Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lexicon, by Max Barry

What a strange, yet compelling, novel.   The concept is that language can manipulate people in a very discrete sense.  A school teaches students to use words as weapons, and graduates are assigned a new name as they take their place as "poets" in an ill-explained organization.   The book follows the story line of Emily, a homeless three-card Monte scammer, who is recruited to the school, and of Wil, an innocent guy somehow caught up in the craziness of the poets' activities.

The time line went back and forth along with the narrative focus, which is to say that the writing is a bit unusual.   The story line is borderline sci-fi, but I chose to not pigeon-hole it with that tag.

I didn't love this novel, but I found it difficult to put down, and I'd give it five stars for the combination of innovative plot and compelling writing.


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