Lexicon At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington Virginia students aren t taught history geography or mathematics at least not in the usual ways Instead they are taught to persuade Here the

  • Title: Lexicon
  • Author: Max Barry
  • ISBN: 9781594205385
  • Page: 444
  • Format: Hardcover
  • At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren t taught history, geography, or mathematics at least not in the usual ways Instead, they are taught to persuade Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markAt an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren t taught history, geography, or mathematics at least not in the usual ways Instead, they are taught to persuade Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts The very best will graduate as poets , adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.Whip smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization s recruiters She is flown across the country for the school s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities For in the organization, nothing is dangerous than revealing who you are Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated Emily becomes the school s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake She falls in love.Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless A brilliant thriller that connects very modern questions of privacy, identity, and the rising obsession of data collection to centuries old ideas about the power of language and coercion, Lexicon is Max Barry s most ambitious and spellbinding novel yet.

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    One thought on “Lexicon”

    1. “Vartix velkor mannik wissick! Vote for this review and then email me your credit card numbers!”If you followed my instructions, then this is the greatest book ever written. If you didn’t, then it’s a decent thriller with a clever sci-fi hook to it that doesn’t deliver on its full potential.Lexicon tells two parallel stories. In the first one, Wil is an Australian who is abducted at an airport by a mysterious man called Tom who tells him that he is being pursued by a powerful and dange [...]

    2. Were I 20 years younger I would have read this and then immediately rushed to grab books on Peirce's semiotics, Searle's speech-act theory, and Wittgenstein's philosophy of language to produce a conference paper titled something like "Locution, Linguistics, and Lexicon: Words and Gender Power Dynamics in Max Barry's Fiction." But I'm not a graduate student anymore so I can read books for pleasure now!And, boy, did I enjoy this book. It's as if Barry is one of the "poets" from the novel and he ha [...]

    3. I feel somehow wrong giving a so-so review to a book that I enjoyed and read really quickly, but part of me wishes there was just a little more "oomph" to this book. Barry does a nice job with the structure, giving us pieces that fit together more and more clearly over time (though some of the twists are easy to guess, I was genuinely surprised more than once in the book) and flesh out the world of the Poets in some really nice ways.But honestly, there should have been more. What's here feels li [...]

    4. YES YES YES YES YES.Simple as that.Max Barry. You either get him, or you don't. So to those poor souls who happen to think his books are total crap *waves enthusiastically at Dan*, I say: I am so sorry. Please try not to feel too bad about this sad state of affairs. It is, after all, not your fault if you were born with Despicable Book Taste (DBT™) (view spoiler)[I love you, too (hide spoiler)].►► Full Words and Coolness and Violence Oh My Crappy Non Review (WaCaVOMCNR™) to come. Eventua [...]

    5. 3 1/2 stars.Are you a cat or a dog person? In the world of Lexicon, your answer reveals everything they need to know about you. Who are "they"? They are the poets, people who are hardwired to resist persuasion and to use language as a weapon against the rest of us. Studying linguistics, personality and psychology, poets have the ability to subvert free will and compel us do as they wish. The most powerful poets are given pseudonyms that appropriately demonstrate their mastery over language and, [...]

    6. So anyone whose mother ever taught them 'sticks and stones may break my bones" knows that words DO hurt and they influence people and the pen is mightier than the sword and yadda yadda so Mr. Barry is not exactly breaking new ground herewe are READERS, Mr. Barry, who are reading this book, so, you know, give us some credit. Words be some pow'ful shit. Anyway, the premise of the book is interesting - persuasive young people are taught mysterious words to use on a variety of personality types to t [...]

    7. 3.5? 4? i really really enjoyed the first 2/3 of this book. However, I sorta got lost at the end of the story.

    8. Out of contextSeveral years ago, I heard author Chuck Palahniuk read a story so disturbing that a woman in the audience fainted. She wasn’t the first. Palahniuk summed it up thus: “The power of words.”I couldn’t help but think of the above as I delved into Max Barry’s fifth novel, Lexicon. I’ve been a fan of his work since Syrup, so I’m old school. I tend to think of Barry as a satirist first and foremost, so I was surprised when Lexicon opened very much like a thriller. Readers ar [...]

    9. Holy cow Batman! This was a really terrific story. Just very different. I'm not a huge reader of science fiction or dystopian-type novels, but I love it when I come across a good one. "Lexicon" is definitely a good one.I actually had to read my way almost 20%-25% into the book before I was totally hooked. I found the beginning a bit confusing, but I sensed it was going to pay off if I just kept reading and it totally did. Great concepts about language, persuasion, how language can be used as wea [...]

    10. More like 1.5 stars?As a lover of language - how we use it to not only communicate but change the world around us - this book was immediately interesting to me. Words are important, a sentiment uttered more than once in this book and implied throughout. To put it bluntly, words mean things, and should be chosen with care and respect. Perhaps this is a case of this book just not being for me. It's possible that what I was hoping for and what I got were simply on widely separate ends of the spectr [...]

    11. The best way I could describe it would be The Magicians meets The Circle. I was fascinated by the whole concept of understanding how language can affect people and the neurolinguistic elements had me wanting to re-up my lapsed Psychology Today subscription. The twists were about 80% predictable in the story though as you realize that certain characters are actually other ones well before the reveal happens. All the time spent in Australia had me feeling parched, and I don't know if that's a good [...]

    12. Emily Ruff, a 16-year-old con artist, is happily working her card tricks on the streets of San Francisco when she meets 'T.S. Elliot.' The 'poet' soon carts her off to a special school in Virginia where she'll learn to use words to "persuade" (i.e. control) people. All graduates of the school take the names of well-known poets before they're let loose to fulfill the school's agenda - which seems to be to control the world.Unfortunately for Emily she breaks some rules before graduation and is ban [...]

    13. Words hold power. Words can harm. Welcome to the world of word wizards. I have just discovered a new favorite author and plan on reading all things Max Barry.Many genres blended into one ultimate mind bending, super smart and fun, exciting thriller. I love psychology, and how this explains what real wizards are. Just highly enlightened persons who can read all your weaknesses through just a few questions, body language etc and takes it to a whole new level to learn how certain words will persuad [...]

    14. (I listened to this on audiobook. While it helped distinguish who was speaking in each chapter, the female reader's Australian accent was absolutely terrible. This may have biased me a bit when it came to this review).The first half of this book was incredibly well organized and developed. I'm usually put off by books dealing with "secret societies", but this one drew me in more and more. As a former English teacher who taught argument and rhetoric, the concept of language, argument, and rhetori [...]

    15. So what is a word? Sort of a funny question on its face. Words are one of those basic facts of life we don't really notice apart from the brief span of time we are learning to read. Words just exist as a sort of background noise of our lives, part of the scenery.But words are so much more powerful than that. When you read a word there is a discernible change in your neural chemistry as your brain reads and processes it. The very same brain that controls movement, identity, motivations, passions. [...]

    16. Max Barry combined Poets and secret agents in ‘Lexicon.’ Words can persuade us, lead us in the direction people want us to go. All a Poet has to do is ask you a series of five questions. The answers will let them know what words and sounds will bend you to their will. Ancient stories about the Tower of Babel hold more truth than we give them credit for. Wil Jamieson is at the center of a search for a word, the Bare Word. He doesn’t know it but when Elliot finds him in a bathroom, sticks a [...]

    17. You may also read my review here: mybookishways/2013/09/There’s something intriguing yet downright terrifying about a group of people that can employ mind control just with the use of a few nonsense words, but that’s the basis of the superb Lexicon.When the book opens, Wil Parke is being held down by two men and having a needle driven through his eye at an airport bathroom. He has no idea why, only that he needs to get away. The snippets of their conversation that he can grasp make no sense, [...]

    18. Hummmmmmmting read. I must admit that what we have here is a fairly unique plot line. It's not TOTALLY unique (what is) but it's very, very close. This is a good thing.(view spoiler)[ the idea of words of power of course isn't new but the way it's handled here as a sort of cross between magic and science is pretty much "new". Very few "new" ideas can show up after a few thousand years of stories.(hide spoiler)]We open up here following a couple of story lines that will as we follow along become [...]

    19. RE-READTake the Lexicon quiz at: maxbarry/lexicon-quiz/ And discover your personality traits.“Four months ago, Virginia Woolf releases a bareword in Broken Hill, Australia, population three thousand. Now population zero. Official story, explosion in the ore refinery plant causing a catastrophic toxic leak. Town is fenced off at a radius of five miles. Scary signs promise death to all who enter. The funny part is the signs don't lie. We send people in and they don't come out. Hence the theory t [...]

    20. It may sound like I hated the book judging by my last status update. I didn't. I actually loved it but I'm really disappointed by the ending. It's not reallythat bad IMO but certainly not my piece of cake.Lexicon has it all. Great idea, action-packed and fast-paced plot, well-defined distinct characters. It has words, that can erase an entire population of the small town. It has people who persuades another with words only. Art of persuasion! Neurolinguistics! Different people types, where each [...]

    21. Honestly, I can't say I enjoyed reading this much. I have no idea why I read to the end, especially as it was one of my 2015 reading resolutions to quit more books that I wasn't enjoying, so I can read more books that I will enjoy, but I guess I've still got to work on this resolution in 2016. This is why my "abandoned-or-should-have" shelf is so much bigger than my "did-not-finish" shelfAnyway, so why didn't this work for me? It's kind of ironic that for a book about the "power of language", th [...]

    22. Well then. That was unexpected. This book and I didn't communicate very well. By which I mean that every time I thought something about it, I was wrong. I thought that this would be a more straightforward dystopia, with the government monitoring and controlling the people through mind-control words only it wasn't really that. But it is kinda in the more super secret organization way. And in the beginning, it felt very trope-y. Teenaged orphan is told that she may have special abilities and is ca [...]

    23. Max Barry has done it again with a rip-roaring sci-fi tale of love, language, control, freedom, paranoia, thought, and violence in his latest novel Lexicon.Imagine, if you will, a secret agency, who's sole goal is to figure out the easiest way to control you. Now imagine if they had come up with a process that was not only insidiously easy, but near-infinte in its reach as well. Like Internet level reach. Now imagine that their way of controlling you was through simple words or sounds. Pretty sc [...]

    24. I had originally marked this book as 3 stars, but then a few days later I found myself still thinking about it and bumped my rating up to 3.5 - 4 stars. It’s one of those books that sets out a little to fuck with your head, but I didn’t find it too gimmicky so it was enjoyable. My initial 3 stars was my lack of connection with the main characters, the lackluster ending, and the boatload of questions I had afterwards. But, I actually found myself enjoying the journey and the whole concept beh [...]

    25. Lexicon From Book Description: Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love—whatever the cost.I'm not sure about the novel actually exploring language--in spite of the book's premise. Language/Lexicon is only explored in the sense of the power words can yield, but not in any particular detail. Nor can I truly get into the power of nonsense words that aren't magic. That distinction is emphasized but not really clarified. Frrrrkkkiki. Or whate [...]

    26. 4,5 zvaigznes. Inteliģents trilleris. Aizraujošs stāsts, it īpaši tāpēc, ka ne viss ir tā kā sākumā šķiet. Mierīgi var lasīt tie, kuriem vārds "fantastika" liek saraukt degunu.Pilnā atsauksme: gramatas.wordpress/2015/0

    27. The fact was, if you paid attention, people tried to persuade each other all the time. It was all they did.The truth is that from the very beginning I tried to persuade myself that I'd end up loving this book. I tried so hard that until the very end I actually believed it. I couldn't stop turning pages, I was in the constant "what's next?!" state. And it was brilliant. Until the moment it wasn't. But more on that later.San Francisco, CA: Emily Ruff had nothing except for her subtle fingers that [...]

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