- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan; Unabridged edition (15 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405000171
- ISBN-13: 978-1405000178
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.6 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The City & The City Hardcover – Unabridged, 15 May 2009
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Certain writers absolutely defy categorisation – and China Miéville is most definitely of that rarefied company. His prose is exhilarating, poetic, coruscating with ideas and atmosphere – and it has enhanced a body of work that has almost no parallels in modern writing. Heretofore, if Miéville has brushed shoulders with any identifiable genres, they are those of fantasy and science fiction – which makes his remarkable new book, The City and The City, such a surprise. The author’s publishers compare this novel to Philip K Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984 – which at least gives a series of corollaries for this book, however tentative. There are elements here of the crime thriller, but very much refracted through Miéville’s highly individual imagination.
The body of a murdered woman is discovered in the remarkable, crumbling European city of Besźel. Such a crime is par for the course for Inspector Tyador Borlú, who is the premier talent of the Extreme Crime Squad – until his investigations uncover evidence that bizarre and terrifying forces are at work – and soon both he and those around him will be in considerable peril. He must undertake an odyssey, a journey across borders both physical and psychical, to the city which is both a complement and rival to his own, that of Ul Qoma.
Like all of China Miéville’s work, The City and The City will not be to everyone’s taste – the very individuality of the prose and the surrealistic inventiveness will not attract those preferring more prosaic fare. But for readers who hanker after untrammelled imagination – and look for literary fare unlike anything they have read before (even, it has to be said, by Miéville himself), then this is a journey to be undertaken. But with caution, perhaps… --Barry Forshaw
'A murder mystery set in a surreal, Blade Runner-esque urban landscape.'
'An extremely ambitious work with a grand finale which won't disappoint fans of either genre.'
'Beautifully, seamlessly, effortlessly created.'
-- American crime writer Laurie R King
'Miéville again proves himself as intelligent as he is original.'
'The names of Kafka and Orwell tend to be invoked too easily for anything a bit out of the ordinary, but in this case they are worthy comparisons...a gripping and thought-provoking read.'
-- The Times
'This is Miéville's most accomplished novel since Perdido Street Station. It is fantastic in the careless, colloquial sense.' -- Spectator
'This is a fable, just like Clockwork Orange was a fable... The fable is just extraordinary and within this is a very good murder mystery.'
-- Front Row, BBC Radio 4
`Both utterly fascinating and his most brain-scrambling work yet.' -- SFX
`His most disciplined and sharply focused novel to date.' -- Locus
`It is simply unlike anything you...have read...The sheer scale of its ingenuity is just phenomenal.' -- The Truth About Books
Top Customer Reviews
You'll read the first few chapters getting progressively more confused, until suddenly an image of the City forms in your mind and it all starts to make sense!
Definitely worth a read.
I was initially frustrated that I couldn't quite grasp what was going on with the cities, then after a while I thought I understood, and then later came to have that understanding subverted. In the end I was just gobsmacked by the audacity of the whole thing. This reminded me a little of The Bridge by Iain Banks, in terms of there being a mystery in the book which is not explicitly pointed out.
This is a very good book, I really enjoyed it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked the premise and story but couldn't listen to the quite appalling, robotic self reverential narration. Awful.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really battled with the beginning of this book, mainly because the names are non- familiar so it was hard to keep track of them. Read morePublished 5 months ago by garrisonhalibut
This was an incredible story - one of the most original science fiction books I've ever read. It's not an exaggeration to say that I was blown away by the premise of the story. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dr C Byron
I bought this on the strength of a rave review in The Guardian, because I like Mieville's other titles, and because it was (fortunately) on offer. Read morePublished 7 months ago by El Hawks
I see the publishers compare this novel to Raymond Chandler. How can this be? Chandler uses language in a most entertaining and creative way. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anon
Astonishingly good read. It makes a bizarre world very believable. Crime story with sci fi leanings. I won't spoil the plot by saying any more...........Published 8 months ago by Zawinulfan