Locke Lamora Read-Along: WEEK 5

Ila justicca vei cala

So we have come to this. The end of the Lies of Locke Lamora. I’m already feeling a little weird.

“Don’t worry, Jean. It’ll be nothing but a routine evening with the Duke and his entire fucking court, assembled in a glass tower six hundred feet in the air. What could possibly go wrong?”

The first question was about whether Locke lived up to his reputation as the Thorn of Camorr and whether he changed. This is the kind of question that requires lots and lots of thinking (and headaches) from me. I’m leaning towards saying that for the most part, Locke is as he has always been – we just see things we didn’t know he had. Of course, he has never been in a situation like this before, and the events being as traumatic as they were, there is bound to be change. But I think it doesn’t have time to become visible in this book.

Hard lessons were handed out; as many men learned to their sorrow, it’s impossible to be intimidating when one angry woman has your cock between her teeth and another is holding a stiletto to your kidneys.

I love the women of Camorr. Daughters of Camorr is one of my favourite bits, reminding us that you do not mess with Doña Vorchenza or Doña Sofia, who in this last section of the book shows great promise.

What I also like about Lynch’s world is that women have, if not perfect equality, something very close to it. They are in all the same professions as men, and they are just as tough. It is natural that Jean should not hold back fighting the Berangias sisters: it has been made clear that they are both merciless and dangerous. I suppose I did feel a little upset when Locke decked Doña Vorchenza, but although she is old she is tough, and it’s obvious she can take it. I like the way there is no mercy towards the women. In this setting it feels very natural.

“I’m not going to kill you. I’m going to play a little game I like to call ‘Scream in pain until you answer my fucking questions.’”

I’ll now skip a couple of questions and tell you how happy I am every single gods-damned time I read the scene where the Falconer finally gets what’s coming to him. Teaches that arrogant arse and his pet budgie some manners. You can just feel the satisfaction of revenge there. I think Locke gets more joy out of torturing the bondsmage than he gets from killing Anatolius. For some reason I feel that the Grey King was too hardened to suffer probably. Sure, he lost his sisters and must have been distraught, but there can’t have been much in killing a man who had already lost everything. Of course he had to die, I’m not saying that, but I sort of get the feeling that Locke doesn’t feel content afterwards. Then again, maybe that’s the thing with getting total revenge – you’re empty after that, there’s no goal.

A little like after finishing a good book, yes? It’s so amazing, and you’re so content, and then it ends, and it’s like nothing can take its place.

Just noticed how fitting the Grey King’s ship’s name is: Satisfaction.

I also want to point out that there is a cheer-inducing bit in the scene with the Falconer:

“Now, I can accept that it would be a bad idea to kill you. But when I finally let you slink back to Karthain, you’re going as an object lesson. You’re going to remind your pampered, twisted, arrogant fucking brethren about what might happen when you fuck with someone’s friends in Camorr.”

That’s right, you bastard.

This brings us nicely to question seven about the amount of profanities. I know some people don’t like them, but I do. I had a Finnish teacher once who explicitly gave us permission to swear in class, as long as we did not go to excessiveness. The reason? It’s part of the language, and that’s okay. That’s probably why Lynch’s dialogue is such a treat to read. The colourful profanities make it sounds natural and relaxed, as well as provide some flavour. So I say bring it on!

“Ibelius, let him alone; you are henpecking him without having the decency to marry him first.”

Thus draws to a close the awesomeness that has been the Lies of Locke Lamora Read-Along. I want to thank everyone involved, and of course the hosts in particular – it’s been a blast!

One question remains: When are we starting with Red Seas Under Red Skies?

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Locke Lamora Read-Along: WEEK 5

  1. I loved the way Lynch treats his women characters – I mean I was a bit surprised when Locke punches Dona but after I got over my initial surprise I thought it was a brilliant way out because it was so unexpected.
    The Falconer definitely got what he deserved – he was the gun for hire but for me he seemed even worse than the Grey King.
    Lynn 😀
    Cant wait for RSURS.

  2. awesome fucking replies!! I also LOVE that scene where he is torturing the falconer, because yes, that bastard deserved it, and so did the Berangias sisters. that’s another thing I like about this book: the violence isn’t there just for shock value, it’s there because it’s fucking deserved

    oh, don’t feel weird! RSuRS is starting in a few weeks, I just gotta get all the e-mails out!

    • I was torn during that scene between being squeamish about the torture and feeling that it was 100% deserved. It was rather satisfying, albeit gruesome, and it was a neat way to get around actually killing him.

      • I actually found Locke’s fight with the Grey King more brutal than the torturing of the Falconer. Particularly the bit where Locke bites Raza’s hand to the bone… *shudder* But I suppose that’s a question what kind of thing you don’t like, and for me that’s bones and the breaking them and the sound the latter makes.

  3. You speak Finnish? Awesome! I wound up trying to teach myself some after having the suicidal notion of creating a race of characters in a novel draft who spoke it – apparently learning two foreign languages at university wasn’t enough punishment…

    • I have the advantage of being Finnish – I would never ever try to learn it as a foreign language! I applaud you for being brave enough to do that. The inflections would simply kill me…
      Learning Finnish as a foreign language sounds absolutely suicidal. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone unless it’s for some reason lose to your heart.
      Out of curiosity – How much did you learn? How did you go about it? Where did you start? What kind of pronunciation guiding did you get, if there was any? Did you use a book or someplace online? *language student talking here – I’m not going to be a teacher but language acquisition is always interesting*

      • In answer to your questions – almost none; I went to the University Library and poked around in grammar books assembling sentences which roughly seemed to translate what I intended my characters to say; and I think I had about one class at a local Saturday language school and then stopped going because my academic enthusiasm was showing up all the poor guys who were only there to learn how to talk to their Finnish girlfriends. If I do ever finish that novel draft I’m going to have to either do a lot more learning or get a professional Finnish translator to look over the dialogue. I studied languages and a fair bit of linguistics at uni, so I’m better at bootstrapping myself in a foreign language than most, but I’ve already forgotten what little I learnt about the case system, awesome as it is. The reason I love Finnish so much is simply that it’s such a beautiful language to listen to (I blame Nightwish), and so wonderfully unusual grammatically too – I always find things much more beautiful when they’re quirky. Not to mention that Finland was the last pagan country in Europe and you can see some fossil remains of that culture in the vocabulary. That’s just amazing.

      • Well, if you finish the draft and decide it’s too much of a hassle to actually learn the language, I can recommend several excellent native Finnish translators. 😛
        I still maintain that no matter how awesome a language Finnish is (and it is!), it’s a pain to learn. And just as you get the hang of the written language, there comes the spoken and slaps you in the face… Not that all languages don’t have the difference between spoken and written, but in Finnish pretty much no one speaks the written version. I know of one actor, who speaks like that, but it sounds very peculiar and extremely stiff. But then again, nothing as elaborately baffling as, say, Cockney rhyming slang. (There is an old variation of Helsinki speech which utilizes Swedish a great deal that close to no one understands anymore. xD)
        Quirky languages FTW! It seems they are the better the less they are used – I studied Latin for several years, an absolutely wonderful and beautiful language, and lately I’ve been wanting to study Old English and Hungarian. I’m not very familiar with Finnish etymology, can you give an example of these fossil words?

      • Oh grief, not offhand, I’d have to look it up to be sure… an I have to be out to work shortly so I’ll get back to you if I do!

        Will hold you to that suggestion about the Finnish translators, though 🙂

  4. I totally forgot about the Daughters of Camorr Interlude. That was a great one. And the Falconer scene was so good! It’s violent and terrible but I was probably smiling the whole time i read it (like a crazy person) because I was so happy he was getting what he deserved!

    • Revenge tends to lift the corners of the mouth, doesn’t it? 😀 It’s delicious to see the Falconer rendered defenseless. I’m just glad I read that bit at home and not in the bus…

  5. Pingback: I just have to keep you here . . until Jean. . . shows up! « the Little Red Reviewer

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