Book Review – Lexicon

TITLE: Lexicon
AUTHOR: Max Barry
FORMAT: Hardback


Poets.  No, not the type that string words together into iambic pentameter.  Worse.  These poets understand words and language in ways that laypeople do not.  They can talk to somebody for ten minutes and understand what their segment is and know what words need said to end them entirely.

Wil Parke is a man on the run, and he doesn’t know why.  He’s got total amnesia.  Hell, he isn’t even sure that Wil Parke is his real name.  Oh, and a poet has gone rogue and wants him dead.  So two men kidnap him from the airport and spend much of the book just trying to keep his sorry ass alive.

The book flips between two story lines – one starts with Emily Ruff, who is recruited in California and becomes a poet.  The other story line centers around Wil.  Who is he, how can they keep him alive, and why does somebody want him?

The two stories come together in two places about as different as they can be – Broken Hill, Australia, and Washington, DC.   I know I’m not doing a good job explaining this, but really, I don’t want to give things away too much, and I’m not smart enough anyway. Max Barry was a friggin’ genius with this story.

I loved the background about the poets and that setup, and a lot of the information they were sharing about words is true. So it made the book extra realistic.

That said, I saw how the two stories were going to come together about halfway to when they did.  I didn’t mind, and I still enjoyed the book, but I could see how that might upset some readers a little bit.  Still, I thought the book was strong enough that it didn’t matter.

Max Barry is good about making you care about his characters, so even though you’re expecting xyz, you still want to see how it plays out.

Very happy with this one.  I give it 5/5.







Bonus Content – Book In The Bag’s Best Books of 2012


Well, it’s been a good first few months, and I hope the holidays found you loaded with new books and a little bit sweeter for all the cookies.  Here at BitB, we’re proud of our showing for 2012, and hope that you’ll follow us into the next year.

We had visitors from 51 countries on 6 continents last year, and our most popular post was (totally unsurprisingly) Chris Baty’s interview back in October  (which you can find here:

Did we have some bad reviews, oh, yeah.  The law of averages says that eventually we’ll find a stinker or two – and we all did.  But there were also some great books.  Without futher ado, I bring to you the Best Books of 2012 -books somebody on our panel of reviewers gave a five page rating to at some point last year.

  • The Three Pigs by David Weisner
  • The Jigsaw Woman by Kim Antieau
  • OhneWorterBush by Langenscheidt
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
  • James May’s Lego House by BBC
  • Deutsch Fur Den Auslander by Florian Lamp & Heldrich Johannes
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
  • The Wonderland Alphabet by Alethea Kontis
  • Alpha Oops: H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
  • Alpha Oops: The Day That Z Went First by Alethea Kontis
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

What will 2013 bring?  About three hundred books, but beyond that, I can’t say.  What book would You give a five page review to?  What review from last year surprised you?

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