Zoo City / Lauren Beukes


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

“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”

- Bill Willingham, creator of Fables


Zoo City US / Canada cover


Zoo City UK Cover

Zinzi has a talent for finding lost things.

To save herself, she’s got to find the hardest thing of all: the truth.

An astonishing second novel from the author of the highly-acclaimed Moxyland.

FILE UNDER: Modern Fantasy [Black magic noir / Pale Crocodile / Spirit Guardians / Lost stars]

More praise

“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.”

- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Down these mean streets a woman with a magic animal must go.

You’ll want to go there too. Lauren Beukes is Jeff Noon

crossed with Raymond Chandler. I loved it, it’s going to be huge.”

- Paul Cornell

“An energetic and imaginative fusion of sci-fi, fantasy and noir thriller… Beukes has created a convincing and frequently disturbing world, while also looking at the lost and the marginalised through the eyes of a compelling, believably flawed protagonist… Zoo City is an absolute must for anyone with a taste for the wilder edges of the genre.

5 ***** – and an “SFX Recommends” badge.”

- SFX Magazine

“Lauren Beukes stuns with a richly textured venture into a pseudo-fantastical Johannesburg of the future… this is a fine novel that will wrap itself around your imagination like a sloth on your own shoulders.

4**** – Must Read Now”

- SciFi Now Magazine

“Lauren Beukes skates through the foam filth of the present like a waterbug…

But maybe the main character of the book is the city… Zoo City is exceedingly smart, though overwhelmed at times by plethora (a venal sin; Beukes’s familiar is the Hummingbird that eats its body weight daily). The book bustles, it gives you a headache, it pulls at you like a new lover, it nags, it is not quiet, it is not dead yet, it feels proprioceptive to the world.

Long may she last.”

- John Clute, for Strange Horizons

“the action scenes are taut, believable, and bloody.”

- Red Rook Review

“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.”

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