Lexicon - Max Barry

2.5 Stars


I am really not sure what to make of this book. It was interesting enough to keep me reading the whole way, but there was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way.


I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is that is preventing me from giving this book a higher rating. So I've come to the conclusion that it was a combination of the writing style, the subject matter and a few plot holes.


It took me quite some time to get used to the writing style and really get into the book. It didn't help that it kept going back and forth in time and it didn't freaking tell you. You just had to figure it out as you read along. It had the paragraph breaks and such but these breaks didn't always mean it changed time and story-line focus, so you really couldn't count on it for anything. The dialogue as well didn't come across as believable to me. It felt too stilted and forced at times. It just took entirely too long to get used to it and figure out the sequence of events and how many years it kept jumping ahead while still being in the past and then when it jumped back to the present, till it caught up. It was just really hard to keep up.


Then we have the subject matter it self. The Lexicon. The idea that you can persuade someone, control their minds, by uttering specific words that will let you bypass the defense mechanisms of your brain.


"A word is a recipe. A recipe for a particular neurochemical reaction. When I say ball, your brain converts the word into meaning, and that's a physical reaction. You can see it happening on a an EEG. What we are doing, or, I should say, what you're doing, since no one has taught me any good words, is dropping recipes into the people's brains to cause a neurochemical reaction to knock out the filters. Tie them up just long enough to slip an instruction past. And you do that by speaking a string of words crafted for the person's pychographic segment. Probably words that were crafted decades ago and have been strengthened ever since. And it's a string of words because the brain has layers of defenses, and for the instruction to get through, they all have to be disabled at once."


It was intriguing and the way it was presented at first made it incredibly believable, but then it got to the point where I started seeing it as more ridiculous than interesting, and from then on I just couldn't take it seriously again.


Lastly, we have the plot itself. I didn't know what was going on half the time since it kept going back and forth and nothing was revealed till the end, and I'd like to say I had a light bulb moment and suddenly everything made sense, but I'd be lying. I understand what was going on, but I'm still left with way too many questions, and I still don't get that ending! So if anyone who has read it mind explaining what the hell happened at the end, I'd appreciate it.


So, while this book was incredibly interesting and it kept me on my toes the whole time, there were too many different things that didn't agree with me to allow me to give this book a higher rating. I still think it's worth a read solely for the purpose that I'm not alone in my confusion :P