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The City & The City Hardcover – Unabridged, 15 May 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Amazon Review

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

Review

'A murder mystery set in a surreal, Blade Runner-esque urban landscape.'
-- Shortlist

'An extremely ambitious work with a grand finale which won't disappoint fans of either genre.'
-- Timeout

'Beautifully, seamlessly, effortlessly created.'
-- American crime writer Laurie R King

'Miéville again proves himself as intelligent as he is original.'
-- Guardian

'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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The City & The City is a wonderful book - it's part detective mystery, part dystopian feature, part Cold War Berlin. It pulls difference genres into a mesh of intrigue and suspense.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again China Mieville treats us to an incredible journey, this time trough the streets of Beszel and Ul Qoma. You could consider this a detective story but if you are familiar at all with the works of China Mieville you will know things are not going to be as easy as that. Once one finds his bearings and starts understanding how things works, the story starts flowing and it is a joy to read. This book will hold you to the last page, well worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read. Just buy it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This starts as a hard-boiled detective noir in a strange eastern European city, then it starts to get strange... the main character sees things that aren't "not there", but "aren't allowed to be there" according to the rules of his world. The author draws you in and it gets more fun as it goes along. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting concept at the heart of this story which make this a very good crime/thriller story. Well worth a read
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Boring. Characters dull. Impenetrable. Hated it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating and intriguing plot, couldn't put it down
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some reviews have portrayed this as a murder mystery set against the backdrop of two very unusually interlaced cities. I'd turn this around and say it's a mystery about the nature of the cities, set against the backdrop of a murder investigation.

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.
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