The Captain’s Log – the lies of locke lamora (Scott Lynch)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So this book and me have a checkered past.  All me crew was aghast that I had never read this book.  Seems like every cutthroat, scalawag, and tongue-wagger on the seven seas thought the Gentlemen Bastards were fine fellows to fancy.  Me first mate even suggested this one and was confused by me strong negative reaction.  It was only good reflexes that caused me cutlass to miss his tiny black heart.  I tried multiple times to read this and threw me ‘ands up in disgust at the unnecessary hubbub.  I may even have originally rated this 2 stars on Goodreads despite having abandoned ship.  So what caused the winds to shift in me reckoning? Michael Page the answer be.

Who is Michael Page?  Apparently one of the best audio book narrators that ever lived!  Fie to any of me crew who doesn’t recognize his brilliance.  I found the audio book by chance in a local library and it happened to be the only thing available to me at the time.  Mehaps that be due to its 21 hour and 59 minute length?  Well all I had was time so I decided that it was better to listen to this book than the drunken warblin’ of the crew singing off key.  And then I slowly learned what all the fuss be about thanks to Michael Page’s magnificent voice at 2x the speed.

First of all, the world-building is exquisite.  The city of Camorr reminds me of an even dirtier, more vicious Venenzia.  My how I love that port.  Camorr has a late medieval kinda feel with 13 gods and their respective priesthoods, a bondmage’s guild, an underground crime organization, a Duke, and other respective city-states.  Add in lots of ships (Arrr!), islands, treacherous bridges, drafty hovels, mud, stench, and canals.  Overall Camorr is a dank, dark, miserable city.

Ah, but what fun can be had.  Revenge, cons, close calls, giant man-eating sharks, magic, fights to the death, and above all trickery.  And goodness, but can the Gentlemen Bastards play the game.  Because this gang doesn’t have yer ordinary layabout petty thieves.  Oh no.  These men are educated, crafty, tenacious, and always after the big prizes.

While the world-building got me interested, the characters and the con kept me listening.  Locke Lamora may think he is more intelligent than everyone but his smart mouth and smarter plots made me root for him.  Then add in the rest of the gang – the fighter, Jean Tannen; the jack-of-all-trades, twins Calo and Galdo Sanza; and Bug, their young apprentice.  The side characters like the shark fighting sisters, the merchant Don Lorenzo Salvara and his wife, the priest Father Chains are also well drawn and wonderful.  Part of the story is also told in flashbacks which add to the flavour and give further history of the city and background to how characters’ lives evolved.

And the glorious ending.  I was very satisfied with this book and will be readin’ the next.  The minor quibble is the slow intro that initially led me to abandon ship and that there are sections that seem to drag with either mundane details or not much action.  But thanks be to the glorious Michael Page for making me realize the true craft of the novel.  And much thanks to Scott Lynch for writing it.

If ye be one of the two crew members who haven’t read this book for somesuch boneheaded reason then pick this one up.  Because as me matey, Mogsy @ thebibliosanctum says:

The Lies of Locke Lamora is like Oliver Twist meets Oceans 11 meets The Godfather — or at least that’s how it starts off. Once the setting and the world and the characters establish themselves, however, that’s when story begins to takes on a personality of its own.

Indeed, looking back now, it does feel to me like there was a stark difference between the first few chapters and the last half of the novel. The beginning reads like a dark drama, chronicling the life of an orphan who likes to steal, in a writing style that’s almost poetic. I loved this part.

On the other hand, the rest of the novel — with its gang wars and theme of vengeance — reads more like an action-adventure thriller, complete with the appropriate levels of blood, violence and profanity…and guess what? I loved that part too.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Scott Lynch – Author

To buy the book go to:

the lies of locke lamora – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

36 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – the lies of locke lamora (Scott Lynch)

  1. I love this review! You’ve definitely got me excited for it. I’ll remember to stick with it. I don’t know if I can listen to a 22 hour audio book- my limit is usually 10 hours, but I’ll look for Michael Page as a narrator!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One, I love your blog. I just stumbled upon it thanks to a TTT post (and I can’t for the life of me remember who listed your blog as one of their “must follow bloggers”) and I’m so glad I did, because your reviews are gold. Also, I’m so glad you were able to find a way to enjoy the first adventure in Locke Lamora’s story! It’s one of my favorite books and I’m glad the audiobook helped introduce you into Lynch’s writing and world. Here’s to smooth sailing with the next adventure, Cap’n!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well matey ye may just have brought a salty tear to me eye. Or it just be windy. Oh that crazy North Wind. Aye, the wind, that’s it.
      Seriously how could I not love Locke and the gang? And after that whale of a tale, I certainly will be readin’ more of the series. Rough seas and all. Because Locke is of course gonna get into tons more trouble. I don’t believe I have seen much of yer blog. I will have to take a look when it is a little calmer. Welcome aboard matey! And keep that flattery coming. Arrr!
      x The Captain

      Like

      1. Must be the winds. Dreadfully dangerous, coming from the south this time of year. As I’m sure you know, Cap’n.

        Gosh, if you think a little flattery causes some rough seas, just wait until you embark upon the adventure the sequel, “Red Seas Under Red Skies” takes you on! It destroyed me in the best of ways (but I haven’t been brave enough to start the third one yet, because I truly know it’ll wreck me). But if you liked that, you should definitely check out “The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn” by Tyler Whitesides!

        Proud to be here, Cap’n! Be seeing you!

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  3. lol lol at “It was only good reflexes that caused me cutlass to miss his tiny black heart.” 😀
    I need to get on this one soon too. I have a copy. I have no excuse for not reading it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. uh-oh… I have this book waiting to be read very soon and … now I am a bit scared… especially since I don’t really do audiobooks, either… hmm, I will try and stick it through and hope I won’t give up… Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have gotten so used to double speed with audio books that it actually sounds as slow as molasses when it is at normal speed. It makes me laugh. A couple of the chapter endings were so fast in this audio book that I actually had to slow it down and go back to catch the last half of the last sentence. But that is usually rare. Thanks for the comment matey!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I actually was in the same ship as you! I usually am very good at sticking out those slow intros, but I officially gave up on this book…3 times? Nothing about it was particularly bad, but I had a difficult time connecting to the main character. For sure I’m going to re-attempt it though as I do believe it has a terrific story to tell!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the audiobook btw! If all else fails, I’ll be sure to give that a go! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, though I am not glad ye had the same hard time, I am glad to have friends in the same boat. It did take a long time to connect to both the character and the world. But the effort was worth it. Thanks for the lovely comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy to hear that you finally found a format that allowed you to finish the book! I’ve often wondered if I would have a different reaction to a book in a different format. I’ve been recommended this book a million times… I purchased the kindle edition this year when it went on sale… that counts right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly counts. I have been enjoying rereading old favourites via audiobook. Some of them I never read a second time. Some of them I read every couple of years. One of the best parts about the audiobook format is the different perspectives. There be one book I just listened to and I ended up highly disliking it even though I had found memories of it previously. Other audiobooks add fun things like notes from the author about the world or the process. So that is nice. I have become a fan. Thanks for visiting matey. It be nice to see ye as always.
      x The Captain

      Like

  7. Awesome review! I have this book on my shelf (I think it was a gift?) but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. At least I know that if I can’t manage to get interested in the paper copy, the audiobook could help me develop an interest!

    Liked by 1 person

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