The City & The City (Picador Classic) Paperback – 12 Jul 2018
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You can't talk about Miéville without using the word "brilliant". (Ursula Le Guin Guardian)
Miéville is gifted with an incomparable visionary imagination. (Financial Times)
One of our most important writers. (Independent on Sunday)
Miéville – twice winner of the British Fantasy Award and three times winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award – is head and shoulders above other writers in this genre. (The Times)
A genre-busting thriller from one of Britain's most widely acclaimed fantasy writers.See all Product description
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I'm glad I stuck with it because I really got into it about one third of the way through.
I'd never heard of the author and couldn't even tell what genre it is, because it's fantasy that's frighteningly close to reality.
While the detective story plot is somewhat far fetched, over complex and incomprehensible, the main show is really the description of the invented world of two cities adjacent to one another which have learned to coexist via some bizarre but believable protocols.
Incredibly the end is actually moving ( although it was predictable) and the book leaves an indelible memory and is recommended.
The concept of two cities that run parallel and never cross was for me a tricky thing to get my head around. I thought it was just me, but having read some of the more negative reviews, it’s clear that others struggled a bit, too. However, one thing I grasped pretty quickly was that this was a very special book and definitely worth the perseverance. I agree with another reviewer who says that it is a political novel. I also think that you have to be politically minded to engage with it. The idea that there is this other world which runs parallel with your own and only crosses over when something happens to disrupt the status quo is very poignant. Take a look at the stories currently dominating the news: how a person’s life can change forever on the flip of a coin.
Of course we all come to this novel with our own preconceptions. To have read it in 2010, would have to already experienced the global near financial meltdown. See my review of Gordon Brown’s autobiography, whom as it happens, David Morrissey portrayed in the 2003 film The Deal.
So how does the book compare with the adaptation, and which should you look at first? I think it helped to be familiar with the novel because I was curious as to how these two worlds would be portrayed, and for me the transfer from book to screen was an almost perfect project. The idea of ‘unseeing’ something was again a concept I struggled with, but on the screen it works so well. An extra character is added to the film version, and I am not going to spoil it for you by saying anything more.
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.