So I signed up to do my very first read along, organised by Little Red Reviewer, Dark Cargo, @ohthatashley at SF Signal and My Awful Reviews. I was planning to read Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora at some point this seemed like as good an opportunity as any! So anyway on with the first weeks questions!
Edited to add: This section covers the prologue through to the end of Interlude called “Locke Stays for Dinner”.
1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far? If this is a re-read for you, how does the book stand up to rereading?
I am enjoying it so far. I must confess that I’m already finding this only read x amount of the book each week for the questions hard. I usually read pretty quickly and I have a habit (possibly a bad one) of skimming passages to move forward with the story. And yes while there is nothing stopping me from reading ahead, as this is my first read along I’m going to try do this properly! But I suspect if I was reading this ‘normally’ I would have already just lost myself in the book and be quite a bit further ahead (and I would probably be taking it to work with me as opposed to taking my eReader – though I try not to do that as I dislike damaging my books in my bag).
As I read it I keep thinking of the BBC show Hustle, about a group of people who were all con-artists and ran the Long Con. Which is what Locke seems to be doing… I’m very curious as to how that pans out.
2. At last count, I found three time lines: Locke as as a 20-something adult, Locke meeting Father Chains for the first time, and Locke as a younger child in Shades Hill. How are you doing with the Flashback within a flashback style of introducing characters and the world?
I’m fine with it, as its clearly labelled. I’m very curious as to who Sabetha is though! Especially as so far she’s the only female character mentioned who seems like she’s could be a main character?
3. Speaking of the world, what do you think of Camorr and Lynch’s world building?
I like it so far, and is one of those reasons I do want to get on with reading, so I can better understand the world. :). I am very intrigued by this elderglass idea, that there was something living there before humans. Like wise with the culture, what with these Shark/Gladiator fights, and I like the visuals of Venice that I get in my head as people are moving around the city. Makes a bit of a change from some fantasy that can often use a more ‘generic’ city structure.
But at the same time I’d kind of like a map. There was a section in chapter 2 where Locke/Lukas is talking about the politics and such of somewhere. I trust the author to make this clearer (assuming its relevant) later, but I have to confess I quite like a map, I like to have something that allows me to orientate myself. Gives me an idea of how far away places are, its just how I am.
4. Father Chains and the death offering. . . quite the code of honor for thieves, isn’t it? What kind of person do you think Chains is going to mold Locke into?
Because I keep thinking of Hustle (which is about the only other thing I’ve seen/read where they have long cons) I could imagine Locke would turn into a similar version of the main character. So someone who is loyal to his friends, but does like to wind them up and who tends to pick people who ‘deserve’ to be conned. And of course enjoys doing the con as well. (I wonder how wrong I am? :)) Or course then I think about how the blurb on the back of the book goes and I do wonder…
5. It’s been a while since I read this, and I’d forgotten how much of the beginning of the book is pure set up, for the characters, the plot, and the world. Generally speaking, do you prefer set up and world building done this way, or do you prefer to be thrown into the deep end with what’s happening?
I don’t think I mind either way to be honest. When you’re thrown in the deep end its about trusting the author to explain things at the right time. You need to get past the action, but the explanation shouldn’t be pages/chapters later. (Unless it’s something that is explained piece by piece because of its complexity e.g. the magic system.) When it’s all set up at the start then, as people in my writing group often say it’s about showing not telling, so as long as it’s done in an interesting way (which this is!) then it will keep you hooked.
6. If you’ve already started attempting to pick the pockets of your family members (or even thought about it!) raise your hand.
No…. wouldn’t be any good at it!
Its very weird writing the answers to these questions, because I know some other people in the read along have already read the book. I’m sure there might/will be things that I write that will chuckle over and go “wait and see, ooooh you just wait and see”. I can well imagine it will be the same response I have when someone reads A Game of Thrones for the first time. “Oh you like that character do you…” and you go ‘awww’ internally as you know what crap they’re about to go through. Or “Oh you’re up to there are you? Yes there are some… interesting bits to come.. yes…” Where by ‘interesting’ I mean horrible and bloody.