Monday, August 29, 2016
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch -- Another DNF in the year of the great DNFing
So I made it through 149 pages of this book and I officially decided to DNF this book. It breaks my heart...but I couldn't do it anymore. *sigh*
When I am reading a book that I'm not really feeling, I usually scroll through the reviews (on Goodreads) and see what the general consensus is. All I could see were stars for days. Everyone LOVED this book: A 4 star review over here, a 5 star review over there....boy did I feel like a complete ass. How could I have these feelings when everyone was so in love with this book...So when I found some 3 star and DNF ratings, I clicked on them. As you do. That is the moment I decided that I needed to just put the book down and call it quits. I felt like the DNF/low star reviews understood my soul. Kindred spirits. Though, unfortunately, their reviews were quite harsh and maybe a bit mean and degrading at times, I completely understood where they were coming from. So I'm going to stop my blabbering and get to the heart of the matter.
First off, this book is quite non-linear. We start off at various stages of Lamora's life and for the first chunk of the book I had no idea how old he was or where we were. I don't mind a flash back here or there, but when you can't tell which is past or present, it gets a bit tricky for me to follow. It took me forever to realize that even in the present time he wasn't a child. As the main story started to progress, I thought he was still a kid.....I was like, "DAMN! This Don Lorenzo is getting played by a child!!" Maybe I missed the part where Scott Lynch mentioned that he wasn't a kid...I mean...there was so much going on, I'm not surprised I did miss it. I would have liked to have just started Locke Lamora's life from the beginning. I would have liked to know more about his time with chains and how he got to be this amazing thief, but it was scattered through all of the boring bits. I thought that maybe Lynch thought his childhood wasn't important, but he kept revisiting it at weird points, so it must have been.
I also felt nothing for the characters...I mean, I had no reason to. I knew next to nothing about them. This is a thing that authors do that sometimes really bothers me. I'm very excited to learn about your characters and have strong emotions for them, but I need to know them first. There was a scene where the Gentlemen Bastards were arguing at the dinner table and it got quite heated...but I didn't really even know why it was a thing. I didn't know the characters. Just meh.
The world. This is a love/hate for me. I hate nothing more than being thrown into a world and then expected to know things. I don't understand your world or your government or how things work, so I can't be expected to understand why certain things are happening. The world was rich and I feel like I could see Camorr and smell it and feel it. One thing Lynch does is describe very well. I was definitely there with the characters...but I was so totally lost.
Speaking of descriptions...There was so much describing going on that I often felt like I was pulled out of the story to be shown something or told about something. I wanted things to move forward, but the descriptions kind of got in the way. Like I said before, all of my senses were engaged. I could feel the fabric of Locke Lamora's coat and see the glowing glass towers...but it was too much.
Scott Lynch is quite a funny guy though. There were a lot of chuckles along the way and I appreciated that. And like I said, he is very descriptive. But this book wasn't for me. Even as I write this review and all of the frustrating thoughts get puked out, I still can't help but feel sad that I didn't finish this book and that I didn't enjoy it. The reviews were great and he's a fellow Wisconsinite (yay Wisconsin authors!) but that being said, I don't really regret DNF'ing this book. I know so many people out there enjoy it and I know many more will enjoy it as well.