Study Guide

The Demon's Lexicon Lies and Deceit

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Lies and Deceit

Lies and deceit and deceit and lies—that's what the lives of the Ryves brothers (and the rest of the characters in The Demon's Lexicon) are built on. Yeah sure, there are some truths in there too, but seriously, this book is loaded with people who aren't what they seem to be; people with mysterious pasts; and people who are so good at deceiving themselves that they can't see what's right under their noses. Misleading appearances, secrecy, self-deception, denial: it's all here, and it starts to make us wonder a bit about the facts of our own lives.

Do we really know the whole truth about ourselves, our friends, and our families? Are there any ways in which we're deceiving ourselves? Refusing to see the truth? Pretending to be something that we're not? It's all a little unsettling and (truth be told) kind of fun.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. In what ways is Nick honest with himself and others? In what ways is he less than truthful?
  2. Do you think Alan could have told Nick the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about his life earlier? Why or why not?
  3. Once you understand what's really going on between Nick and Mum, do your feelings toward either of them change at all? Explain.
  4. Of the four main characters (Nick, Alan, Mae, and Jamie), who seems to be the most genuinely him or herself? Why?
  5. Have you ever pretended to be someone or something that you really aren't? Explain.
  6. People always talk about telling little white lies, small untruths like "I love your haircut," that don't really hurt anyone, but is it ever really okay to lie? Why or why not? And where exactly is the line between a little white lie and a more serious one?

Chew on This

It would be impossible to get through an average week without telling at least one lie.

Sure Alan tells quite a few lies, but they are all justified and he is no less honorable or trustworthy for telling them.

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