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Roving Book Club

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” ― Neil Gaiman

Lexicon by Max Barry

Lexicon - Max Barry

Read by Tiffany: The premise of Lexicon is that a word is not simply a unit of meaning, but triggers neuro chemical reactions in your brain, leading to memory, reaction, persuasion, emotion, etc.

'Poets' learn to categorise people, and then what words (syllable strings) will bend their will. A 'bareword' is discovered, carved into a petrified piece of wood, that on sight lays the human brain bare, opening them to any given instruction. The poet Yeats has plans for its usage. Big plans.
One small hitch - one man is immune. This is never explained .. why? how? ..
Lexicon's plot moves at a good clip, but the threads being on different timelines, take a little while to straighten out. The contrast between Yeats and the other poets' lack of emotion, and Harry's Aussie blokey lack of emotional verbalisation was intriguing. I loved Emily walking across the desert to Broken Hill, with solid boots, and a stick, worried about snakes (and night snakes).