I’ve been so close to Broken Monsters for so long and it was such a fraught and difficult book to write, it’s hard for me to see it objectively or even clearly, which makes these amazing reviews particularly gratifying and humbling too. *

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“Never exploitative, never superficial, never uncomplicated: Beukes shows how horror can be the best way to explain our unbelievable reality.” – Stuart Kelly on the “Creativity of Violence” in The Guardian 

Kelly also explains, beautifully, and concisely, the nature of the House in The Shining Girls (**pasted right at the very end of this post cos it’s a spoiler.) 

“The characters are beautifully drawn, the growing sense of dread is powerful, and it’s a fiercely intelligent and passionate study of a place, its people and our perception of it. Beukes is challenging herself as much as the reader, and the results are engrossing, thought-provoking and powerful.” Jonathan Hatfull at SciFiNow

“Vivid, fluid storytelling… The streets in Lauren Beukes’ compulsive new hybrid scifi-thriller are the decrepit byways of that corroded Motortown, Detroit, a city oxidised by recession and gouged out by foreclosures. A perfect set for unnatural things.” Michele Magwood’s 5 Star review in The Sunday Times 

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“Works as much on the logical strength of a powerful detective tale narrative but simultaneously works by engaging the darkest parts of our imagination; the combined effect is devastatingly powerful.” –  Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet

(I’ll be launching Broken Monsters at Forbidden Planet London 1pm on 12 August)

“A dark, insomnia inducing thriller that will have you dwelling on its meaning for days afterward. Interwoven in the narrative is a complex and thought-provoking look at life in the internet age and how social media impacts our humanity.” – KJ Mulder at Worlds In Ink

“It will push you over the edge, chew you up and spit you out with unflinching brutality but you won’t regret reading it for a single second. It is a superb thriller which breaks completely new ground for Beukes whose imagination seems to have no bounds.”   -UpComing4Me

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 1.57.23 PM“A novelist of unflinchingly keen eye and ambitious ideas. Her love of the cityscape is palpable in her work, and her social commentary biting.” Zoe Hinis at The Book Armada

“One part The Wire thanks to its rundown Detroit setting… and part Golden Years coming-of-age story – the most potent scenes in the book are those between the divorced cop, Gabi, and her nerdy teenage daughter, Layla. [Beukes] has a uncanny knack for catching whatever dark zeitgeist is doing the rounds at the moment.” Inter-review on Killing Mr Tumnus with Adam Oxford on HXT Africa

And some very serious examination of the social media themes in the novel:

It is the unrelenting and nauseating monotony of the contemporary moment which haunts the writer. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, she understands the horror of the eternal return… The big question is: are people seeing you? Do you exist outside social media? “Eyeballs,” the murderer keenly repeats, we need “eyeballs”… This preparedness to be subjected to perpetual scopic interrogation has become thoroughly normative today. Beukes has picked up on this invasive system and made it the core dilemma of her novel.” – Ashraf Jamal in Business Day

(*yes, this is a round-up of nice reviews, and therefore not “humble”, but it is always humbling to have people connect to your work in a meaningful way.)  

(**Stuart Kelly on the House in The Shining Girls…  WARNING CONTAINS SPOILER. “It is about how misogyny adapts to and exploits every freedom that feminism achieves. Some reviewers were wrong-footed by a perceived lack of explanation about how the malign drifter Harper Curtis was connected to the supernatural House that allowed his time-travelling. Yet as Harper literally bleeds into the House, we are shown that hatred of women is the architecture, the framework, the structure of this horror. The House is not unheimlich or eerie. It is the default position of reality.”)

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