Winner of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award, Short listed for 2010 Hugo Award
Last year I read Perdido Street Station and although I wasn’t a massive fan of his epic science fiction novel I was impressed enough to give Miéville a second try. I am really pleased that I did – The City & The City is one of the most original books I have ever read!
The City & The City begins like a typical police procedural crime novel, with the discovery of a dead body on waste ground. The book initially appears to be set in an Eastern European country, but we slowly realise that all is not as it first seems – it is set in a place where two cities co-exist. People in one city have to deliberately “unsee” the buildings and people from the other. There are special places where it is possible to step from one city into the other, but this is illegal and “breaching” these boundaries causes severe punishment. It can be hard to get your head around these metaphysical rules, but I loved trying!
The descriptions of the cities were so vivid that I could picture them, despite the complexity of the physical world. It tested my spatial awareness, but it added a whole new dimension to the typical crime novel.
The book worked perfectly – it was fast paced, intelligent and gripping. I think it might be a bit bizarre for some, but if you are after something a bit different I encourage you to give it a try.
Everyone seems to love this book!
…this is one of the most powerful SFF books I have ever read. Floor to Ceiling Books
One thing that really impressed me about Miéville’s writing was the amount of emotional empathy he creates…. The Boston Bibliophile
I was dazzled by Miéville’s skill in creating such a realistic world… Ms. Bookish
Are you tempted to try something out of the ordinary?
Have you read anything written by China Miéville?