Tag Archives: broken monsters

Broken Monsters, by Lauren Beukes: decadence and vivacity

“Shakespeare would have it wrong these days. It’s not the world that’s the stage – it’s social media, where you’re trying to put on a show. The rest of your life is rehearsals, prepping in the wings to be fabulous online”

broken monsters

Lately, I have had the good luck of reading books that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and if I were asked to choose the best among them Broken Monsters, by Lauren Beukes, would be my first choice.

Yes, I liked The Shining Girls quite a lot (indeed) and I still think it is one hell of a novel, but I also think that Broken Monsters is a significant improvement by any measure. I also think that is pertinent to speak of improvement because BM builds upon some of the ideas (both thematic and stylistic) already explored in TSG: noir or thriller novel with some fantastika elements more seamlessly included in BM, in my opinion, than in TGS —besides being closer to horror than to sci-fi—. Part of this success I attribute to an improvement in terms of prose and to BM being a more compact novel; another part, though, may owe to the disregard of some concessions to commerciality —such as the cheesy love story— to which TSG submitted and which I fail to perceive in BM. It may well be me overreading, here, but in hindsight it’s like Beukes had assimilated all that she learnt while writing TSG and had said “come on, now the real deal”. And she succeeded.

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Broken Monsters, de Lauren Beukes: decadente y vital

“Shakespeare would have it wrong these days. It’s not the world that’s the stage – it’s social media, where you’re trying to put on a show. The rest of your life is rehearsals, prepping in the wings to be fabulous online”

broken monstersÚltimamente he tenido la suerte de disfrutar con muchos de los libros que he leído, pero si tuviera que destacar uno por encima de todos ellos sería Broken Monsters, de Lauren Beukes. Mi libro del verano.

Si The Shining Girls (Las Luminosas) me gustó (y lo hizo), Broken Monsters me ha parecido una mejora sustancial en casi cualquier aspecto. Hablo de mejora porque BM supone un paso más en la línea iniciada con TSG: novela negra o thriller con un elemento fantástico —mejor implementado, en este caso—, más cercano al terror que a la ciencia ficción. A parte de haber perfeccionado su estilo y de haber escrito una historia más compacta, tengo la sensación de que BM es mejor novela, en parte, porque prescinde de una voluntad de convertirse en bestseller que, en cierta manera, lastraba a TSG. Sospecho que era esa voluntad la que hacía que la novela se sometiera a una serie de convenciones —sobre todo a la historia de amor, cursi y postiza, entre dos de sus personajes principales— que le impedían alcanzar todo su potencial, sin poner en cuestión el  memorable resultado final del libro. No sé, es perfectamente posible que todo esto sea una paja mental del que esto escribe, pero en retrospectiva parece que Beukes hubiera asimilado todo lo que aprendió escribiendo TSG y hubiera dicho “venga va, ahora en serio”. Y le ha salido bien.

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