Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Umuzi

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Lauren Beukes Praised on Various Platforms as a Firm Favourite in 2014

Lauren Beukes

 
The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters2014 has been a good year for Lauren Beukes, with high praise, award nominations and wins, and rave reviews of her books The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters setting the tone.

As the year draws to a close various publications are releasing their editions of the Book of the Year listicles typically seen around this time. So far international publications Flavorwire, NPR and Slate Book Review have included her work in their editions of their favourites with the LA Times including her latest novel in their holiday gift guide.

Julia Keller, author of Bitter River, notes that Beukes “writes like a combination of Agatha Christie and Don DeLillo” and nominated Broken Monsters as her 2014 Book of the Year for NPR‘s list. “You’re drawn in by the whodunit and then cold-cocked by the succinct, electrifying prose,” Keller writes. Read her short review:

Fiercely smart, caustically creative, defiantly feminist, Lauren Beukes has pioneered a new genre: the technothriller set amid crumbling cities. Broken Monsters is a grim mystery that lives at the intersection of cold electronic gadgets and the blood-hot desires of the human beings who wield them. The novel is set in Detroit, where Detective Gabriella Versado is assigned to find out who killed a boy and then attached the top half of his body to the bottom half of a deer. Here, as in her brilliant 2013 novel, The Shining Girls, Beukes writes like a combination of Agatha Christie and Don DeLillo. You’re drawn in by the whodunit and then cold-cocked by the succinct, electrifying prose.

Literary scout and author Claire Lundberg chose Broken Monsters as her book for Slate Book Reviews list of “great books you never heard about – but should have”. “Beukes’ latest novel is literary horror set in modern-day Detroit that combines the supernatural spookiness of Stephen King with the cat-and-mouse serial killer narrative of The Silence of the Lambs,” writes Lundberg. Read her review on Slate:

Beukes’ latest novel is literary horror set in modern-day Detroit that combines the supernatural spookiness of Stephen King with the cat-and-mouse serial killer narrative of The Silence of the Lambs. The result is a hallucinatory referendum on this quintessential American city that’s constantly on the verge of extinction even as it’s being reborn. The body of a teenage boy is found, cut in half and attached to the hindquarters of a yearling deer in a strange and gruesome piece of serial killer art. Homicide detective and single mom Gabriella Versado hunts for the killer: Is he an outsider artist, a desperate man marginalized by the recession, or a new kind of demon for the modern age?

LA Times has put together a list of holiday book reccomendations, including Broken Monsters in their science fiction / fantasy category:

Set in contemporary Detroit, where a mysterious corpse — half-man, half-deer — launches a police detective into obsession in this suspenseful multivoiced narrative.

Flavorwire‘s Angela Lashbrook picked The shining Girls as on of her favourite things last week, calling on readers to “please, pick up a copy this book ASAP”. Read her review of this award-winning book:

I started South African novelist Lauren Beukes’ mystery/horror novel The Shining Girls with a little trepidation. I love mysteries, but Beukes’ serial killer is a time traveler who stalks his victims over the course of the 20th century until he’s ready to kill them. It’s a ludicrous premise. Yet The Shining Girls is a beautiful novel, and is startlingly progressive and feminist in a way many murder mysteries aren’t. Beukes provides access to the victims’ feelings, thoughts, and lives. They’re all “shining” — that is, they’re all extraordinary young women with bright futures that the embattled psychopath killer has to snuff out. I don’t want to get too deep into it here, but please, pick up a copy this book ASAP. I promise that it’s a fast — but enlightening — read.

Joe Hill, author of Nos4r2 and Horns which has just been released as a feature film, raved about Beukes’ style of writing in an interview with the New York Observer.

Hill, one of Beukes’ favourite writers and son of Stephen King, interviewed the Broken Monsters author earlier this year when she was doing a promotional tour through the US and joined her in studio for Guardian Books where they discussed horror writing as a genre.

Read what Hill had to say about Beukes’ writing:

I like writers like Lauren Beukes, you know, I don’t think of Lauren Beukes as a thriller writer or a horror writer or a dark fantasy writer even though her stories incorporate all those elements. I love her sentences, her ability to construct scenes, her dialogue and characters and that’s why I read her.

Locally, Sunday Times books editor and founder of Books LIVE Ben Williams also chose Broken Monsters as one of this favourite books of 2014, calling it her “best novel yet”.

Book details

 

Please register or log in to comment