Tuesday 16 August 2011

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

This is great.

We could argue the toss about whether it's "science fiction", given that the book is marketed as urban fantasy, and takes place in an alternate 2011 in which shamanism functions well enough to permit the targeted scrambling of SMS texts, and in which criminals are psychically bound to magic animals. What matters is that Zoo City is fantastically good on its own terms. It's blisteringly well written, heartbreaking and funny in the right places, ice cool, and paced like a runaway bastard, and with a sense of place - and culture - that rips you out of wherever and whenever you happen to be sitting and reading. For me that happened to be a transatlantic flight, but I still read it in pretty much one sitting, and finished it with tremendous satisfaction. I look forward to catching up with Moxyland next.


  1. I just had this delivered the day before yesterday and stayed up much later than I planned reading it last night; so far so good. There is also an interview with Lauren Beukes on the Comic Book Outsiders Book Club podcast hosted by Steve Aryan (from Walker of Worlds blog) and Scott Grandison; I've not listened to the Zoo City review yet to avoid spoilers, but I did listen last night to their one-hour review of Frank Herbert's Dune, one of favourite my books ever, and found it a really interesting and well done review.

    link: http://comicbookoutsiders.libsyn.com/the-book-club-zoo-city

  2. By weird coincidence Al I finished Moxyland this arvo while waiting at Sydney airport for a flight home to Canberra. I loved it - just as good as Zoo City imo.

    Beukes is worth watching - she reminds me of a young Justina Robson with echoes of Bill Gibson, in a good way. I'm definitely looking forward to her next book, whatever it may be.