Zoo City

( 31 )

Overview

Zinzi December 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.

“In Zoo City we have an unfamiliar land full of familiars, a broken city of the near-future peopled with damaged wonders.… Lauren Beukes is a marksman in a world of drunken ...

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Zoo City

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Overview

Zinzi December 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.

“In Zoo City we have an unfamiliar land full of familiars, a broken city of the near-future peopled with damaged wonders.… Lauren Beukes is a marksman in a world of drunken machine-gunners.” —Bill (Fables) Willingham

Winner of the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award

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Editorial Reviews

Jeff VanderMeer
Beukes's energetic…phantasmagoria…crackles with original ideas…Beukes skillfully employs all the twists of first-rate noir.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

In Beukes's riveting parallel world, those who cause someone's death are both blessed and cursed with companion animals who mark them as killers while giving them special powers. In a run-down slum in Johannesburg, journalist and former addict Zinzi December uses the power provided by her Sloth to find lost objects, supplementing her meager income by running 419 scams. When a rich client is murdered, Zinzi is drawn into an investigation that involves teen pop stars, sleazy record producers, and ethics-challenged newspapermen. ; IMDB listings, newspaper articles, and book excerpts quickly establish how much (or little) this alternate universe is different from ours. Zinzi herself narrates with a hard-boiled voice that glides easily between resigned despair and hope as her case and her personal life (including her relationship with her animaled lover, Benoît) intertwine. Beukes (Moxyland) delivers a thrill ride that gleefully merges narrative styles and tropes, almost single-handedly pulling the "urban fantasy" subgenre back towards its groundbreaking roots.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
A Publisher's Weekly Best of 2011 Sci Fi & Fantasy Pick!

"Beukes's energetic noir phantasmagoria, the winner of this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award, crackles with original ideas." —Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times Book Review

"Beukes (Moxyland) delivers a thrill ride that gleefully merges narrative styles and tropes, almost single-handedly pulling the "urban fantasy" subgenre back towards its groundbreaking roots." - Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"Zoo City is a fabulous outing from an extremely promising writer... [it] has so much fabulous wordplay, imaginative settings and scenarios, and such a dark and cynical heart that I was totally riveted by it." - Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“In Zoo City we have an unfamiliar land full of familiars, a broken Johannesburg of the near future peopled with damaged wonders. Proving her debut novel was no fluke, she writes better than I wish I could on my best day. If our words are bullets, Lauren Beukes is a marksman in a world of drunken machine-gunners, firing her ideas and images into us with a sly and deadly accuracy, wasting nothing, never missing. I’ll follow her career as long as she’s willing to write and I’m able to read.” - Bill Willingham, creator of Fables

Zoo City is a story of mysteries unfolding, and it is a story well told. But it’s the world around the story, and the words that guide us through, that make it something more than simply marvellous. With her subtle, intimate descriptions of the roads we walk in this crazy city; with characters so deeply twisty you could lose a giant squid in their nebulous hidey holes, and with turns of phrase that are as likely to conjure up Rudyard Kipling, Brenda Fassie or Credo Mutwa as they are to invoke Japanese anime, Doctor Who or the crack in Johnny Cash’s voice as he sings of his greatest loss, this canny authoress has brought real magic to everyday life in Jozi, in what I’m afraid I really am going to end off by describing as an act of unadulterated literature.” - Matthew du Plessis, Times Live

"This book is a must read for lovers of South African fiction and urban fantasy alike. It is edgy and pacey and like a rollercoaster ride, it sweeps you up, spins you around, turns you upside down and dumps you out on the other end, heady and breathless and yearning for more." - Exclus1ves

"Lauren Beukes is an awfully smart writer. In Zoo City her characters ooze attitude, their dialogue is snappy, and her vivid imagery is both original and arresting. What’s more, with an inspired blend of pop-culture savvy and fantasy (just enough, not too much), her depiction of Johannesburg, magical charms and all, feels eerily real... In fact, it feels as incomplete as real life. It’s gritty, it’s tangled and it’s flawed; nothing is polished, nothing perfect. That’s what makes Zoo City so disturbingly, hauntingly, uncompromisingly brilliant." - Jonno Cohen, MiniMonologues

"At times the witty and lyrical prose is sheer magic, the story captivating and the characters exotic, cruel and beautiful while the backdrop of Johannesburg seeths with hidden, lurking dangers around every corner, Zoo City is quite simply captivating." - SciFi & Fantasy Books

"Returning with her second release from Angry Robot, Lauren Beukes stuns with a richly textured venture into a pseudo-fantastical Johannesburg of the future where criminals are magically partnered with animals, and unscrupulous record producers run amok." —SciFiNow

"We all know there is a fine line between genius and madness. So it is with Zoo City ... a story that is remarkable for both its inventiveness and the sharpness of its writing."
- Jason Baki, Kamvision

"A contrast of fragility and extreme imaginative strength, Beukes’s books are going places. She’d better ready herself for one helluva wild ride." - Mandy De Waal, The Daily Maverick

"Beukes has written a book about something deeply important, but she’s willing to stand back and let us figure it out for ourselves." - www.pornokitsch.com

"If you don’t read Zoo City, you’re missing out on one of the best modern books in and outside the fantasy genre." -www.TheRantingDragon.com

"Beukes’s future city is as spiky, distinctive and material a place as any cyberpunkopolis, and quit a bit fresher. The narrative is brisk and well turned, but the great achievement here is tonal: atmospheric, smart and memorable work." -www.locusmag.com

"Ms. Beukes' amazing novel takes the genre to exciting new places, is beautifully written and is a bloody good story." -www.pornokitsch.com, on winning the Red Tentacle Award

"From grimy slums to gang warfare to supernatural horrors, Zoo City is a book of hard edges and nasty surprises. It's also livened up by stabs of sharp, black humour, and the action is unrelenting." - Warpcore SF

"Lauren Beukes brings to Zoo City the observant, cynical eye for the intersection of media, business, and pop culture that animated her debut, Moxyland, and pairs it with a funny, colloquial, and casually poetic first-person narrator and thriller pacing to take urban fantasy to the next level." -www.ideomancer.com

"Zoo City is pure originality ... a book that had me reading it revelling in Beukes' magical way with words." - SF Signal

"Go and read Zoo City and Moxyland by Lauren Beukes – someone took cyberpunk from the toy box, dusted it up and spanked it to shape for the new millennium." -Janos Honkonen, Vornasblogi

"The novel’s greatest triumph is undoubtedly its richly evocative world, at once hostile and compelling, deadly and seductive. It sucks you in and plants your feet firmly on its grimy city pavements, and despite the danger that awaits you around every corner, you can’t help but run to get there, to find the next macabre treasure." -Vianne Venter, Something Wicked

"Beukes does the thing that everyone is always saying writers need to do: Show, don’t tell."
-Brain vs. Book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455848713
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 11/15/2011
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Beukes is a writer, TV scriptwriter and recovering journalist (although she occasionally falls off the wagon).
She has an MA in Creative Writing, but she got her real education in ten years of freelance journalism, learning really useful skills like how to pole-dance and make traditional sorghum beer. For the sake of a story, she’s jumped out of planes and into shark-infested waters and got to hang out with teen vampires, township vigilantes, AIDS activists and homeless sex workers among other interesting folk.
When she’s not tutoring her baby daughter (aka the queen of eeeeeeevil) in practical ways to take over the world, she also writes books, short stories, magazine articles and TV scripts various.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Urban Fantasy at its best

    Zoo City manages to capture the wonder of Charles De Lint with the density and intensity of William Gibson, and adds its own heaping dose of rocket fuel. The pace moves quickly, the world is fluidly built up with not just story but snippets of articles, IMDB entries, and other third party points of view that add a vividness to it. The premise is that anyone with guilt connected to a murder gains a spirit animal and a single magic ability. . . both a blessing and curse. The main character gets caught in way over her head and cleverly manipulates her world to survive.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Uniquely Interesting

    This alternate reality tale kept me intrigued and Lauren Beukes descriptiveness made me feel like I was in the heart of Johannesburg in a terrifying version of today (I really wanted to come home!). It's a story about people that have been "labeled" their crime, not with a scarlet letter but with an animal. An animal they can't escape, can't leave without pain and literally can't live without. The "Animalled" are the lepers of their world, shunned, feared, ridiculed. Zinzi, a recovering addict and murderess tries hard to escape her past but she and her animal, Sloth keep getting dragged unwilling back into darkness.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Familliar hacking


    Had the feel of early gibson

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2014

    OKreader72

    Exciting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    FIGHT GOING ON WITH THE HORSES!!!!

    Help

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Laugher

    Runs back to weapons

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Faye

    Res 18

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    To the vets

    I advise you go to Tge secret zoo right now please!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Nora

    "Not in her condition," she says, looking at Winter, concerned. "Any idea how she got hurt?" She glances at Faye, flashing her a relieved grin. "Thanks. Here, take these," she hands her the rubbing alchohol, cotton balls, and scissors. "Cut the fur around her wounds, then rub them with the rubbing alchohol. I gotta find a numbing solution," she mutters the last part, searching.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Rasper

    "I closed this habitat. Visitors will come. We need to send her to a hospital."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Winter

    Mmmkayy there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2014

    On of the best books I've read in a long time. Completely origin

    On of the best books I've read in a long time. Completely original. Fast paced. With a few breaks builds and builds to a very satisfying
    ending. Also it's a pretty easy read. Good descriptive narrative but not too much that it gets bogged down. Hope we see a lot more from
    the author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2013

    This was a fascinating, unique story, from the setting to the m

    This was a fascinating, unique story, from the setting to the magic animals. I loved the setting in the slums of Johannesburg with a refugee problem that mimics reality in many ways. The Zoos were also an unexpected addition to the story since they gave the person a random new magical ability, but where a constant reminder that they had done something evil and so anyone who had an animal was looked down upon by those who didn't have one. There were interstitial chapters that gave hints as to how the process works and got started. The music exec was particularly heinous and did a nasty bit of magic to transfer his animal away. I'm glad he got his comeuppance. Overall, I highly enjoyed the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 2, 2013

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    Posted April 25, 2014

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