logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: The-Shining-Girls
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-08-30 09:15
Zeitreise-Serienmörder
Shining Girls - Beukes Lauren,David Nathan

Chicago in den 1930er-Jahren. Harper Curtis ist ein gefährlicher, kaltblütiger Mann, der dem Shining Girl Jeanette - eine im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes strahlende Tänzerin - beinah verfallen ist. Durch mysteriöse Umstände fällt ihm der Schlüssel zu einem Haus in die Hände, das sich als Portal zu anderen Zeiten entpuppt. Nun setzt er sich zum Ziel, die strahlendsten Mädchen aller Zeiten umzubringen und Kirby ist eine davon.

Lauren Beukes wartet mit einer äußerst interessanten Grundidee auf, der ich mich nicht entziehen wollte. Ein Mörder aus den 30ern findet Zugang zu einem Zeitreise-Portal und wird deshalb zum mysteriösesten Serienmörder aller Zeiten. Wie der Klappentext verkündet, vermengen sich hier spannende Elemente: ein Mörder aus der Vergangenheit, ein Mädchen, das ihm entkommen und eine Jagd, die eigentlich schon längst vergangen ist. Allesamt Zutaten, die eine ansprechenden Thrill mit gruseligen Zeitreise-Momenten erwarten lassen.

Die Geschichte nimmt hauptsächlich zwei Perspektiven ein: Harper, der kaltblütige Mörder aus den 30ern, und Kirby, eines seiner Opfer, ein Mädchen, das ihm einst entkommen ist (oder entkommen wird), in den 90ern. 

Kirbys Part war sehr ansprechend gestaltet und ich hatte es hier mit charakterlicher Tiefe zutun. Man kann sich kaum vorstellen, wie man sich an ihrer Stelle fühlen müsste. Sie ist einst einem Mörder um Haaresbreite entkommen. Ein Mörder, der nach wie vor auf freiem Fuß ist, und nach dem von der Polizei aus schon lange nicht mehr gefahndet wird. An ihrer Seite steht Dan, ein alternder Journalist, mit dem sie gemeinsam alte Fälle aufrollt, um eventuell Gemeinsamkeiten zu ihrem eigenen Fall aufzudecken.

Harpers Sicht hingegen ist sehr flach und diese Figur scheint irgendwie nur Mittel zum Zweck zu sein. Er verwandelt sich von einem Moment zum anderen vom Ganoven zum Serienkiller, und anscheinend nur, weil er das Zeitreise-Portal gefunden hat. Mir persönlich sind diese Hintergründe zu fadenscheinig. Ich hatte ständig das Gefühl, es bei Harper eher mit einer grob umrissenen Schablone als mit einem Menschen zutun zu haben.

Nebenher werden viele Frauen in die Handlung eingeführt, die jedoch immer nur kurz aufblitzen, um als eines von Harpers Shining Girls zu enden. Dieses Schema hatte sich rasch abgenutzt und wurde schnell uninteressant.

Die Handlung selbst plätschert eher vor sich hin. Es gab weder Wow-Momente noch aufrüttelnde Überraschungseffekte, sondern ein gemäßigtes Tempo, das sich über die gesamte Geschichte hinweg bis zum Showdown gehalten hat.

Allerdings merkt man der Geschichte sehr viel Recherche an. Die Autorin streut aufmerksam Details zum historischen Kontext ein, die zwar nicht die Handlung aufgepeppt, dafür aber deutlichen Mehrwert gebracht haben.

Gut gefallen hat mir die Umsetzung mit David Nathan als Sprecher. Schon allein um von dieser Stimme vorgelesen zu bekommen, zahlt es sich fast aus, das Hörbuch zu hören.

„Shining Girls“ lebt meiner Ansicht nach von einer spannenden Grundidee und dem Sprecher der Hörbuchversion, kann allerdings meiner Meinung nach kaum mit Handlung oder Figuren mitreissen. Ich denke, es ist ein Hörbuch für Zwischendurch, das man sich nicht unbedingt gönnen muss.

 

© NiWa

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-07-03 15:43
The Shining Girls Review
The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes

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 have any bananas?"

"I'm sorry, I do not."

"Then what fucking good are you to me? Piss off."

Now that Mr. Bananas is gone, I should probably address the problems you might have with Lauren Beukes's The Shining Girls. If you do not read chapter titles, you will soon Amelia Earhart your way into history. I do not like chapter titles. All too often, authors ruin their own books by putting spoilers in their chapter headings. It's a huge pet peeve of mine, so when I come across a book with chapter titles, I skip them. I feel this way: the important information should be worked into the actual chapters and not lazily dropped into the chapter headings. Lauren Beukes not only uses chapter titles in lazy ways, but if you miss whose head and the time you're in, the book becomes a mess very quickly. More than twice I had to flip backward to make sure I knew who I was with and where in time we were. I shouldn't have to do that, Lauren. Shame on you.

Other than that, this book is great. The plot isn't the most original (serial killer bouncing through time ala Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper in that one old movie), but Beukes does manage to make what happens interesting. I think where Beukes shines (get it? DID YOU GET MY PUN????) is character development. She goes into deep detail concerning the smallest character. Most importantly, she made me care, or at the very least understand, the red shirts in this book. Every corpse had a pulse at one point in time, and I dig that she paid so much attention to their history.

Once I managed to get a feel for the flow of the story, I enjoyed myself. Are their problems? Sure. Several of them. But I didn't notice until after I finished reading. But the best part of this book is Beukes writing. It's smooth and seemingly effortless. I blew through 50-100 pages a sitting because, once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down.

In summation: Not everyone will like Beukes because she forces you to pay attention. If you skip chapter headings, you will be super fucking confused. If you don't like a huge cast of characters, you'll likely not like this, because every third chapter or so is from a brand new person's POV. She gets into the heads of every victim, so expect to learn some of everything about everybody. I didn't mind. In fact, the big cast was one of my favorite parts.

Final Judgment: Pay attention for full payoff.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-09-19 17:46
THE SHINING GIRLS Review
The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes

Synopsis: Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .

The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.
 
*****
 
One thing I can certainly say about this year is I've tried many authors I had never read before -- Robert McCammon, Charles Dickins, TS Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Gillian Flynn, et cetera. Most -- if not all -- of these authors are among my very favorites and I have been slowly and surely working my way through each of their respective oeuvres. Adding to that list, I tackled my first Lauren Beukes novel, The Shining Girls, a story that combines two of my favorite things -- time travel and serial killings -- into a fast-paced thriller that, for the most part, works. 
 
Harper Curtis stumbles upon a house (or The House, as he calls it) by chance -- or perhaps fate? -- while on the run in 1931 Chicago. The house has a portal through which it is possible to travel in time, and Harper grabs the chance. He soon finds names in the house of girls he feels "drawn to" because they shine... what Beukes means by shining is never made clear, but one can infer it means these girls have a vivacious life force and Harper feels the call to snuff it out with brutal killing. He does this without a second thought or remorse, traveling through various decades up until summer 1993, murdering woman upon woman in his path. 
 
One thing that really makes this novel cook is the girls Harper murders. Beukes draws each one beautifully, taking care to illustrate them and make them come alive, if only for a few pages before their tragic slaughters. Ironically enough, the murder victims feel more like three dimensional characters than Harper or Kirby, the girl who Harper tried murdering without success and is now trying to sniff him out. Harper kills without any remorse or human emotion whatsoever, so after a while he begins to become a bit of a bore. And Kirby -- a woman who has led a troubled life, I know -- relies too heavily on sarcasm to keep her peers (and, unfortunately, the reader) at bay... so it's like we never really know her true thoughts or motives. 
 
Since I'm complaining, I would like to point something else out -- Harper's total lack of interest in the decades he travels to and his totally unrealistic ability to fit in and adapt to whatever time period he's in. Keep in mind that this dude is from '31, a time when The Great Depression was in full swing and there was no such thing as television or fast food restaurants or everyone in the city driving an automobile. When Harper travels for the first time -- to '88 -- he marvels at television sets in a department store window for a few minutes and... that is it. That's all that's mentioned of him being shocked or in awe of technological and social evolution (or, in some cases, devolution)... throughout the rest of the novel he doesn't stop to notice anything nor does he even mess up, aside from using out-of-date money a couple of times. Part of the fun of any time travel story is seeing how the traveler adjusts to whatever time they go to... and this novel severely lacked that, rendering the journey through time(s) aspect useless and gimmicky. 
 
I know it sounds like I was not very impressed with this novel, but that isn't exactly true. I thought it was decent, and thanks to this reading I have Beukes's Broken Monsters coming in the mail. I was just a bit let down by the author not taking full advantage of the story she came up with. In the right hands, this could have been an epic novel, a world-building serial killer tale to rival any other serial killer tale. The premise is great, but the delivery did not always live up to my expectations. It was a quick, fun read and the characters were enjoyable, albeit rather cardboard cut-out at times (I'm especially looking at every guy from the newspaper Kirby works with... I can't remember any of them except Dan, a fat guy who enjoys baseball and... that's kind of it), and the action really never lets up. There are constant revelations to be had and Beukes knows how to keep her readers intrigued if nothing else. I was going to give this one four stars, but as I've written this review I've talked myself down to 3 1/2. Check this out, but maybe buy it used. 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-09-19 03:38
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 370 pages.
The Long Walk - Stephen King

Continuing my Stephen King reread project with my favorite Bachman novel, The Long Walk. I will be posting my 4-star review of Lauren Beukes's The Shining Girls tomorrow. Happy reading! 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-09-19 00:31
Reading progress update: I've read 341 out of 375 pages.
The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes

I've read over two hundred pages of this novel today alone. I can't put it down, and I'll be very sad when it is over.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?