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Adam Christopher Reviews Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Zoo CityVerdict: carrot

It’s not often that you read a book that really, truly sticks in the mind. Sure, there are good books, lots of them, and some of them are even great. But memorable, that’s probably rarer than you think. And I don’t mean a book than in a year from now you’ll think, “oh yeah, that was pretty good.” I mean a book which becomes a fundamental milestone in your own reading experience. The Name of the Wind reintroduced me to fantasy after steering well clear for almost twenty years. Under the Dome introduced me to horror. These are the books – the rare handful – that you carry with you (figuratively, at least!) forever.

After the good – great, even – Moxyland, South African writer Lauren Beukes was clearly a name to watch. Her second novel, Zoo City, was a long time coming, first announced then delayed by the behind-the-scenes changes at Angry Robot. Having read the blurbs, seen the mighty William Gibson get excited, and drooled over first the US cover art and then the stunning monochromatic South African cover (also used on the UK edition), I was champing at the bit to read it.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    September 19th, 2010 @12:52 #
     
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    I somehow missed this super-juicy review. Loved it, hope the reviewer's predictions (world domination etc) come true. I thought this bit hit the nail on the head: "This feeling that everybody in the book knows more about what’s going on than you do, and are not going to tell you, lends Zoo City a tremendous atmosphere of intrigue, making the reader turn page after page." With hindsight, and given how angstfully Lauren and I checked and rechecked for possible plot holes, this shows just how clever Ms Beukes is.

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