[Epub] ➞ Zoo City ➟ Lauren Beukes – Rvtrek.info

Zoo City I hate it when I read a book that s beautifully written, but has a clumsy plot I was seduced by the writing while I was reading it, and it wasn t until after I finished that I started realizing how many problems I had with it In this alternate history SF world, people s guilt over their mistakes or crimes manifests as animals that are emotionally or psychically attached to them, sort of like having an albatross hung around your neck, except living and not so corpsey This was interesting to me, since becoming a Zoo is all about feeling guilt and not about whether you re really culpable of whatever you feel guilty about Zinzi gained her Sloth because her brother died over something she did, which makes sense her whole background makes sense, even But she went to prison for it, convicted either of murder or manslaughter, and that doesn t fit at all with her memories of the event It bugged me that this was never explained, because it made her prison time an important part of how she s treated in the book seem irrational.Mostly I felt like I wasn t getting the right kind of clues about where the story was going The book Listening Length 9 Hours, 25 MinutesLauren Beukes S Arthur C Clarke Award Winning Novel Set In A World Where Murderers And Other Criminals Acquire Magical Animals That Are Mystically Bonded To Them.Zinzi Has A Sloth On Her Back, A Dirty 419 Scam Habit, And A Talent For Finding Lost Things But When A Little Old Lady Turns Up Dead And The Cops Confiscate Her Last Paycheck, She S Forced To Take On Her Least Favourite Kind Of Job Missing Persons.Being Hired By Reclusive Music Producer Odi Huron To Find A Teenybop Pop Star Should Be Her Ticket Out Of Zoo City, The Festering Slum Where The Criminal Underclass And Their Animal Companions Live In The Shadow Of Hell S Undertow Instead, It Catapults Zinzi Deeper Into The Maw Of A City Twisted By Crime And Magic, Where She Ll Be Forced To Confront The Dark Secrets Of Former Lives Including Her Own. One of the things I loved the most about Philip Pullman s His Dark Materials series was his rather brilliant twist on the concept of a witch s familiar that in that world, each person s soul manifests as a companion animal that is their other half It s not only because it s a cool idea it also is an interesting reflection of our ongoing weird relationship with nature the connection we feel to the creatures of the earth, though most of us live far removed from it in cities and suburbs And, you know, the idea of a little talking cat following me around is just fun Provided, of course, you get a good animal like a cat, since you can t pick According to the online daemon matcher they had on the Golden Compass movie website before it came out and failed, I would get a spider I would not appreciate that Other animals I would be happy with Penguin Welsh Corgie Red eyed Tree Frog Lauren Beukes Zoo City has a similar conceit, which is why I wanted to read it even though I m not typically drawn to Urban Fan This is a particularly smooth genre meshing urban fantasy noir SF horror, and if you don t like my description, then go read it and figure out your best fit If you do, however, find that perfect descriptor, be sure to add all the little animas, the familiars that bad people get after murdering someone, and if you let your anima die, you get dragged to hell Or is the novel firmly set in modern day Johannesburg filled with scams, missing persons, and mystery Oh, wait, how about all the mutilations and the sense of upwelling horror No Then why the hell do I get this sense that things have just gone near future high tech Well that s because the book refuses to sit still and be neatly defined Isn t that wonderful Our main character is a real spitfire, that s for certain, and I love reading about good scams as much as anyone, but that s just her favorite hobby and way to make money For everything else and when times get rough, she falls back on a bit of the missing persons racket, and she really knows how to talk a good game She s an excellent social hacker.As for the Urban Fantasy angle, I ll tell you this it s interesting and odd and magical and it works perhaps a bit too strangely for me I like a bit of well defined rules, if only to see those rules get broken or find a way to slip the leash of hell, you know But, alas, it isn t that kind of story.It is, fundamentally, full of elemental horror, which is great because I love hor Lauren Beukes The Shining Girls fascinated me with her style and imagination, I thought it was a flawed gem but it put me on board for Beukeses The next logical book for me from the Beukes bibliography is 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award winner Zoo City.Set in an alternate reality where some people are suddenly paired with an animal as a consequence of something heinous they have done or perhaps think they have done Basically, if you are bearing some major guilt chances are an animal will suddenly show up next to you and you won t be able to stray far from it If this brings to mind familiars concept from Philip Pullman s The Golden Compass His Dark Materials trilogy the author is well aware of it and even mentions the classic YA book in one of the chapters The concept works very differently in the world of Zoo City however, the people are not born with animals, not everybody have them, and the animaled people are blessed with some kind of minor supernatural talent Beukes gives the condition a clever medical sounding name AAF or Acquired Aposymbiotic Familiarism She also keeps the purpose of the animals quite ambiguousBut was the Penguin his Jiminy Cricket or the devil on his shoulder In a recent Reddit AMA a kind of live chat online interview Beukes describes Zoo City as Wow.Zoo City is one of the original, complicated fantasy books that I ve read this year I m not even sure how to tag it, that s how many elements come into play Urban fantasy Johannesburg is a major city, after all, and the animal angle is clearly unreal Dystopia Almost, but not quite despite the animals, this is a current version of Johannesburg and African politics Mystery noir After all, there s a missing person and an investigator of questionable character Horror A little witchcraft, a little mutilation, but mostly it s only horror in that way that shows us our own hearts, evil enough to cut out Literary fiction It thoughtfully explores the human condition, guilt and identity Mostly, it s just interesting, creative and just a bit uncomfortable.Unfortunately, since Goodreads can t decide if the 2010 Terms of Service are the current ones, or the ones that Kara referenc I read this directly after finishing Moxyland and my wild enthusiasm for Lauren Beukes is not abating The setting is present day Johannesburg, but in this alternate reality, a couple of decades ago, something strange started happening Those who were guilty of terrible crimes were suddenly, magically saddled with an animal familiar reminiscent of the burden of the Ancient Mariner s albatross, but, well, alive The animalled are also unable, it seems, to help liking and feeling affection for their animals A further motivation to care for the beasts carefully is that their lives are inextricably bound to that of their familiars They must maintain physical proximity, and if their animal dies or is killed that s it for them as well Gaining an animal also comes with the benefit of certain strange powers Predictably, the animalled are regarded with a complex ambivalence by society one mirroring our current attitude toward thugs They are shunned and feared as the violent dregs of society but there s also the sexy frisson of badass Before I read this, I would have said there was nothing new you could do with the magical companion animals trope I would have been wrong.I enjoyed this for the concept, for the characters, for the setting I was all set to give it four stars And then the ending happened view spoiler And it s not that it s a tragedy that bothers me I actually appreciate the author s chutzpah in having the twins die, in having the bad guys escape I less appreciate the bad guys over the top characterization as psychopaths, but you take what you can get It s the fact that the protagonist s presence at the climactic scene had no effect, good, bad, or indifferent, on anything that occurred She disables Mark and not only does it turn out he s entirely unnecessary to the ceremony, his compatriots in crime don t even go looking for him She brings Benoit, whose magical power is the opposite of Mark s canceling magic, rather than enhancing it and his presence doesn t disrupt the ceremony at all I guess I wanted to see something chang I loved it I was over the moon when Zoo City was chosen to be one of the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club reads for November A book set in a version of my home city with an interesting premise and great reviews Yes please In my excitement I emailed Lauren Beukes and asked if she d do a QA with our group and she said yes As you can imagine I was bouncing off walls It occurred to me mid bounce that this would be an awesome opportunity for Sod you may know him as Murphy to rear his ugly head and twist my mind into not liking Zoo City Fortunately not even Sod and his silly Law could manage it The thing I loved most about this novel was how well Lauren captured Johannesburg South Africa is a very difficult country to explain which I learnt for the first time when I lived in the US during my masters Lauren explains the strange juxtaposition of wealthy suburbia with high walls topped in electric fences patrolled by security companies next to dilapidating buildings with inconsistent electricity and water next to tin roof shacks with no amenities save some shelter from the elements Most portrayals of my home city irritate me because they miss the flavour of the city, the energy, the vibe Zoo City really doesn t It may not always put Joburg in a beautiful light, but it felt very authentic to this Jozi girl which was really amazing The world building is stunning It isn t do 3.5 stars sheesh, here we go again with Goodreads sucking up my reviews.twice Gonna keep this short I was very impressed with my first encounter with Lauren Beukes imaginative stylings not unlike those of China Mi villeZoo City, impossible to pigeon hole is it science fiction dystopia thriller social commentary good old fashioned magical murder mystery kinda yes to all is a bizarre, alternate universe d, present day reimagining of Johannesburg, South Africa, one where criminals are required to have animal familiars assigned and in proximity to their person These criminals, dubbed zoos , easily identified with animals in tow, are often ostracized and segregated to ghettoes called Zoo Cities.The sinuous plot primarily focuses on one of these zoos , Zinzi December, a 29 year old woman who in her FL former life was convicted in her drug fueled days for causing the murder of her brother and sentenced to carrying with her a sloth, shadily makes a living by carrying out internet scams and, on the side, finding lost items for people thanks to an ESP esque talent acquired along with the sloth She s contracted by a music producer to find a the female half of a young twin Afropop sensation iJusi, who has gone missing Zinzi s search takes her into the dark underbelly of Jo burg, involving the militant guerilla like tsotsi gangsta rap movement, the drug scene she fought so

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