“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”
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.