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Lexicon Hardcover – 20 Jun 2013

82 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; First Edition edition (20 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444764659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444764659
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.5 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Brilliantly realised... strikingly relevant... a resounding success (SFX)

Highly entertaining and engrossing... characters that are both complicated and likeable (SciFi Now)

Gripping... a pitch-perfect thriller, a jetpack of a plot that rocketed me from page one to page 400 in a single afternoon (Cory Doctorow BoingBoing)

Truly original... a crack-paced thriller... smart and tons of fun (Australian)

Barry's smartest dystopia yet (io9)

Sophisticated and laden with subtext... clearly reaffirms Barry's status as a gifted purveyor of suspense (Time Out New York)

Best thing I've read in a long, long time... a masterpiece (Hugh Howey, bestselling author of Wool)

Wonderfully crafted, dark yet humourous, fast-paced and tragic in turn (National)

An extraordinarily fast, funny, cerebral thriller (Lev Grossman Time)

Delightfully high-concept...think Noam Chomsky meets Christopher Nolan (Vogue)

Insanely good. Dark and twisted and sweet and humane all at once (Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls)

Dazzling and spectacularly inventive. A novel that jams itself sideways into your brain and

stays there.

(Mike Carey, author of The Devil You Know)

The perfect mix of philosophical play and shotgun-inflected chase scenes. Like someone let Grant Morrison loose on the Bourne identity franchise. (Austin Grossman, author of You and Soon I Will Be Invincible)

LEXICON grabbed me with the opening lines, and never let go. An absolutely thrilling story, featuring an array of compelling characters in an eerily credible parallel society, punctuated by bouts of laugh-out-loud humor. (Chris Pavone, author of The Expats)

A spellbinding, intelligent read...a freewheeling plot intermeshed with linguistic theory and some genuinely creepy horror set-pieces (Guardian)

Book Description

Words are weapons, and one man is immune, in this dazzlingly original thriller from the author of Jennifer Government.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So many books are published these days that it is extremely difficult for an author to come up with a completely original plot. However with Lexicon Max Barry has achieved just that. Not only is it highly original, but it is an absorbing read, which, if anything, gathers strength as it goes along. However it does not hit the ground running. Initially it is disjointed and confusing. The first chapter is, frankly, all over the place. The story switches between Emily and Wil for a while and in due course it all makes perfect sense and is well worth persevering with.

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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. B. Kelly VINE VOICE on 28 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wasn't sure I was going to like this novel for the first few pages, which I found hard going, but then it really slips into gear and I found I'd read 100 pages, hardly pausing for breath. It's unlike anything I've read with the possible exception of Chuck Palahiuk's Lullaby, in which a song can be used to kill people, although I also found faint echoes of the Jadis's `abominable word' in The Magician's Nephew.

In the near future or an alternative universe live people called Poets, who can manipulate, or 'persuade', others using words. Wil knows about them but has forgotten and the novel opens with his being hijacked at Portland airport by two men. In an earlier time frame, Emily is recruited by them from the streets where she's working the old find-the-lady scam. An atrocity has been committed in a small town in Australia called Broken Hill but what and who is behind this appalling act?

The novel is complicated, both in ideas and structure, and yet rarely confusing, which is a good trick to pull off. Barry is looking at many aspects of modern life in his parable: the way marketing divides us into tiny categories and uses that information to sell to us or, more sinisterly, to manipulate us for politicians; the insidious collection of information about us on the Internet; the `terrorist` incidents that provoke ever greater levels of surveillance. It's a literary novel and a horror novel and a mystery novel and they add up to a real page turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stella TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow! What a book! This guy can write! Even though I had no clue at all what was going on in the beginning I was sucked in and gripped from the very first page. The story is completely unbelievable and yet I believed every single word. It's genius! It's scary how easily something so far fetched can be plausible but that's exactly what I felt...scarily plausible.

Words are powerful, we all know that but in this book powerful words take on a whole new meaning. It's really hard to say why or how I liked this without giving huge plot spoilers but I'd hate to ruin such a terrific book for any new readers so I won't go there. What I can say though, is that I urge everyone to at least give this one a whirl and try it out. It's really hard to pinpoint a genre as I've not come across anything like it before but 'Thriller' probably comes closest...maybe...I think. It's sooo much more though. This would definitely make a fantastic movie and I'd go to see it in a heartbeat! Try not to read any spoilers for this before you go into it as I think it was the complete mystery surrounding everything that made it so exciting for me. I enjoyed it so much more not knowing what was coming next as I hurtled at breakneck speed though it. It's better to find out what's going on as the characters find out.

LOVED IT!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christian VINE VOICE on 27 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Max Barry has been, in my mind, one of the good wave of cult authors building a following online in the digital age. He first came to my attention through the online game Nation States, which I enjoyed, and then onto his written book. I read Jennifer Government and really enjoyed his take on the world, humanity and the risks of human nature unchecked.

Lexicon carrys on his themes of ordinary person against the odds in a world where they have no advantages or seemingly chances. The book is very much centred around language, or more specifically words and the power of them. In a book bringing together themes as disparate as Poets, Religious stories and the implications of power, this is a great tale set mostly in America and Australia. All of this, and the characters, is brought together with Max's wit and often sardonic style. The book starts by launching you into a world with lots of questions and then carrys on by answer the questions with often another. This meant that I raced through the book and didn't want to put it down. Max Barry is very good at what he does, I hope that with the film rights being sold his dystopian views see wider audiences. Highly recommended.
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