Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 06/18/2013
Personally, I don't enjoy book reviews/recommendations that serve as plot summaries, but suffice it to say Lexicon involves a class of people called "poets" that manipulate language in order to very literally control the general population. The action bounces back and forth in time and perspective constantly, gradually honing in on a horrific incident that shapes the lives of regular-guy Wil and troubled "poet" Emily Ruff. The book is full of themes and ideas, sometimes referenced directly by email exchanges, newspaper articles, and message board chats Barry inserts between chapters. Thankfully, however, the narrative is so relentlessly fast and the characters recognizably human that Lexicon never feels didactic or preachy. He has his points, he makes them, and everyone has fun. Who says intense pessimism can't be a blast?