The City and the City

China Miéville

The City and the City

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. 4.1 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
The City and the City

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
Format Hardback
Pages 500
RRP £17.99
Date of Publication May 2009
ISBN 978-1405000178
Publisher Macmillan
 

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other.

Reviews

The Spectator

Andrew McKie

This is Miéville’s most accomplished novel since Perdido Street Station. It deserves an audience among those who would run a mile from his other books: it is fantastic in the careless, colloquial sense, too.

17/06/2009

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The Guardian

Michael Moorcock

Steadily, Miéville thickens his plot with exceptional mastery... As in no previous novel, the author celebrates and enhances the genre he loves and has never rejected. On many levels this novel is a testament to his admirable integrity. Keeping his grip firmly on an idea which would quickly slip from the hands of a less skilled writer, Miéville again proves himself as intelligent as he is original.

30/05/2009

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The Los Angeles Times

Denise Hamilton

The novel works best when Miéville trusts his storytelling instincts. I was immediately entranced by the premise of doppel cities and didn't need it explained at every turn. At times, I appreciated the intellectual brilliance of "The City" more than I lost myself in it. Borlú seemed an archetype more than a fleshed-out character. That's OK. The real protagonists here are the mirror cities themselves, and the strange inner workings that make them, and their residents, tick.

25/05/2009

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The Scotsman

Alex Sarll

What could be a hopelessly confusing set-up is handled deftly and even plausibly. The metaphor for social disconnection in our own cities is clear but is played out in such a way that the abiding feeling is of Kafkaesque strangeness rather than mere didacticism. This is his first detective novel, and towards the end his plot perhaps gets away from him slightly, but it's still a brave and haunting tale.

23/05/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Robert Hanks

Although fantastic, Miéville doesn’t make it work smoothly: the mechanics of the situation are a little sketchy, the plot strained and the prose jerky, with coded foreign words and contrived neologisms – a street both in Beszel and Ul Qoma is a “topolganger”. But as in all Miéville’s writing, there is a core of disguised realism: isn’t this exactly how modern cities work? ... The City and the City is not a conventionally well-made novel, but it sparks thought in a way that more conventional novels would never dare to.

15/06/2009

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The Times

Lisa Tuttle

The City & The City could be described as an allegory about the power of political belief, or our ability to see only what we want to see, but the novel is more complex, less abstract and more exciting than that implies. Miéville pursues his notion with science-fictional zest, and the format of the detective story draws us in towards the mystery that lies at the heart of both cities... [A] gripping and thought-provoking read.

16/05/2009

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The Independent

Jane Jakeman

Miéville's inventiveness and precision is awesome. Yet I found the characters one-dimensional... It may be that, for the duration, this deeply sensitive author deliberately retreated from emotional depth.

24/06/2009

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