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Publisher's Summary

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes's new genre-bending novel of suspense.

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe - and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

If Lauren Beukes's internationally best-selling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

©2014 Lauren Beukes (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Lauren Beukes has got an intriguing style of dealing with slightly surreal things in very real ways. I'm all over it." (Gillian Flynn, O: The Oprah Magazine)
"One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year" ( Chicago Sun-Times
"Wildly inventive" ( Entertainment Weekly)

Featured Article: Authors Like Stephen King


Best-selling author Stephen King has published a staggering amount of work, from gripping crime thrillers to epic fantasy series, winning prestigious awards. Yet King’s varied writing is united by common themes, styles, characters, and settings. King fans will recognize a book by him for elements ranging from child characters to atmospheric settings, from eerie psychological horror to New England locations. Undeniably, King’s influence is evident in many of the horror genre’s leading and emerging authors. If you're a fan of Stephen King, these horror authors should be on your radar.

What listeners say about Broken Monsters

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not heard these narrators before, but they were perfectly cast. They brought personality to each character and gave the story great texture.

Any additional comments?

Another fantastic book by Beukes. Wonderful mix of detective thriller, commentary on modern life and social media, keen observation of the impact of the economic downturn on a once-great city, exploration of the artistic process and mental health, with a final touch of the supernatural. The book is grounded by multiple narrative voices: a detective who struggles to balance work and single motherhood; her daughter who is navigating teenage life where social media has the power to consume and obliterate; an artist struggling with his work and sanity; a homeless man finding a way to survive in Detroit despite a fraught past; and a hipster-blogger-wannabe who is awash in pretension and an unattractive desire of recognition. Beukes manages some impressive character depth and sharp, believable dialog. She also depicts a struggling Detroit, weaving in realistic details and actual headlines to underscore plot points examining social media and how it drives daily life, for better or worse. In many ways, the book feels akin to a Stephen King in the best way -- no throwaway characters, no sloppy lines, no shortcuts in depicting the setting, and supernatural elements that accent rather than overwhelm the story. Highly recommended.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very not scary

Get ready to listen to text convos and fake reddit threads. I was led to believe this would be very scary....maybe for teens?

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Serial Killer / Horror with supernatural element

This was a great book, if I was a bigger fan of supernatural horror/killers I probably would have given this 5 stars instead of 4

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A disappointing mashup

Rather than being a 'genre-redefining thriller", Broken Monsters is a combination of police procedural/serial killer thriller and supernatural horror tale. The problem is these elements are barely integrated so the story builds as one type of tale, ends as another and the climax ends up feeling distinctly at odds with what preceded it. Rather than being a surprising twist, it felt false.

To be fair, there are a few hints that the story could go in the direction it eventually does but the ideas aren't unified in a satisfying way and the novel left me disappointed.

On the plus side, it is an interesting, if ultimately not quite satisfying story and Lauren Beukes can write. The characterization is solid and the narration is superb.

7 people found this helpful

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Cringey

I couldn't even get through it. SO CRINGEY. Especially Johno's part. And you know who the killer is from the start.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good mashup of horror, police procedural and online culture

Beukes captures slices of the modern social media culture, the post industrial decay of urban America, the police procedural and the supernatural horror novel blended well by the differing narrators to very good effect.

2 people found this helpful

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I Had to keep listening in every spare moment

A nail biting story and very topical in today's world of ubiquitous social media use

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Final Twist

Majority of the book is a very realistic crime thriller with believable and interesting characters. It does start a little slowly for my tastes.

The final act of the book is very tense and takes a fascinating turn. I'd compare it to Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Meandered around, but I liked it

The book is several different storylines coming together in the climax. I felt these storylines wandered off point quite a bit or took too long to get the background point across. But that said, the author's use of language and voices kept it entertaining and it was enjoyable nonetheless. The author set a great atmosphere, tense and eerie. But as with a lot of horror stories, in an effort to unload all the pent-up tension and conflict in the climax, it becomes too sensational relying on fantastic effects to thrill the reader. I enjoyed the story more than the climax which I found too clunky to really work well.
I did really enjoy all the different voices in narration, something I usually don't go for. In this book, the variety added to the atmosphere of the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Stephen King meets Clarice Starling

There's a lot to like here. The characters are interesting, the pacing is solid, the narrators are great, and Beukes offers some interesting commentary on modern artists, urban "ruin porn", and obsession with social media. Her initial takes on the story's villain are engaging and spooky. However, the introduction of the supernatural events near the end weakens the story and reads like a cheap way out. It's almost as if Beukes got to a place where she couldn't figure out where to go with the story, so she invented a ham handed conclusion to get the draft into her publisher before deadline.

Please, Ms. Beukes, don't make your serial killers human or relatable; we want them alien, remote, and scary. Thomas Harris wrote the perfect killer in Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs" and should have stopped there. "Hannibal" and "Hannibal Rising" both failed as sequels because he tried to explain Lecter to the reader.

King falls victim this all the time. "The Body" (known as "Stand By Me" in the movie world) worked so well because he stayed with the characters and did not introduce the supernatural. Consider how much better "The Stand" might have been if Randall Flag had been more of sociopath and less of a demon.