Lexicon by Max Barry (image from maxbarry.com) is one of the best adult books I’ve read in a long time. It’s smart, clever, and exciting. When I first started reading this for my book club, I was a little turned off because Barry really throws you right into the story, and it’s a little jarring, especially since the reader has no idea what is going on.
The first 70 pages or so were interesting enough, but after that, I couldn’t put the book down. On Monday (the day I should have written this post), I stayed up until almost midnight so I could finish reading. I couldn’t stop. It felt wonderful to feel this way about a book again – it seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve experienced this – and I just had to know what happened.
The general premise of the story, without giving too much away, is that there is an exclusive school which trains its students in a nontraditional way and focuses on the art (or more likely a science in this context) of persuasion. They learn to have a way with words, which sometimes has almost a magical effect.
There is more at stake here than just their simple study of words – a mysterious event has taken place in Broken Hill, Australia, which left no survivors, except one. Wil Parke is the key to connecting the tragic accident in Australia to the prestigious society of “Poets” (what the persuaders call themselves), only he can’t remember anything.
Thrilling, intriguing, and fast paced. Definitely recommended.
Why did you do it?