Saturday, June 27, 2009

Book Review: The City & the City, by China Miėville

The City & the City The City & the City by China Miéville

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do you get when you take a hard-bitten detective plot and set it in two cities that share the same geography, but the populations of each city ignore, or "unsee" each other? This novel.

The people of both cities don't see the trains, cars, pedestrians, houses, businesses which are "other" even though they share the same space. A "crosshatched" street might be teaming with people and buildings of both cities, but no one notices. Like when people "unsee" the homeless.

And if they do see, then they are in Breach, and the forces of Breach move in. People disappear in Breach, never to be seen again.

Detective Borlu of Beszel finds the body of a young woman. The clues however, indicate her murder was in the other city, Ul Qoma. Shadowy forces are at work. Could there even be a third city, hidden from both?

A great read. I guessed some of the mystery ahead its revelation, but not most.

In some ways this is the most accessible and least weird of China Mieville's adult fiction. But if this is your first Mieville, it could very well be the strangest book you've ever read. Read it, you'll be glad you did.

View all my reviews.

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