Slipping by Lauren Beukes: Book review

What is this about?: A collection of short stories from an accomplished South African author.

What else?: Just that!

Stars: 3.5/5

Blurb: In her edgy, satiric debut collection, award-winning South African journalist and author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls, Moxyland) never holds back. Nothing is simple and everything is perilous when humans are involved: corruption, greed, and even love (of a sort).

A permanent corporate branding gives a young woman enhanced physical abilities and a nearly-constant high. 

Recruits lifted out of poverty find a far worse fate collecting biohazardous plants on an inhospitable world.

The only adult survivor of the apocalypse decides he will be the savior of teenagers; the teenagers are not amused.

From Johannesburg to outer space, these previously uncollected tales are a compelling, dark, and slippery ride.

I’m still trying to figure out short stories. With some I can completely immerse myself in them and with others, not so much. And still others are a mix of both. I am not entirely sure where I stand with this collection yet.

There’s a distance between me and the fiction in this, something that prevents me from completely immersing myself in the stories. Is it the sci-fi genre? The brutal baldness of her writing, or the way that some stories left me wanting more and no way to get it?

The weird thing is, I was more interested in her short collection of non-fiction stories at the end of the book – about life in South Africa, the tragedy and the harshness of it. It made me miss home. It made me grateful I had a chance to leave. But, if I was there, the stories of death and violence would be par for the course.

As you can see from this short, contemplative review, this book gave me a lot to think about – just not in the way I expected.

3 Comments

  • Thanks for sharing. Short stories can be really hit or miss for me. sometimes I just don’t get the story…or I want more. Others work really well.

  • Maria Behar says:

    I have never heard of this author before. I’m intrigued because I love science fiction, and this collection does sound like it will be worthwhile reading.

    I don’t read short story collections on a regular basis, but do enjoy doing so from time to time. It looks like I’ll enjoy this particular book!

    Thanks for the nice review! Happy New Year!! 🙂

  • AngelErin says:

    I still need to try this author! Her books sound fantastic. 😀

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