Find your next favorite audiobook

Become a member today and listen free for 30 days
Moxyland

Moxyland

Written by Lauren Beukes

Narrated by Nico Evers-Swindell


Moxyland

Written by Lauren Beukes

Narrated by Nico Evers-Swindell

ratings:
4/5 (27 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Sep 6, 2011
ISBN:
9781441868206
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Lauren Beukes's frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable that follows four narrators living in a dystopian near-future.

Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program. Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers. Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid. Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem.

On a collision course that will rewire their lives, these characters crackle with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, Lauren Beukes spins a tale of a utopia gone wrong, satirically undermining the idea of progress as society's white knight.

Released:
Sep 6, 2011
ISBN:
9781441868206
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Lauren Beukes writes novels, comics and screenplays, and has worked in journalism, kids TV and documentary making. Her critically acclaimed novel The Shining Girls, which has been translated into 22 languages, was a Sunday Times bestseller and 2013 Richard & Judy Book Club choice. Her previous novel, Zoo City, a black magic noir set in Johannesburg, won the coveted Arthur C. Clarke Award. She is also the author of the neo-political thriller, Moxyland. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Related to Moxyland

Related Audiobooks

Reviews

What people think about Moxyland

3.8
27 ratings / 25 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Updating this review because this story, its protagonist, and her world have stayed with me and I've returned to them in my imagination repeatedly over the past year. Four stars for staying power!

    Over a year ago I wrote: There were elements of this story that appealed to me, but in the end I sorta Wished I'd spent the time re-reading the ear, the eye, and the arm.

    Problems: a little too derivative - felt a bit like reading other peoples books transplanted to a new setting with a few new accessories, the characters and narrative voices were a bit cardboard, not enough humor to keep me enthusiastically turning the pages, tho I have to admit I did get a few laughs out of it - but given the circumstances of the characters there could at least be more dark humor ?

    Positives: dystopian tech-centric future invites readers to contemplate some hot button issues related to economics, privacy, journalism, creativity, power and gender relations, etc.

  • (4/5)
    Having read and enjoyed this author's The Shining Girls, I decided to read her others and I'm glad I did. Told through the viewpoints of four characters, this is a scary story about a near-future world. Set in South Africa, the story focuses on new tech and how it can be used to control people. Disrupters in phones that are controlled by the police. Experimental nanotech that can become part of a person and give them cravings for the products produced by the tech's sponsor. Tech that we've come to depend on can be turned against us in an instant. Kendra, an up-and-coming photographer/artist opts for the new nanotech, hoping it will enhance her artistic expression. Toby, a slacker/gamer, spends his time looking for his next high and the breaking news he can record and broadcast that will make him famous. Tendeka, part of the underclass, wants to end corporate oppression while helping street kids. And Lerato, a corporate programmer, has ambitions of her own. Toby is the connection to the others: friend to Tendeka, friend and sometimes lover to Lerato, acquaintance of Kendra. As they weave into and out of each other's lives, through Beukes's sure prose, the feeling of tension slowly builds to a chilling climax, sparked by Tendeka's growing involvement in a protest movement, his actions increasing in risk and danger, and pushing at the controlling entities until they push back. This book is almost too close to current reality to be called science fiction. More accurately, it can be considered a cautionary tale, a warning of where society is heading.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic stuff!
  • (4/5)
    When government and corporate control becomes too great the awful effects are shown via a number of young (or young seeming) characters. Near-future depressing science fiction.
  • (4/5)
    Near-future tech dystopian novel that revolves around the lives of four people in a corporate run world. They're all involved in trying to undermine a society that is seeking to gain greater control of everybody's life. To get anywhere in this world you need to be connected, everything is controlled through your phone: building access, transport, cash transactions and even justice can be meted out through electric shock from the local enforcement agency. Suspensions of service are tantamount to a prison sentence and do something deemed significantly bad and earn a disonnection and your life might just as well be over. Kendra is an up-and-coming photographer who has just signed on as a guinea-pig for a nanotechnology implant. Toby is a journo-wannabe, running a streaming blog called diary of a cunt and living off hand-outs from uber-rich mummy. Tendeka, the anarchist, who dreams of bringing down the current system. Lerato is a corporate programmer who wants to climb the ladder but wouldn't mind missing out a few rungs to get there a bit quicker. Their lives criss-cross throughout the story as events unfold to which they all have a connection to some degree.Each character's voice is distinct, which is a good job considering they act as narrators for this story switching between the four in short, rapid chapters. The plot is not inherently obvious from the outset but creeps up on you slowly as you get to learn of the world through four sets of eyes. There is definitely a (non-preachy) political statement within this novel and a warning of potential dangers of the way in which our own world seems to be edging closer to realising. Perhaps treat this as a V for Vendetta for the digital age.
  • (5/5)
    Moxyland was a wonderful cyberpunk dystopia that only a modern South African could write, complete with softdrink sponsorbabies, rebels with a cause but perhaps not direction, corporatism, designer viruses, police violence and biotech dogs. What more could you ask for? I gave it 4 1/2 stars. I really loved it, and wanted to give it 5, but felt that should be saved for, what? Shakespeare?
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of the future - set in South Africa. The timeline isn't clear, yet with clues you find it's past 2018.This is the story of Tendeka - a man living on the fringe of society, poor and wanting to make a difference in his life and the lives of others. Tendeka is trying to make a difference with protests and things are beginning to get a little...past control.There is Kendra, a young woman who has just discovered photography with an old-fashioned film camera, which is now obselete. She has a sad past and has made the deal of a lifetime...yet she's not quite ready for the reality of this deal.Then there is Lerato - a poor girl that has clawed her way up, and is aiming higher in corporate business. She happens to be a whiz at programming chips, and keeping people at a distance. She's a survivor.Finally, there is Toby, a spoiled rich kid who is rebelling against society and mostly his mother by uploading a v-log type of program that deals with a mix of things...and he dabbles in revolutionary activities.All four, although they don't all know each other, end up connected. Two of them have grown up together, two of them are "frenemies". All four of their stories come to a resounding crash by the end of the book.Moxyland is told in first person present tense - alternating between characters. It's hard for me to describe exactly what the novel is about without huge spoilers...but the way Lauren Beukes draws out the story and at the same time pulls you into the story is amazing. Each character is a strongly realized character with very distinct voices and though processes. They aren't all totally sympathetic characters, but once you start reading you keep on reading - learning as you read without quite realizing that you're learning things...and then suddenly you're at the end of the book and ......you feel like you've been through an extreme adventure....in a good way. There's messages in this book also - big brother, corporate greed, the scary places that technology can take us....the possible future....Within this interesting and entertaining novel is a taste of what can happen, or what is already happening in the world.Excellent world building, great dialogue and wonderful narration - I loved this book. Of the two by Lauren Beukes that I've read (Zoo City and Moxyland) I would say that Zoo City is my favorite, but this is a close second...although it's almost apples and oranges in a way - since one is science fiction and the other is urban fantasy. Both books were great - and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys subversive style novels that are interesting reads.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. I am a fan of this cyberpunk type or world created by the author. The four main characters within the book have been well written, each with their own voice and motives. I enjoyed how the author painted the world she created through the various characters interactions, it made this version of South Africa come alive for me. I would recommend this book to anyone, another solid winner from Angry Robot.
  • (4/5)
    Brilliant! Comparable, in many ways, to Cory Doctorow's Little Brother - only this time, the setting is South Africa. Smart cyberpunk.
  • (2/5)
    Moxyland follows four characters who do not conform to the expectations society expects, each with their own angle and agenda, which entwine as the story progresses. This cyberpunk-esque short book never really gets in to gear and the characters aren't particularly likeable, and together they create a book with some great near-future suggestions which doesn't actually hold your attention or deliver any real suspense. There are a few action scenes which are well written, although they are not enough to propel Moxyland in to the realm of memorable cyberpunk fiction.
  • (4/5)
    A unique, terrifying, and remarkable look at the world of tomorrow. With technology controlling our lives, unable to even take a cab or open an apartment door without the use of a cell phone, the world is a scary place. Especially when rebels start causing trouble leading to an epidemic.
  • (5/5)
    Such a great book. It took a while for me to get adjusted to the narrators accent, but once I did, I was transported into a gritty futuristic world grappling with some of the freaky ethical dilemmas emerging with scientific advancements.

    Highly recommend it if you like hard sci-fi that doesn’t explain everything, and drops you into what feels like a believable future.
  • (1/5)
    The book is one of my favourites, the reading is the worst i've ever listened to. :/
  • (4/5)
    The premise: ganked from BN.com: What's really going on? Who's really in charge? You have NO. F***KING. IDEA.A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable, this novel follows the lives of four narrators living in an alternative futuristic Cape Town, South Africa. An art-school dropout, and AIDS baby, a tech-activist and an RPG-obsessed blogger live in a world where your online identity is at least as important as your physical one. Getting disconnected is a punishment worse than imprisonment, but someone's got to stand up to Government Inc. - whatever the cost. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, this tale paints anything but a forecasted utopia, satirically undermining the reified idea of progress as society's white knight.File Under: Science Fiction [ Digital Natives Corporate Wars Future Teenage Riot ]My Rating: Take It or Leave It: I really wish I'd read this book about three or four years ago, because now, I'm pretty darn jaded when it comes to books like this because I've seen it before in some form or fashion. So my reaction doesn't mean it's a bad book (though there's things I wish were addressed), it just means that a reader's mileage will vary. I'm totally open to reading more of Beukes' work to see what she's up to, though, especially since I've heard such wonderful things about Zoo City. However, while full of entertaining but hard-to-like-yet-still-sympathetic characters as well as ideas that are supposed to make you think twice or make your blood run cold, I ended up feeling pretty unaffected by the book. Still, it's a fast read, despite all the lingo that threatens to derail the less suspecting reader, and the narrative threads come together in a mostly satisfying and somewhat ironic way. Yes, I'll be checking out more of Beukes' work. Review style: the usual thumbs up and thumbs down, with spoilers, because one of the things that confuzzles me is a spoiler. If you want to stay surprised for the book, DO NOT read the full review linked below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.REVIEW: Lauren Beukes' MOXYLANDHappy Reading!
  • (3/5)
    I loved the idea behind this story. It's constant online connection taken to its extreme form showing just how clear the divide between the haves and have-nots is. In a utopian society, everyone would have free and easy access to the internet. In this society, access is determined by your social class and your social class, in turn, determines your access. People working for the corporations stay in their corporate areas with their high-tech gadgets and are well insulated from the problems the rest of their society faces. The middle-class have--and need-their phones for everything from communication to purchases to access to different societal spaces (and that access is limited when compared to that of the corporate class). And people without phones are the lowest of the low, unable to even access certain physical spaces. Throw in branding, activism, terrorism, and some corporate headhunting that might end in death and you've got Moxyland.
  • (3/5)
    energetic and fun, although I did keep waiting for plotlines that never materialised... like Moxyland itself, like getting trapped in a game & not in "reality"; and still wondering who skyward* was...
  • (4/5)
    When government and corporate control becomes too great the awful effects are shown via a number of young (or young seeming) characters. Near-future depressing science fiction.
  • (4/5)
    I've had this book on my to read list forever and finally got around to it. Boy am I glad I did. The liberal use of argot and shifting perspectives can be annoying for some readers, though I'm not one of those so I really liked that aspect of the book. The story was fast-paced and a new enough take on corporate dystopia that it didn't feel particularly derivative.

    There were a few moments of imperfection in the tale that as an editor I would have cut but overall it was a fun, entertaining and thought-provoking read. I'm going to have to find her next book, now.
  • (4/5)
    'Compared to living in fear, terrorised by criminals, the hijackings and shootings and the tik junkies ready to kill you, shoot you, stab you, for a watch or a camera, I'll take those modified dogs and the whaddayacallit, the cellphone electrocutions, any day. But these people don't understand what they're trying to achieve.'The story follows four young people over a few days in a near-future South Africa where your phone is everything; your SIM is linked to your ID and without your phone you lose access to buildings, money, your whole life. The police can taser you through it, and your phone can be 'defused' (deactivated) temporarily or permanently as a legal punishment and you can get two years in prison for buying an illegal phone that isn't locked to your ID. I have always liked cyberpunk stories and the society in this story seemed worryingly plausible.
  • (5/5)
    Lauren Beukes just writes such wonderful characters. Only one of the POV characters in this is really likeable, but my god I'm fascinated by every single one of them. Also, everyone who thought that cyberpunk was dead? I'm happy to say you're completely wrong.
  • (3/5)
    Still wish Goodreads allowed half-stars in ratings--would have given this one a 3.5.

    Almost a 4: good cast of characters, interesting and pertinent issues/ideas, plenty of action, all that good stuff, besides which I guess I have a soft spot for nanotechnology and that sorta thing in books. Definitely enjoyed reading it.

    Down to 3.5/3 because I felt the ending was kinda abrupt--trying not to mention anything too spoiler-ish, but for the most part everything comes crashing down around the characters' ears. Which was happening all along, plenty of smaller-scale glitches for them, and obviously escalating towards the finale--so no real surprise. But you know how even the not-so-happy endings, when well executed, can be just perfect, and for that particular a better fit than an all's-well-that-ends-well. The direction events were going--basically "to hell in a hand-basket"--definitely pointed towards some final misfortune(s), which was just fine for the tone/ambiance/whatever going here. But it lacked the right kind of artistry, symmetry...that 'something' that makes even tragic/unhappy endings, though still saddening/affecting, somehow satisfying. I can't say I expect that from every book, but it's still disappointing when the ending's not quite right.

    So. There's my exhaustive, probably exhausting to read (if read by anyone at all), explanation of why it's 3(.5) stars rather than the 4 I wanted to give it.
  • (4/5)
    Fast paced, near future sci fi, packed with ideas and cleverly weaving multi character strands in an emerging plot.Taking the blurb" In the near future, an art-school dropout, an AIDSbaby, a tech-activist and a RPG-obsessed blogger live in a world where your online identity is at least as important as your physical one. Getting disconnected is a punishment worse than imprisonment, but someone’s got to stand up to government inc., whatever the cost."!"None of the characters are portrayed that sympathetically, they are mocked for their foibles, they are the warnings to this near future dystopia. Still you can’t hate them, Beukes makes them beautifully human. Sign up to be a living billboard but fail to read the small print, have high ideals but flail around ineffectively.Told in 1st person(s) we get a dazzling array of views that slowly come into a coherent whole. So In the early stages we can lap up the world in all its frenetic glory and wallow in all those ideas. Real world issues, rub up with soon to be problems and frightening exaggerations of dystopian warnings. The book feels at once old school cyberpunk and cutting edge sci fi. ‘This is an unlawful, unlicensed gathering. You are advised to disband immediately.’ It’s pre-recorded. Legislation bars the cops from opening their mouths unnecessarily. There’s too much room for human error, which means ammunition for the human rights groups. This is a wry, cynical book with political bite and yet I found it oddly endearing. It's not perfect though, partly because I am not a huge fan of this type of book but also I found where the book was heading a bit too obvious. Maybe if there had been a coherent thread and protagonist to root for it wouldn't have mattered, but in the end it was somewhat unsatisfying. In the end recommend for lovers of Science fiction and futuristic thrillers and those who think corporations have your well being at heart.
  • (4/5)
    The fast, smart and gritty Zoo City blew me away earlier this spring, so it was kind of obvious I should pick up Lauren Beukes’ debut as well. It did not disappoint. Despite being completely different genres, there are definite similarities between the two books. The breakneck speed and smattering world building are two things. The hard, urban South African backdrop is another – even if we are in Cape Town rather than Jo-burg this time around.Moxyland is a close future dystopia with a cyber punk feel to it (in a good way, that is), depicting a society where, despite an illusion of democracy, a distinct line is drawn between the people involved in the corporate world (which includes privatized government, law enforcement and so on) and the ones on the outside. Phones are the key to everything – they act as ID, as wallet and as tracking device, not to mention display window for advertising. Punishment usually involves “disconnection” for a period of time, leaving the punished without any means of interacting with society. Permanent disconnection is in practicality the same as ostracism, exile, shunning, death. Moxyland is told by four voices, whose lives touch on each other. All of them are beautifully captured. Toby is a nihilistic slacker, running a streamcast called “Diary of cunt” with dreams of syndication. He sometimes gives a window to the actions of Ten, an anti-capitalism activist, who is getting more and more convinced the struggle needs to be taken to the next level. Lerato is an old friend of Toby’s, raised in an AIDS orphanage which in effect was a training camp for one of the big corps. She’s completely involved in the corporate world, but also scamming on the side and plotting getting out. And Kendra is a photographer who’s just gotten injected with nano technology which gives her almost super human abilities, making her a living ad for a soft drinks company. Together, they happen to come to the brink of seeing right through their society, to the rotten core. But a little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing.I really like how Beukes keeps the plot, tight and intricate as it is, on a small scale. The warning she sends (this is a political book, people) is global, but what’s really going on in this book is focusing on just a handful of local events. The world building is exquisite and full of detail, and even if it bogs down the reading a little in the beginning, it soon starts to make sense. A lot of the technologies described in this book seem scarily plausible, and Beukes rich imagination is really cool. Even the title is smart, in it’s understated connection between a kids’ online game and the hidden connections in society. Honestly can’t wait to read more by this angry, dirty and clever writer.
  • (4/5)
    Hello dystopia! The setting is a South Africa where the security state has merged with the corporate-captured state: you’re required to carry a cellphone to engage at all with the formal economy (building doors won’t open, cabs and public transport won’t let you on, etc. without one) and your cellphone can tase you if a police officer—or a suspicious merchant—doesn’t like what you’re doing. The principals are a corporate programmer who has some unauthorized activities on the side, an artist who’s just accepted corporate sponsorship and extreme body modification, a quasi-journalist/drug addict, and an activist trying to protest everything in Beukes’s worldbuilding. The “if this goes on” elements are well-done and a little bit terrifying, since it’s hard to disagree that states are capable of terrorizing their own populations in this way. An engaging and really depressing read.
  • (5/5)
    21 Words or Less: A brilliant debut that paints a harsh but strangely realistic portrait of tomorrow with a grace rarely seen in comparable works.Rating: 4.5/5 starsPros: Intriguing ideas, realistic approach, recognizable/relatable charactersCons: Hands-off approach takes some getting used to early on.The Review: Reading Moxyland is a lot like watching a painting develop. Early on, when the canvas is mostly blank, it’s difficult to make sense of the individual brush strokes and envision the end result as a cohesive story. Lauren Beukes plunges you into the South Africa of tomorrow without warning, as you follow the lives of Toby, Kendra, Lerato, and Tendeka; four very different twenty-somethings that become entangled in a series of events that will change their lives forever. As each character narrates, you see the interworkings of their future with little explanation or contemplation. While frustrating for the reader at first, the end result is a speculative South Africa that feels more real. When was the last time you thought about how your cell phone worked or delved into the intricacies of xBox Live in your everyday conversation? Those explanations are often a benefit for the reader, but they detract from the authenticity of the story. Beukes manages to riff on the future of communication, video games, corporate sponsorship, modern art, biotechnology, advertisement, crime and punishment, corporate culture, class warfare, government authority, and more, all while remaining within the lives and thoughts of the characters.Moxyland truly is a Jackson Pollack of ideas, rather than of color. The ideas are everywhere; more often than not intermingling in unpredictable but interesting ways. Cell phones for example, become more than communication devices, becoming wallets, game devices, security keys, and even behavior modifiers (i.e. shock collars). Not having cell phone service in today’s world is an annoyance, in Moxyland disconnection is a form of capital punishment. The ideas come hard and fast, more often than not just giving you just a casual mention or a bit of dialogue to describe an idea another author would frame an entire story around. Becoming a corporate s It’s impossible to tell if one splash of prediction is too much or in the wrong place, but somehow they all seem to fit bizarrely together in a way which is scarily easy to trace back to current trends. It’s a future which is shockingly different yet disconcertingly similar.In the end, I rated Moxyland 4.5 stars but an uneven 4.5. Early on I was projecting a 3 star book, having difficulty keeping up with the unrelenting flurry of idea after idea. Any book with 4 POV characters is going to take a while to develop, especially within a future setting that might as well be a character on its own. However, once I managed to get acclimated to the unapologetic style with which Beukes conveys her vision of the future, I was captivated for the remainder of the book. I couldn’t put it down and engaged with the world and the characters at the level I expect from a 5-star book. I was afraid that Angry Robot Books had made a mistake; that their flagship novel was a flop. Make no mistake; Moxyland is a work of art.