SUMMARY ¸ The Shining Girls

REVIEW The Shining Girls

SUMMARY ¸ The Shining Girls ß A time traveling serial killer is impossible to trace – until one of his victims survivesIn 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 He stalks them through their lives across diHat opens on to other times But it comes at a cost He has to kill the shining girls bright young women burning with potential He stalks them through their. 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 dumb idea for a story that has been executed very very well which is also how I describe Pacific Rim a movie where humans build giant robots to fight giant aliens and it's actually one of the best movies I've ever seenOur killer is Harper Curtis and while on the run from gangsters in 1930's Chicago he discovers that he can time travel Specifically he finds a house that acts as a sort of portal to other time periods and only Harper Curtis has the keyThe specifics and the logic of how and why Curtis decides to use this power to hunt and kill women across time does not matter the point is that he does and one of his victims manages to survive Kirby Mazrachi is in college in 1989 when Harper Curtis attacks her and leaves her for dead She makes a physical recovery but becomes obsessed with finding the man who tried to kill her To do this she applies for an internship at the Chicago Sun Times with a sports writer who used to cover homicides and enlists his help tracking down her attempted murderer The chapters move back and forth across time showing us the various murders that Curtis commits while in the present Kirby attempts to find a pattern of unsolved murders that will lead her to the man who tried to kill her Curtis we realize does not kill at random Each of his victims is in his mind a girl who shines across time enabling him to locate her It's not made totally clear what he means by shining but each woman is doing something revolutionary or noteworthy when Curtis cuts her life short this is the point in the review where I'm very tempted to say that Kirby is in a race against time or something like that I'll let you know that I resisted that impulse but not happilyLook I'll come right out and say that book is not for everyone The violence is detailed and gruesome particularly the scene where Curtis first attacks Kirby and we see every horrible action The deaths and brutalization of women and animals alike are described and it's exactly as upsetting as it should be Other reviewers have pointed out and I agree that all of Curtis's victims besides Kirby never get to be anything other than victims each is introduced to the reader and given a backstory just to make sure that we understand how upsetting and sad her death is and that's all we see of them Also Kirby has a romance subplot that really didn't work for me first because it was a distraction from the central plot and also because I have a sneaking suspicion that Beukes included it to show us that Kirby is recovering from her trauma as if the best way to fix a woman is to give her a man But May December romances have never been my particular thing so maybe that's why it didn't work for me This is honestly of a three star book but I'm giving it an extra star because Beukes made two very very good choices in her storytelling and I have to give her credit for them First she sets parameters for Curtis's time travel abilities he cannot travel further back in time than 1929 and this means that we don't have to go through some idiotic revelation that Curtis was actually Jack the Ripper or something or considering the Chicago location HH Holmes And the second very very good thing Beukes does is a spoiler so I'm going to hide it view spoilerSo Kirby is raised by a single mom and doesn't know who her father is About halfway through the book a terrible thought occurred to me oh Jesus are we going to find out that Curtis had sex with Kirby's mother during one of his time tra


A time traveling serial killer is impossible to trace – until one of his victims survivesIn Depression era Chicago Harper Curtis finds a key to a house t. SUEEE 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 cycleit is about a time traveling serial killerwhich sounds like drunken mad libs but it works time travel the idea of time travel freuently either makes my head hurt or is just too silly for me to care aboutbut this one is different the time travel is never given any scientific justification it just is and you accept it or you read a different book a man finds a magic house that is both his and not his whose door opens to different points in the past and it is filled with objects that he both recognizes and doesn't recognize are we having fun yet basically these objects create a pull in him a need to move through time to track down the girls to whom these objects belonged to taketo have taken these things from them when they were young and when he first identifies them as one of his shining girls and then to return to them years later and murder them so it is his story and their stories and the story of the one who got away without him knowing hunter hunted and magic house in a chronological tangle that works perfectlyin a way it reminded me of life after life because as each shining girl is introduced you can't help but feel a character attachment to them even though you know what is coming just like you knew ursula was going to come to a bad end over and over but you couldn't help feeling optimistic that maybe this time will be the time she makes it through i've also heard it being called dragon tattoo with time traveland while it has shades of that in its mutilating of womenfemale vigilante aspect this one doesn't have any gratuitous sexual violence for the book to spend way too much time describing and it has real recognizable characters that aren't cartoons girls who shine seem to grow up to be women with purpose women who subvert traditional gender roles to become welders in wartime or fight their way into a boys club architecture firm or who have the potential to change opportunities for women as they assist in abortion clinics or encourage young women at risk to overcome their circumstances but this might be overthink the murders are gendered obviously but there isn't a lot of time spent on motive because there isn't motive it is chilling because there is no real reason for it except a compulsion a gut based instinct rather than a measured philosophy about why these girls they shine through time and that is enough but there isn't a connective thread except the one he creates by killing them and swapping their totemic objects and he makes mistakes along the way with girls who lose their shine with falling for appearances with experimenting with his methodology and with accidentally leaving kirby alive this is not a preternatural mastermind; just a man with a twisted need to kill who happened to stumble upon a magic houseand the story is horrifying obviously the murders are graphic to those of you who know who you are and have limits there will be entrails and a sad dog story that somehow gets sadder but at the same time it can be genuinely funny kirby is great she is tough without coming across as a cartoon like lisbeth does you love her because she has overcome but still remains so normal not a victim but not some superior vigilante either she definitely takes charge of her situation but she still has soft edges; she is not caricature and she shinesgreg was just telling me a couple of weeks ago and then wrote in his review of the book that with lethem's female character in dissident gardens lethem keeps telling you she is smart and sexy but you never really see it as a reader because he's not great at writing women here you see all of kirby her vulnerability her love and irritation with her mother her frustration with her symbolic status as survivor her anger and her determination and her drive to finding answers that will sometim

Lauren Beukes Ö 1 SUMMARY

The Shining GirlsLives across different eras leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies until in 1989 one of his victims Kirby Mazrachi survives and starts hunting him bac. 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 stilljust 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 that all too often the book suffers in comparison This is no exception What we have here is a time travelling serial killer Very cool concept no doubt I was just underwhelmed if you will with the executionSo suspend belief and come along Our dirt bag killer Harper Curtis has found a house in depression era Chicago that is like a portal to both past and future years thereby allowing our killer to step out the door and into the past or some future Chicago landscape Inside the house Harper finds objects that seem to cause a compulsion or perhaps a memory of past compulsions within him which in turn leads him out the door and into another period of time where he finds one of his victims at an early age allowing Harper to leave one of these objects with her until such time as he can come back and retrieve it and her Kirby is one of Harper’s victims Problem is she didn’t die but survived the horrific attack and is determined to find the brute responsible She is courageous with a uick and sarcastic tongue that she uses deftly to keep irritants at bay Haunted by her past Kirby is stuck in time unable to move forward until she can mark paid to her past This girl needs closure The magic house with its time portal and time travelling artifact like objects is never really explained It is what it is thereby allowing the reader to fill in the blanks And then there are the rest of Harper’s victims and there are many We meet them at various stages of their life but a glimpse at best is all that we are awarded And so it is that we meet insert name here Harper has met her as well and so we know she is destined to die a graphically brutal death As terrible as it sounds I had a hard time connecting with any of these so called shining girls as the author never really painted their canvass for me I mean come on if I am going to plunge into the lake then I want to see its murky depths get pulled in by the undertow feel the water sluicing off my skin Instead there I was on the time travelling serial killers bus as he moved from stop to stop kill to kill leaving objects taking objects hurtling through time but I cannot say that I ever really cared about his victims which in turn meant that I was pretty much just biding my time and waiting for the ride to be over Kirby of course was the exception which sadly to me conjured this all too omniscient sense of what was to come A truly uniue concept that I can only wish had been explored a little further fleshed out carved into my empathetic being enough to make me care about its characters So yeah three all hype no heft but pretty cover kind of stars