• by Max Barry
  • Narrated by Heather Corrigan, Zach Appelman
  • 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Aurealis Awards Best Science Fiction Novel 2013
Two years ago, something terrible was unleashed in an Australian mining town called Broken Hill. Thousands died. Few people know what really happened. Emily Ruff is one of them. She belongs to an elite organisation of 'poets': masters of manipulation who use language to warp others to their will. She was one of their most promising recruits until she made a catastrophic mistake: she fell in love.
Wil Parke knows the truth too, only he doesn't remember it. And he doesn't know why he's immune to the poets' powers. But he knows he needs to run. As their stories converge, the past is revealed, and the race is on for a deadly weapon: a word. Because the poets know that words can kill...


What the Critics Say

"Insanely good. Dark and twisted and sweet and humane all at once" (Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls)
"About as close you can get to the perfect cerebral thriller: searingly smart, ridiculously funny, and fast as hell. Lexicon reads like Elmore Leonard high out of his mind on Snow Crash." (Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

okay for teenagers (?) but I had to give up......

The title of my review is not meant to show disrespect to teenagers. However, the style of this book is probably more suited to a younger audience. Even so, the language used came across to me as a little patronising, but maybe this is a reflection of the differences between Australians (like the author) and Brits like my own teenagers. I found the narration/s competent but somewhat mechanical - the voices have appropriately varied tone and expression, which is good - but lacked feeling. I got this book on a BOGOF deal from audible and will be more careful with any such choice in future.
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- T "Over 1000 titles since July 2005. Fairly eclectic tastes: award-winning literature, page-turning pulp plus non-fiction. I don't sight-read."

Too much swearing

What would have made Lexicon better?

The story line is OK, but not sure I like the way the present and the past are coming together from both ends ... so the book alternates throughout by describing bits in the past and bits in the present. Also the dictionary interludes are super annoying. But what was the worse bit is that there is way too many F-words, and too much swearing in there. Totally unneccessary.

What could Max Barry have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I would have prefered a continious timeline, no swearing (doesn't add anything to the book, and just makes you flinch), and remove the dictionary interludes. If I had read the book I probably would have ignored those. But on the audiobook they read them out, and it's just plain annoying.

What three words best describe Heather Corrigan and Zach Appelman ’s performance?

They have done well, although Heather's Australian accent sounds very strange.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The idea is really cool, that's why I bought it. But it could have been made more exciting - Michael Crighton would have managed to make this a book so exciting it'd be a movie.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 20-06-2013
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton