Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nice Bird, Asshole.

I know I may be a bit late in singing the praises of Scott Lynch's debut novel, but I should hope this doesn’t make these praises any less worthy. After just finishing Infoquake, I suppose I can consider myself lucky at having read two of the best debut novels in their respective branches of Speculative Fiction in the past few years. So far these are the two best books I’ve read this year, although Sean Williams The Crooked Letter might make it a three-way tie for my top pick from this year’s bunch of books.

The Lies of Lock Lamora was a great, entertaining, balls against the wall story. Its no wonder the book has been optioned by Hollywood, Mr. Lynch writes with a very cinematic style. Few people have as good a pen for dialogue as him, except maybe Matthew Stover. For a book that isn’t explicitly comedy, it has some of the best one-liners in any genre or book.

I loved the alternating chapters, between Lock’s “now” and his youth with Chains. It is a good technique to shuffle the reader’s perceptions about the characters with each past revelation. It also worked to build the tension enough at the end of each chapter with the slight shift in tone from past to present.

The book reminded me in parts of Steven Brust, Goodfellas, Matthew Stover and the film Snatch. This works great for me since I love Brust and Stover’s writing and count Goodfellas as one of my top 10 favorite films.

Besides, how can you NOT like a book that’s got a quote for the crazy old closer from the Phillies, Mitch Williams?

I’ve a strong feeling* The Lies of Lock Lamora is just the tip of Lynch’s iceberg. This is a very good thing indeed.

*well duh, the second book comes out next year and just about everybody who reads in the genre knows about the project 7 books in the series, not to mention the three novellas.

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