Dee's Reviews > Moxyland

Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
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's review
Jul 21, 2011

it was ok
Read in July, 2011

I really wanted to like this book. It was recommended to me on Amazon, and sounded so promising.

Instead, by the second chapter I was resigned to hating it, but determined to finish it anyway as a matter of principle.

My first and greatest annoyance with Ms. Beukes's debut novel is her insistence on overwhelming her reader with jargon and manufactured slang, so that one is forced to translate as one reads. Some authors can pull this off without making it a distraction from the story; Ms. Beukes has not quite mastered that skill. Instead, she (and by proxy, her narrators) come across with the self-conscious deliberance of one who is trying too hard to be hip.

Her concept of multiple narrators each speaking with their own individual voice, while not unique, is certainly interesting, but Beukes is unable to sustain it. By the end of the book all the styles have run together and start to sound pretty much alike. (This actually ends up being a bit of a blessing in disguise, as it helps to eliminate some of her more annoying affectations.)

Issues of style aside, Ms. Beukes does have some interesting ideas (though, once again, not unique), and I found myself not hating the last few chapters of the book quite as much as I did the ones which preceded them. I even came to almost care about some of the characters by the end (almost!), or at least to not find them quite so petulant.

I already own a copy of her second novel, Zoo City, so I probably will still read it eventually, but I admit that I'm not in any hurry to do so.
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10/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Marcelle Laubscher EXACTLY how I felt after reading this book. So very disappointing... I really wanted to like this book, and I did try...

Rubulais Didibroth I read this after Zoo City, so I assumed most of the slang was of South African origin ...

Marcelle Laubscher I'm from South Africa and about 90% of the slang was made up. Very disappointing indeed. I think she tried to cram in way too many new concepts that didn't end up working, there was no flow.

Leigh Nissen Also from South Africa, and as a TEENAGE South African, I can guarantee that most of that slang is legit.

Juanita The Slang is very much particular to Cape Town youth, might not even translate across the country, but I do hear it.

message 6: by Krystin (new) - added it

Krystin Petras Your review is 100% the exact same way I feel! I tired and just couldn't do it.

message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan TheMan I just started reading it and already feel the exact same way! The slang is wayyyy too much.

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