Quotes from Zoo City

Lauren Beukes ·  416 pages

Rating: (8.8K votes)


“Fashion is only different skins for different flavours of you.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“Traffic in Joburg is like the democratic process. Every time you think it's going to get moving and take you somewhere, you hit another jam.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“I really wanted to believe that there were these magic celestial bodies that would direct my life, tell me what to do, and it turns out it's not stars, it's some bits of screwy DNA. I'm just meat with faulty programming.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“You have to get up pretty early in the morning to invent the news.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“So are you an inmate or a rubbernecker?" she asks.

"Rubbernecker," I answer without hesitation. "You?"

"I'm a screw. Or on staff, anyway. Used to be an inmate. Repeat offender. Crimes against my body. Puking sickness followed by heroin, which led to more puking sickness." I'd be surprised at her forthrightness, but that's addicts for you. The twelve steps crack 'em open and then they can't shut up.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City



“In the forest, they did things to drive us mad. Muti. Drugs. Rape. Killing Games. (...) God is not in the forest. Maybe He is too busy looking after sports teams or worrying about teenagers having sex before marriage. I think they take up a lot of His time.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“I yank open the cutlery drawer to be confronted with an anomaly worse than emails from dead people or a man with a gun sitting on my bed. It's a large carving knife with a viciously serrated edge and two broken teeth. It's tarnished with rust. It's not mine. And neither is the china figurine of a kitten with one paw playfully raised, also stained with rust. But it's not rust. It's not rust at all. Perversely, the thought that flashes through my brain is "I can haz murder weapon?" I laugh out loud, a sobbing hiccup.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“But since Sloth I've been so monogamous I make the demonstration banana that AIDS educators use to show how to put on a condom, look slutty.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“I smile thinly, to make it clear that this will happen when hell turns into a family friendly summer resort.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“Don't get too close buddy ' I warn Sloth. Unofficially there's a code of conduct but animals are still animals. And animals can be assholes too.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City



“That's what I thought" he said. "It doesn't change anything, Zinzi". He moved to kiss me, but as I tilted my head up, he pressed the mango against my lips instead. "Idiot" I said, wiping my mouth, mainly to hide my smile. "Adulterer", he grinned. "Unwitting accomplice!" "You weren't so unwitting last night. And besides polygamie is legal in Congo." "Did I call you an idiot already?" "Only as much as I deserve." This time he did kiss me. I handed over twelve bucks for the mango and tucked myself under his arm, forcing Sloth to shuffle over begrudgingly. "Are we a terrible cliché?" "Isn't everybody?" he said.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“The genuinely powerful, unlike the Vuyos of this world, don't give a fuck about making an impression.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed".”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“Nervousness hates a vacuum. 826 alligator. Nervousness will blurt right out with something, anything, to kill the silence. 839 alligator. Unless nervousness is kept busy doing something more useful. Like counting. 842 alligator.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“I hate golf. It's the genteel version of seal-clubbing, only not as much fun.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City



“Sinun pitäisi kasvattaa hoodia-kaktuksia”, minä ehdotan. ”Eikö se olisi terveellisempi tapa vähentää ruokahalua?”
”Luonnollisempi ilman muuta”, myöntää neiti Avautuja. ”Tosin en koskaan ole tajunnut tuota argumenttia. Puffadderin myrkky on luonnollista. Ientulehdukseen kuoleminen kolmekymmenvuotiaana on luonnollista. Tiedätkö, minkä takia khoi-kansa alun perin käytti hoodiaa? Teeskennelläkseen, etteivät ole kuolemassa nälkään. Aika skitsoa, eikö?”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


“But I really wanted to believe that there were these magic celestial bodies that would direct my life, tell me what to do, and it turns out it's not stars, it's some bits of screwy DNA. I'm just meat with faulty programming.”
― Lauren Beukes, quote from Zoo City


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About the author

Lauren Beukes
Born place: in South Africa
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