Chat about... Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

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Chat about... Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

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Edited: Jul 4, 2011, 1:09pm

Loved it? Hated it? Seen an interesting article about the book? Felt it was a victim to superfluous commas? Loved the book, hated the cover?

Discuss it all here! Spoilers abound, enter at your own risk...

Jul 4, 2011, 12:47pm

Whenever I finish a SF&F book nowadays, the first thing I do is check if there was The Big Idea post about it on John Scalzi's blog. The one for Zoo City is, as ever, a fascinating insight into why the author decided to write the book she did...
The Big Idea: Lauren Beukes - Zoo City

Jul 4, 2011, 7:52pm

Touchstone Fairy: Zoo City

Aug 11, 2011, 5:05am

So, the Meet-Up for this book took place yesterday, any interesting discussions take place that someone wants to share for those who couldn't make it?

As for my thoughts about the book:

One of the things I found most interesting was the setting, particularly as I now have a South African colleague, who has been telling me a little about Jo'burg and how it differs both to Europe and to China.

The concept of the animals reminds me a little of Phillip Pullman's daemons in His Dark Materials, though there the animal forms become fixed at puberty, whereas in Zoo City they only appear after a crime has been committed. But there is a similar idea of guilt, maybe?

Edited: Aug 11, 2011, 8:17am

Yeah, I liked it. I thought the concept of the Zoos was interesting, the worldbuilding was excellent (I really liked the use of the newspaper articles etc.), the plot was very film noir-ish, which I tend to like, and it was a redemption story. I am such a sucker for a redemption story...

stripycat did not like it! LOL She liked the concept of the Zoos, but couldn't relate to the characters and didn't like the plot. Ah well...

Jun 25, 2012, 7:15am

I'd agree with Stripycat, it wasn't bad and I could finish it but it took longer than usual to read, I almost had to force myself to finish it and I actually didn't really care if characters lived or died. The plot didn't engage me.

To be honest it felt like a big idea story that had some characters grafted in to pass on this cool idea that the author had to tell. I get why it got so much praise from some people, the big idea is good, but it didn't engage me, I was left cold at the end.

I'm not sorry I read it, there were moments when it made me think and want to riff off it and play with some of the concepts. There were also pieces and vignettes that made me stop and think but overall it didn't work for me. I may have to check with my nephew and see if he read it and if not get him a present of it.

Jul 29, 2012, 11:00am

Heh. It's interesting that whether a reader likes this book or not seems to come down to whether they found the main character "relatable" or not. I liked Zinzi. She was a mess, but she was trying, if you know what I mean.

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