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GeekNights 20100722 - Book Club: The Lies of Locke Lamora

edited July 2010 in GeekNights

Tonight on GeekNights, we review Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora under the banner of the GeekNights Book Club. Spoilers come at the end, so enjoy the review even if you haven't read the book yet. In the non-book news, Scott has nothing to say until he does, and old people hate small children.

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  • edited July 2010
    Expanded notes
    Geeknights 20100722 - Book Club: The Lies of Locke Lamora

    Expanded Show Notes - Show Run Time: 01:04:21

    Time | Notes
    00:00:00 | Intro
    00:00:26 | Opening Chit-Chat & News
    | # Scott has no news?
    | - The Onion gets taken too seriously
    | - College diversity & discrimination
    | - Equal opportunity is like a band-aid over a gaping wound
    | - Discrimination and reverse-discrimination - people from "the sticks" don't get in
    | - Rym notes that socio-economic factors play a big part
    | - Discussion on Government Subsidy
    | - Discussion tabled for a Thursday show
    | - BoinGBoinG article on Fed/State raids on bad farms selling raw milk & other raw foods
    | - Scott makes points about protecting people from themselves
    | - Rym makes several innuendos
    | # Old People in an uproar over a school being built in their community
    00:16:48 | Things of the Day
    | - Olympics and Scott's lack of history knowledge
    | Rym - Photo of lightning display in Greece
    | - Scott's dislike of certain (many?) Geekeries
    | Scott - The Trouble with Tribbles posters
    | - Scott doesn't pay attention to Rym
    00:20:12 | Meta Moment
    | - Book Club - new book TBD
    | - Otacon 2010 - Geeknights will not be in attendance
    | - PAX Prime is Labor Day Weekend
    00:21:05 | Main Topic
    | # Book Club - The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
    | - Changes in the Book Club format
    | - Scott has his own opinion that no one reads the books...
    | - ...but has no actual idea as to how many people read the book
    | - Rym tries the reverse-psychology tack on trying to get people to read
    | - Discussion of book club episode formats
    | - Discussion of the alliteration and rhythm in the title
    | - Discussion of the series' plans (seven books)
    | - Book is notable for the story it tells, not the way the story was told
    | - Book's descriptions are similar to the way a D&D worldbook handles descriptions
    | - Discussion of the precursor civilization
    | - Book tells you what it's convenient for you to know, not everything there is to know
    | - Setting seems to be a shore-horned-in aside
    | - Book isn't shallow, but the reading doesn't impart that much value
    | - Three stories going on - the Past, the Con, and the Stranger Comes To Town
    | - Connection of Locke to the BBEG was weak
    | - Book would make a great movie, but it wouldn't be a deep movie
    | - Discussion of the factors that go into a good novel
    | - Would make a great fantasy setting for an RPG
    | - There is a map in the book for a reason
    | - Magic is present in the book but is cleverly limited
    | - Comparison to Lupin III because the protagonists are similar
    00:38:46 | *-*-*-*-*-* SPOILER LINE *-*-*-*-*-*
    | - Wraithstone and Gentled animals - Elderglass Asbestos?
    | - The rose garden and the swordsman
    | - Chains is similar to Uncle Iroh in Avatar
    | - Discussion of wanting to know about the secondary characters
    | - Tangent into The Prince of Nothing books, Earthsea
    | - Midnighters showing up was somewhat unexpected by Rym
    | - Scott didn't expect the Midnighters to actually exist
    | - Grey King was disconnected from Locke completely, came out of left field
    | - All the problems basically just amounted to Locke being in the wrong place at the wrong time
    | - Grey King was a turning point in the book
    | - Scott would have preferred to have everything contained in one book
    | - Scott didn't know about the new up-coming Avatar TV series
    | - Tangent into Avatar's story and Scott's lack of watching it
    | - Scott's reticence to watch anything new
    | - Rym didn't think Nazca would actually be dead
    | - Discussion of the Bondsmage - reminds Rym of Bullet-Tooth Tony, Scott of Toht from Indiana Jones
    | - Discussion of the bit at the end where the ludicrous plan is the only one that works
    | - Rym and Scott can't remember "Catch Me If You Can"
    | - Discussion of the fun of seeing the plan come together
    | - Discussion of the crazy scene at the end where no one is stupid and Locke tells the truth
    | - Talk about the Don's bodyguard and how cool he was
    | - Point that there weren't a lot of "lies" in the book aside from the con jobs
    | - All the characters that matter aren't stupid
    | - Backstory of how they ripped off the othr Dons would be cool
    | - The Gentleman Bastards had a huge amount of money because of that
    | - Discussion of the vernacular in the book and fake swear words in other books
    | - Magic + Mafia = interesting
    | - Rym is looking forward to reading the other books in the series
    | - Multiple "Chekhov's Guns" in the book
    | - Rym wants to know what blew the hole in the elderglass tower, more about the Rose Garden, and Sabetha
    | - Scott wants to know more about the Bondsmages and what's going to happen with them
    | - Predictions for the next book and future events
    | - Scott gets stuck in Zelda-meme land
    | - Rym urges someone to option the rights to this book for a movie
    01:03:23 | Outro
    Post edited by Techparadox on
  • I read your dumb book douches. Thanks for insulting me ;(
  • image

    The above has been ordered. Cross posting to Boo-yah thread.
  • Picked the book up a week or two ago for book club but never got around to finishing it. Really need to x_x

    Listening to the show now. Yay, something to keep me entertained while I code these test cases.
  • Fun episode! Yes, the site of the first Olympics still exists. It's at a place called Olympia, in Greece. I visited in April. Here's the main arena:

    The line of stone is the original start line for the races (though I'm dubious they weren't replanted in the intervening years):
  • I win.

    Also, I really want to go there.
  • To be honest, there are a lot more more impressive Greek ruins in Greece and Turkey.
  • To be honest, there are a lot more more impressive Greek ruins in Greece and Turkey
    Yeah, I want to see them all, but sometimes the meaning of the places makes it more awesome even if the ruins themselves aren't so great.
  • edited July 2010
    The movie mentioned in the show which no one could recall the name of is Catch Me If You Can.
    I'd also recommend a download of another true-life con story adaptation called, I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey is in it and though i'm not a fan on him, this film fit him perfectly and his performance really sold the whole thing in my view.
    Post edited by ThirdWorldMan on
  • edited July 2010
    The movie mentioned in the show which no one could recall the name of isCatch Me If You Can.
    I'd also recommend adownloadof another true-life con story adaptation called,I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey is in it and though i'm not a fan on him, this film fit him perfectly and his performance really sold the whole thing in my view.
    There was also a book by(and about) Bill Mason, Called Confessions of a Master Jewel thief. He's a lovely bloke, one of my heroes. A very low-tech jewel thief, using nothing but cunning, household supplies and home-built tools, stole more than 35 million dollars worth of jewels, back in the days when 35 million dollars would put you squarely in the top 50 of America's richest private citizens.

    Hell, at one point, he ripped off about a half million to a million from the fuckin' MAFIA, using nothing but cunning, good intel, and a drywall knife.
    Post edited by Churba on
  • edited July 2010
    A similar book by and about Albert Spaggiari called Fric-Frac: The Great Riviera Bank Robbery. Bored French former activist broke into a bank in Nice during the Bastille Day weekend for something to do, had a fancy lunch and got away scott-free with 60 million francs.
    Post edited by Ruffas on
  • Bump with expanded show notes in the above post (now that I'm caught up on my podcasts) and the following thought:

    Book Club suggestion - Don't waste episodes on hype. Scott seemed to be stuck in the mindset that you'd have to blow two episodes per book if you did the review/spoilers thing, when you really don't. If you feel the need to have a hype section on the next book then don't wait until the last minute to pick it. Know what it is and hype it at the top of the current book club's ep before getting into the non-spoiler section of the review of the current book. You'll kill two birds with one stone and you can keep the review & spoiler episodes together for the book club.
  • doc shinryuu: If LoLL were to be made into an anime
    doc shinryuu: I GUARANTEE YOU
    doc shinryuu: Chains would be voiced by Norio Wakamoto.

    Goddamnit, Will. Now I can't stop imagining this.
  • doc shinryuu: If LoLL were to be made into an anime
    doc shinryuu: I GUARANTEE YOU
    doc shinryuu: Chains would be voiced by Norio Wakamoto.

    Goddamnit, Will. Now I can't stop imagining this.
  • Yet another reason I should actually get around to reading this series. I like the cut of Scott Lynch's jib.
    Sheer bloody poetry.

  • edited December 2012
    Thank you for your sentiments. I offer you in exchange this engraved invitation to go piss up a hill, suitable for framing.
    Totally stealing this at some point.
    Post edited by Neito on
  • edited March 2013
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • That may not be all that fun unless there is alcohol in there. Unless you go with something like soda as a "win" and something vile like vinegar as a "lose".
  • This is fucking amazing. I would watch the fuck out of this.

  • It's apt in light of the events of the first book.
  • edited October 2013
    FTFY. ;-)
    Post edited by Dromaro on
  • I read Republic of Thieves.


    1. Fun flashbacks to Locke and the gang before the events of the first book.



    1. Left huge new plot threads unanswered

    2. Introduced real information about Locke's true name and backstory basically out of nowhere, the results of which are unsatisfying.

    3. Overarching plot introduced but not finished: a departure from the format of the previous two books.

    4. Writing was cliche at this point. The characters didn't feel alive at all, and were just caricatures of the basic personalities from the first two books. Their dialog is so forced and bland and downright predictable it's actually boring.

    5. Lampshading. The author had to make lots of excuses for the wizards' behavior (or lack thereof) in light of their awesome power. It was obvious whenever this was happening. A wizard would say something like "You're thinking about why we don't just do X... Well, the reason is..." It was tiresome.

    6. Wizard town... The actual plots Locke and Jean cook up to deal with the politics in wizard town are juvenile bordering on pathetic. There's never any big reveal that's worthwile. There's never any truly clever plot. It's like Jean and Locke (and spoiler character) are a bunch of dimwitted thugs thugging it out in the streets: not the high political drama that was implied by the actual mission.

    I don't know if I'll bother reading the fourth book (assuming it's ever written).
  • Yeah the second had incalings of these trends. Like the boat sequence served no perpouse what so ever. Its a shame that they third doesn't look so good. I was hoping to see some tempering of their mary sueness that we saw in the first book.
  • Amp said:

    ...the boat sequence served no purpose what so ever.

    That's definitely arguable. I thought it seemed pretty in-line with what I liked about the book. There was a careful heist being set up, something stepped in and screwed up the works like nothing else, and they struggled like hell to compensate and save the whole whole damn scheme.

    It also gave them a chance to round out the characters a bit more, put them in a situation that they personally could not account for, or plan very much around. In other words, what happens when they aren't in their element? Also, decent amount of foreshadowing relevant to the heist went on during the boat section, like the deck of cards.
  • I agree with everything Rym said above except that the Flashbacks are also half the damn book and have equally as many problems, if not more. The main one being there is no Gentleman Bastardry in the main flashback. They do nothing!
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