Book Review: Lexicon by Max Barry

lexicon by max barry

lexicon by max barry

This book took me a long time to finish and only I am to be blamed for it not the book.

Lexicon by Max Barry is one hell of a book. A very different book from anything that I have read in the recent past.


★★★★★ (5 out of 5)


A secret society which believes that people can be compromised (instructed to do whatever) by segmenting them and uttering the right words, the elite members of this society are called Poets who have real poet names like Elliot, Woolf, Bronte, etc. Emily a street card player in San Francisco is enrolled into this school which teaches segmentation and controlling other people’s mind.

The story starts with a young man named Wil Parke who is abducted by one of the poet named Elliot. Then there is a big secret about an Australian mining town called Broken Hill, where disaster struck and thousands died and the place is no more inhabitable. Poets are searching for a ‘bareword’ and Virginia Wolf who has caused the disaster in Broken Hill. Wil Parke has a connection with Broken Hill and Wolf and he goes back to the town to find out.


The plot of Lexicon is very unusual and the premise of the story that every person can be divided into segments depending upon the answers to a few standard questions and  people can be compromised through right words is a fantasy come true for the readers and writers.

Max Barry wrote this so beautifully and makes you believe that this can be possible. We all know Words carry weight but words can make people do things is surely something we readers might have fantasized about. You instruct someone to love you and they do, wouldn’t it be awesome? (ok may be not love but something else).

It’s a fast paced thriller and there is never a dull moment through out the book.The characters of Emily, Elliot and Yeats are well written and you might start liking the impatient Emily as the book progresses and her transformation into an assassin will leave you yearning for more.

Last Words

This has been a book that I fell in love with for the sheer reason that it deals with words. Liked the plot, the story and characters.  Part of the reason it took a long time to finish was probably that I didn’t want it to finish.

I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves thrillers or simply loves reading. Lexicon will not disappoint.


You can buy this book at low price from



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