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Broken Monsters  By  cover art

Broken Monsters

By: Lauren Beukes
Narrated by: Christine Lakin,Terra Deva,Sunil Mohatra,Robert Morgan Fisher,J. D. Jackson
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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
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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.

12 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too much of a (not very) good thing

The premise of this book was great and there was some good things to like. Unfortunately, there were some major flaws.
There were too many stories and too many characters and it made for a disjointed final product. There wouldn't have been too many stories if they joined better and if there was enough of a main character. Instead I was left waiting for the different characters' paths to cross and getting more and more bored with a couple of the stories as I realized that they weren't going to even be key to the actual plot.
There also were several moments that I perceived as important, that I kept waiting for the author to come back to and address or close the loop on and that never happened.
I enjoyed the "main" character and her daughter and their story. Their character development was good and I cared about what happened to them. They drove the action and they were believable and fun to follow. Unfortunately there were too many things around their story that diluted the book until it wasn't enjoyable.
The ending wasn't very good. It just was too unbelievable and didn't go with the rest of the story.
I didn't think I would like the multiple narrators, but I did. They made the story a little more enjoyable.
I do not recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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Reminded me of Gillian Flynn books (in a good way)

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the creepiness of the murder scenes. I also appreciated the wry humor in some of the characters' perspectives and the comical use of social media in the story.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The narrators did a great job of portraying the distinct character voices Beukes created. A single narrator would have been too confusing. Some of the minor characters' accents were odd, but at least they helped to keep all the characters straight.

1 person found this helpful