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The Shining Girls

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  46,177 ratings  ·  5,653 reviews
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. Curtis stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

Working with a former homicid
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Mulholland Books (first published April 15th 2013)
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Mark Cofta It seems like a closed circle to me, a time traveler paradox with no beginning or ending. The Polish guy's arrival took us back to the beginning, and …moreIt seems like a closed circle to me, a time traveler paradox with no beginning or ending. The Polish guy's arrival took us back to the beginning, and it all happens again -- but Kirby and Dan live on after the circle collapses on itself. (less)

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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,177 ratings  ·  5,653 reviews

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Stephen King
No, not the twins from the Kubrick movie, but the targets of a serial killer who finds a time portal in Chicago during the Depression and jackrabbits his way through recent American history, killing women and taking trophies. Until, that is, he encounters a tuff girl who’s not so easy to do away with. It’s the black-hole version of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing

love her, not sure about the show yet...



 photo DSC01467_zps2bd1ebb9.jpg

this book is going to end up being the "it" book of the summer, and probably beyond, because some of you are slow to catch on, and it deserves a longer "it" cycle.

it is about a time traveling serial killer.

which sounds like drunken-mad-libs, but it works. time travel (the idea of time travel) frequently either makes my head hurt,

or is just too silly for me to care about

but this one is different. the time travel is
Wendy Darling
Here's the thing about this book: it is a mash-up of many different genres, and while the execution was perfectly fine, I felt none of them were showcased in a way that was particularly...outstanding?

A breakdown of some of the different elements this book tries to incorporate, along with a few thoughts on each:

Time travel: the jumps in timeline in this book involve a weird house in Chicago in the 1930s. It shows Harper Curtis all the girls he's yet to kill, and allows him to slip in and out of d
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, scifi
This book is weird. The climax features a one-sided snowball fight. And it’s about a time-traveling serial killer. It’s weird. It’s also not very good.

The Shining Girls is a book of parts, and some parts work, some parts don’t. Each chapter focuses on a person and a time. Harper, the time-traveling serial killer, spends most of his chapters in the Great Depression Era, plotting escapades to the future to kill “shining girls.” The other main character is Kirby, a shining girl from the early 90s
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's not easy to sell people on the concept of The Shining Girls, because every time I try to describe the plot, I can't do it without making this sound like the dumbest possible idea for a book.

This is a story about a time-traveling serial killer.

See? It sounds so dumb and so bad. And if you read it and came to the same conclusion, I would not blame you at all. But, much like the cranked-to-eleven lunacy of The Girl on the Train, this book just worked for me. In essence, this is a very, very
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, first published in 2013, is fascinating, almost hypnotic, for many reasons, but emphatically because its style and subject matter makes it an odd fit for clearly defined genres.

Combining elements of horror, murder mystery, thriller, crime, and time travel fantasy this book finds itself on a unique bookshelf and Beukes demonstrates her rare gift of imagination and technical ability.

Using a shifting perspective, jumping chronological narrative technique that w
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: karen
Shelves: paperwhite, i-said
Of course I have pet peeves, don’t we all. I am bone weary tired of books being promoted as the next Gone Girl or worse still….just like The Secret History. So just to set the record straight this is nothing like Gone Girl and the only relation I can see to Stieg Larsson’s books is that there is a female survivor, who is not prepared to lay down. Then again a great many books have kick ass female survivors. The problem with this need to categorize some books as being similar to this or that is t ...more
Heidi The Reader
Jun 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, fiction
A killer travels through time picking his victims and leaving mementos behind.

I thought I'd venture outside of my comfort zone with The Shining Girls and I certainly managed that. It was far too gory and violent for me.

The trouble is that almost half of the story is told from the killer's point of view. The reader gets a front row seat at the crimes, usually immediately after a series of passages describing the girl so that an emotional connection is formed with the victim.

I was on a run listeni

There's a lot for me to love about this book:

1) The main character Kirby is fantastic. She is a survivor (literally), independent, courageous and determined, a bit of a smart ass with a smart mouth. But she's no mere Mary Sue, possessing vulnerabilities and flaws that make her uniquely "Kirby" and nobody else. I found her funny and totally sympathetic. Quite honestly, the entire novel pivots around her. Without her, the intricate house of cards the author builds would collapse in on itself at th
Quick caveat to apologising for not reading or reviewing so much anymore. I'm an English Lit student and it's pretty much killed reading for pleasure for me. But along came "The Shining Girls", and Karen's review compares it to "Gone Girl", one of my favourites and the big buzz book of summer 2012 and I need to get on this shit.

Then I read it.

And I don't know what's wrong with me, but it's as simple as this - I don't understand the hype.

Looking at the blurb, I do. The premise is both devilishly
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book has a great premise: It's a time-traveling serial killer! One of his victims survives and starts to track him down!

However, I was disappointed in the novel and I think it got overhyped. The chapters alternate between different characters and time periods, and the author was juggling too much and couldn't make it gel. The killer, Harper, has so many murder victims that it's difficult to care about them or even to remember who is who. We also don't get any explanation for why Harper was
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The one thing that impresses me the most about this book is the sheer ambition.

I mean, it's a Mystery cat-and-mouse game told from killer who can hop through time from Depression Era through the early nineties, getting his depraved game of meeting little "shining" girls and coming back moments later when they're all grown up to brutally murder them.

And then we also get a heavily researched and deeply characterized slew of female victims that reads more like a brilliant historical novel than what
I was going to fire up the time-mower to do this review, but I was scared I’d bump into a homicidal maniac so I left it in the garage this time.

Harper Curtis is a hobo during the Great Depression in Chicago who makes a miraculous discovery when he gains access to a mysterious house that can transport him into the future up until the early ‘90s. Unfortunately, Harper is a psychopath who starts using names and objects in the house to track and murder women in various times. Harper thinks that the
Wanda Pedersen
Wow. Just wow.

I'm amazed at the mixed reviews that this book has received. I loved it.

A time traveling serial killer. A girl who survived his attack. She tries to put her life back together and to put an end to his murdering ways.

I felt deliciously drunk on time, as the chapters changed POV and year, but all clearly marked by the title heading. During the last several chapters, my feet were making little running motions and I kept checking to see how many pages of tension were left. That's rare.
Edward Lorn
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of time travel and gore
First, we'll address the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

"How you doin', Mr. Bananas?"

"Doing fine, E. How's the family?"

"They're well. Autumn's growing up too quick and Chris... well, Chris is a dude. You know how dudes are."

"I do, I do. So what is it that I can help you with, E.?"

"Oh, nothing. Just wanted to address you."

"Oh. Well you should know that this is a terrible joke and, if people laugh, they'll be laughing at you, not with you."

"I know."

"Good. Just wanted to make that clear. Say, do you
Althea Ann
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm now all caught up with Lauren Beukes! Write more! :-)

Beukes is one of my favorite authors, and this is an excellent novel. I do have to say, however, that for me, it might be the least striking and remarkable of her works, although I believe it is her most critically-acclaimed.

It's a cross-genre mashup of a time-travel story and a serial killer/murder mystery.
Harper Curtis has always been a psychopathic killer. But when the hobo, back in 1939, wanders into a seemingly-abandoned house that's
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I wanted to like this book way more than I actually did. The premise of it sounds wonderful. A time traveling serial killer? Color me intrigued.
The thing was this book reads so slow that I kept falling asleep.
There's a house that allows this cray cray man to travel across time. Spotting girls that "shine" and going back later when they have grown up and killing them. Brutally.
I thought the "shine" thing would draw me in since I loved that theme in The Shining and Doctor Sleep. Nope.
There are
Elyse  Walters
I made a mistake with this -Im not going to to continue.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
My problem lately with books is that I have been generally enjoying what I've been reading, but I just haven't had much to say about them once I'm done.

Time-travelling serial killer. Bad-ass punk/hardcore grrrrl* who he failed to kill when he had the chance. Chicago.

That's my plot summary. I don't think when I was recently recommended to try to write a review in four sentences or less that is what the guy had in mind.

(view spoiler)
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as it was listed somewhere as a"Top twenty must-read books of the summer."
I believe it was in "Paste" Magazine, but I am not sure.
I read a lot of "book lists" because I read a lot of books.
It is billed as a "Serial Killer" novel with a twist-Time travel.
OK, I'm sold.
Bring it on!

This book tries so damn hard to be clever that it loses its focus straight out of the gate.
It is so caught up in the vehicle of "time travel" that it becomes snared in the trappings of 'contrived nuance.'
Diane S ☔
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: roadrallyteamb
There are many, many serial killer novels out there, but not one that is quite like this. Featuring a killer, who stumbles onto a house that lets him travel through time to find what he calls, his "shining girls." Girls that are so full of life he is compelled to extinguish their flame. How does one possibly catch a killer that can kill and then escape to another time. He does leave a few clues, and Kirby, who did not die and is the one who got away, wants nothing more than to hunt him down. I l ...more
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
So disappointing.

Beukes must have an incredible agent, because the buzz around this book was crazy. I expected a feminist science fiction thriller, where an alternative, parallel history of revolutionary women is wiped out by an agenda-driven killer. This book turned out to be a run-of-the-mill slasher novel with an unexplained time-travel element.

I don’t even mind that the time travel wasn’t explained. What bothered me was that there wasn’t any point to it. It isn’t as though Beukes made any i
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

A time traveling serial killer, you say?????

I was so ready to amp it up to 1.21 gigawatts and press the accelerator to 88 MPH. But then . . . .

It’s like the author was really late for a meeting with the publishers, and while running down the hallway as fast as possible she drops the whole shebang, chapters scatter, there is no time to put everything back together in the proper order, so she makes the decision to go with whatever a
Joe Valdez
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The next stop in my time travel marathon (November being Science Fiction Month) was The Shining Girls, a 2013 thriller by Lauren Beukes. Here's a novel I did not cotton to at all through 80 pages. It's written in present tense. It's fragmented, with a few chapters no longer than four pages. The narrative unfolds from at least four different recurring points of view and over ten total. It's a puzzle that fits together at odd angles. It was not going to be my cup of tea. That's what I thought.

Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A monster that sucks people's brains out their heads is far less disturbing than a serial killer that stalks and kills girls for no reason. An “equal opportunity” serial killer that kills men as well as women is also less disturbing. I don’t know much about real life serial killers but for some reason their fictional counterparts almost always go after young girls. There is a layer of unreality in the brain sucking monster scenario that makes it not at all disturbing regardless of how graphic th ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With a plethora of reviews having appeared already and a good amount of pre-publication publicity hype, I was both keen and intensely curious about this foray into crime from Lauren Beukes, author of the excellent Zoo City and Moxyland.

With a clever and quite unique premise The Shining Girls is something really quite different in crime fiction fare, but I almost fell at the first hurdle I must admit. Stupidly I read the first 50 pages or so in small chunks, racing to finish another book at the s
'Everything happens for a reason. He should be grateful. It's because he is forced to leave that he finds the House. It is because he took the coat that he has the key.'

Harper stalks his Shining Girls through time and the House helps him. He visits the girls when they are children, takes mementos from them and tells them he'll be back for them when it's time. When that time comes, he leaves their bodies with a new memento, one taken from a different Shining Girl. His goal is to kill them all, al
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of literary fiction, gore, Gone Girl
As seen on The Readventurer

Reading The Shining Girls was like reading Gone Girl all over again. Here I was, expecting an entertaining genre fiction romp, and instead I got a literary, undoubtedly well-written, but mostly boring novel that underutilized its exciting premise.

Sorry to say, but The Shining Girls is just not nearly as entertaining as its blurb leads you to believe. A time-traveling serial killer and the thrilling chase after him lead by his only surviving victim and her journalist fr
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Lauren Beukes has been on my radar for a while but I never felt inclined to pick her books until l The Shining Girls came along with its promising conceit: Science Fiction meets Thriller in a story featuring a time-travelling serial killer and his one surviving victim looking for revenge.

In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis walks into The House to find a dead body in the hallway and a room full of mementos from dead girls. Their murders, actions he
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
While fleeing the law in Depression era Chicago, Harper Curtis stumbles upon the key to a derelict house with magical properties. Despite its outward appearance, the inside of the house is one of grandeur (well, except for the dead body in the hallway, but real estate being what it is during the Depression, one can't be too picky). There's a stash of cash and a haphazard collection of kitschy objects from different time periods, but that's not the only secret hidden by this house--it is also a p ...more
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Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes screenplays, TV shows, comics and journalism. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and have been optioned for film and TV.

Her awards include the Arthur C Clarke Award, the prestigious University of Johannesburg prize, the August Derleth Prize, the Strand Critics Choice Award and the RT Thriller of the Year. She’s

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“She would disappear
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