a little romance on the side, and speculative fiction overtones. Phew. As much as I liked the book I thought the ending was a little too vague, perhaps to leave things open for a sequel. I sure have a lot of unanswered questions.

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