Reviews & Praise


“Best thing I’ve read in a long, long time... a masterpiece.”

—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool

The words brilliant and exemplary aren’t adequate enough to convey the amazing craft of Lexicon.

—Jeff Ayers, Associated Press

“Insanely good. Dark and twisted and sweet and humane all at once.”

—Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

[Barry is] racing up alongside the likes of Neal Stephenson with this smart, compelling, action-packed thriller.

Kirkus (★ starred review)

“About as close you can get to the perfect cerebral thriller: searingly smart, ridiculously funny, and fast as hell... I defy anybody to read the first page and not keep going to the last.”

—Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians and The Magician King

Page-turner of the year... a smart, character-based thrill

—John Warner, Chicago Tribune

Vastly satisfying... Max Barry has been an author worth watching since the publication of his first novel, but he’s hit on something special here.

—Niall Alexander,

“An absolutely first-rate, suspenseful thriller with convincing characters who invite readers’ empathy and keep them turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.”

—Michael Cart, Booklist (★ starred review)

★★★★★ Brilliantly realised... strikingly relevant... a resounding success

—Eddie Robson, SFX Magazine

“An extraordinarily fast, funny, cerebral thriller.”

—Lev Grossman, Time Magazine

[A] gripping, page-turning thriller as well as a phenomenally intelligent dissertation on language’s raw, neurological power... simultaneously brainy and muscular, like a Heisman Trophy winner who just happens to work as a semiotics professor on the side.

—Hank Stephenson, Indie Next Great Reads

★★★★ Sophisticated and laden with subtext... clearly reaffirms Barry’s status as a gifted purveyor of suspense.

— Elizabeth Nelson, Time Out (New York)

Spellbinding... excellent characterisation and a freewheeling plot intermeshed with linguistic theory and some genuinely creepy horror set-pieces.

—Eric Brown, The Guardian

Truly original... a crack-paced thriller... smart and tons of fun

—Ed Wright, The Australian

“A scary and satisfying blend of thriller, dystopia, and horror.”

—Devon Thomas, Library Journal

Wonderfully crafted, dark yet humourous, fast-paced and tragic in turn

—Matt Smith, The National (United Arab Emirates)

An extremely slick and readable thriller... Barry’s particular addition to the genre is a corrosive wit.

—Graham Sleight, The Washington Post

Lexicon grabbed me with the opening lines, and never let go. An absolutely thrilling story, featuring an array of compelling characters in an eerily credible parallel society, punctuated by bouts of laugh-out-loud humor.”

—Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats

If you can put this book down, you’re more disciplined than I am... perfectly crafted.

—Seth Godin, bestselling author of Purple Cow and Permission Marketing

An incredible read... I found myself rationing the book because I didn’t want it to end.

—Jon Page, Bite the Book

“I don’t know how you could craft a better weekend read than this novel of international intrigue and weaponized Chomskian linguistics. It’s the perfect mix of philosophical play and shotgun-inflected chase scenes. Like someone let Grant Morrison loose on the Bourne identity franchise.”

—Austin Grossman, author of You and Soon I Will be Invincible

[A] speedy, clever, dialogue-rich thriller

—Laura Miller,

“Insanely clever... wonderful.”

—Emma Watson, Glasgow Sunday Mail

★★★★★ Jaw-dropping... Lexicon is full of action, suspense, love, awe, and wonder.

Audio Book Reviewer

Gripping... a pitch-perfect thriller, a jetpack of a plot that rocketed me from page one to page 400 in a single afternoon.

—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“Dazzling and spectacularly inventive. A novel that jams itself sideways into your brain and stays there.”

—Mike Carey, Hellblazer and Lucifer

A blistering literary thriller

—Niall Alexander, The Speculative Scotsman

“★★★★ Highly entertaining and engrossing... characters that are both complicated and likeable.”

—Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Exceedlingly original... incredibly empathetic and insightful

—Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

9.5/10: Highly recommended

—Kara Karina, Nocturnal Book Reviews

Lexicon’s clockwork is excellent, too... [Barry] chooses immersion over exposition, letting his reader feel his way through the Chomskian mix of surveillance-society paranoia and linguistic geekiness.”

—Justin Bauer, Philadelphia City Paper

A clever blend of sci-fi and thriller, with touches of romance and humor

—Joyce Sáenz Harris, The Dallas Morning News

Brazen and brilliant

The Wichita Eagle

Mind-bending... an action novel that nicely exercises the brain as well as the heart rate.

—Cherie Ann Parker, Shelf Awareness

Barry’s smartest dystopia yet

—Michael Ann Dobbs, io9

A heady doozy of a thriller.

—Celeste Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

++++ A very impressive and very well-presented book... genuine page-turning intensity.

A fascinating and enjoyable blending of genres.

—Jeff Popple, The Sydney Morning Herald

Absurdly enjoyable

—Molly, Word Bookstores

Superb... utterly engrossing

—Stefan Fergus, Civilian Reader

By far the most inventive of the new crop is this scary-plausible brain-twister... Funny, frantic, flashback-studded and fascinating, Lexicon is an intellectual hunt-and-kill thriller, a Bourne episode with brains.

—John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press

A fast-paced intellectual thriller... the ideas inside it will stay with you a long time after you close the cover.

—C. A. Bridges, Daytona Beach News-Journal

An intriguing, satisfying ride

—Michael Burgin, BookPage

Dazzling... an intelligent, raw thriller from one of Australia’s finest in the genre.

—Andrew Cattanach, Booktopia

★★★★★ Political and prophetic... entertaining and sometimes hilarious

—Zack Orsborn, Magazine

If you’re in the mood for a brainy thriller... You should read Lexicon.

—Jonathan H. Liu, GeekDad

★★★★ A compelling premise and masterful execution.

—Mark Flanagan,

Fast-paced and smart... Lexicon will delight.

—Traci Cothran, Everyday eBook

This is a top-notch action adventure with a subtext... it’s science fiction on the bleeding edge of the now.

—Keith Stevenson, The Newtown Review of Books

Barry has penned the classic page turner.

—Bradley Lutz, women24

★★★★ Grabs the reader by the throat and goes and goes.

—Sue Conley, Evening Herald (Ireland)

Addictive... an already engaging tale [with] the heft it needs to really become one of the better books released this year

—Adrienne Martini, Locus Magazine


What’s 2013’s “Gone Girl”? Here are this summer’s best reads


10 Best Novels for Summer Reading

—Kirkus Reviews

Summer Arts Preview: High-Temperature Readings

—Time Magazine

Summer Preview: 11 Buzzy Books for Hollywood’s Reading List

—The Hollywood Reporter

Riding Waves of Thrills, Chills and Carats: Beach Reads From Stephen King, Kevin Kwan, Carl Hiaasen and More

—The New York Times

Best Books of the Month (June 2013)
Best Books of the Year (Science Fiction, 2013)


Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of the Month (June 2013)


July 2013 Indie Next Great Reads

—American Bookselling Association

Step Away From Inferno: Four novels you might prefer instead


Best of June (2013)


Arrivals: Recent Books of Note

—The Toronto Star

What to Read Now

—Time Magazine

Thrill Seekers: Summer’s Best Mystery Reads

—Vogue Magazine

Summer books that Goodreads users are loving

—Entertainment Weekly

Summer Books: Beach Reads

—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Tick List: Best New Books (#2)

—SFX Magazine

Best Books of 2013 (Science Fiction): 4th Overall


Top 10 Fiction Books of 2013


Best Books of 2013


Best Fiction Books of 2013


Best of 2013


Best Books of 2013 You Haven’t Read

—The Age

Biblioracle Book Awards

—Chicago Tribune

Best Books of 2013


Alex Award Winner 2014

—Young Adult Library Services Association

Aurealis Award Winner: Best Science Fiction Novel



Yeah, that's right. Tweets.