The Shambling Guide to New York City

The Shambling Guide to New York City - Zoe moves to New York City to find work, after being forced to leave her old job, after being seduced by her very married boss into having an affair. Like many job hunters, Zoe is getting the run around in that she is constantly either being told that she is either too experienced or does not have enough experience. Having worked in publishing writing tour guides, Zoe decides to answer an advertisement for a new editor that she sees hanging in a coffee shop. What she does not know is that interview is the first step to her involvement with the coterie.Zoe goes from being an ordinary and mundane, to working with death goddesses, water sprites, zombies, constructs, inccubi, succubi and vampires. Learning the rules of the supernatural community is a hard thing but Zoe is forced to speed her learning curve along when it becomes clear that someone is out to get her. It begins with a construct with her ex boyfriends head and zombies running amok and killing people.At first blanch I really thought that The Shambling Guide to New York City was a book that held a lot of potential. It has a really unique premise and has a menagerie of supernatural characters; however, these factors alone do not a good book make. Mur included a lot of unnecessary problematic language in the book; in many ways it felt like Mur was trying to include social justice issues but just couldn't.Zoe was told repeatedly that she might not fit in with her job because she was human. She defends her ability to fit in saying, "I don't care if Underground Publishing is catering to eastern Europeans, or transsexuals, or Eskimos or even Republicans. Just because I don't fit in doesn't mean I can't be accepting as long as they accept me." Gee how progressive of her. Also, who uses the word "Eskimos" anymore? Then there is the use of the word "transsexuals". It's just a throw away offensive term because she sees them as weird. Mur doesn't even have a trans character in the novel.The Shambling Guide to New York City is yet another in a long line of books which has the supernaturals filling in for marginalized people. When Zoe uses the term monsters to refer to the supernaturals that she is working with, she is told, "'Monsters' is pejorative. Nonhumans go by the term 'coterie.'" There are real marginalized people in this story but somehow they are never stigmatized based in their marginalizations. Homeless people for instance must face classism on a daily basis but Mur has turned homeless people into undercover agents. "Public Works agent" Josh said. "most homeless, and some gangs, work as spies.|" "Yeah," Morgen said."They're ubiquitous and ignored, and if they talk about zombies eating a guy, people think they're insane so if there's ever a security breach, no one believes them anyway." Right. So the homeless aren't really homeless and suffering. The predatory nature of the capitalist system which keeps so many impoverished, is all sham, so that humans can keep an eye on monsters, uh excuse me coterie (wouldn't want to be accused of being insensitive).Read More