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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)

Write on: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 by  in Archive Read 4063

Read in October, 2013

Back when I was first published, people made a lot of comparisons between me and Scott Lynch. The sentiment was mostly along the lines of "Pat Rothfuss is the next Scott Lynch!" Here's the thing, Lies of Lock Lamora had come out almost exactly a year before my first book, The Name of the Wind. It was Scott's first book, the first in a fantasy series. The world was gritty and real, and it had knocked everyone over with how good it was.

So I knew it was a flattering comparison, but at the time, I was kinda irked by it. I remember thinking, "Why do I have to be the next Scott Lynch? Why can't I just be the first Pat Rothfuss? I'll probably be a lot better at that, I've got way more experience at it if nothing else...."

Years later I finally got around to reading Lies and enjoyed it. I saw that it was a clever book, and gritty, with a cool world. And there was an orphan boy in it who was a witty, mouthy thief. A while after that, I met Scott and really liked him as well. So I let go of what little residual irritation I had, not that there was very much...

Fast forward to now. This last week I started re-reading Lies, and I was absolutely fucking *stunned* by how good it is. The construction of it. The language. The world. The cleverness. The wit.

There is nothing I don't like in this book. Seriously. Okay. Fine. One tiny *tiny* quibble.

Even so, do you know how rare it is for me to say that? Right now, in the full flush of this second reading, I think Lies is probably in e in my top ten favorite books ever. Maybe my top five.

It's not really fair to compare the two books. They're different styles. Different subjects. Different worlds.

That said, here's the things that The Lies of Locke Lamora does better than The Name of the Wind.

1. The beginning of his book is stronger than mine.

Seriously. 50 pages into my book, you'll have reached the point where someone is starting to actually tell a story.

50 pages into Lies, you know the main character and are halfway into a fucking heist.

2. His title is better than mine.

Don't get me wrong. The Name of the Wind is a good title, it's the *right* title for my book. But "The Lies of Lock Lamora" that's a faboo title right there.

And his series title is better than mine too. "Gentleman Bastard" beats "Kingkiller Chronicles" hands-down.

3. His cussing is better than mine.

Not in real life. In real life I cuss like a sailor. But the language in my books is pretty genteel and tame.

In Lies, Lynch's low-life street thugs are vulgarian virtuosos. This might seem like a little thing, but it's not. It builds the world. It shows character. It helps make the story feel truly, perfectly grubby and real.

Here it is in a nutshell: When I was first published, I was irritated when people compared me to Scott Lynch. Only now do I realize how huge a compliment I was being given.

If you haven't read it, you should. If you have read it, you should probably read it again....


by: Patrick Rothfuss

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 09:58