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A Different China Miéville,
This review is from: The City & The City (Paperback)
I have, over the last 3 years, read a huge ammount of fantasy books. Though my literary tastes have changed considerably during that time, leading me ever further away from being a fantasy-reader in order to become, simply, a reader, it was impossible for me not to come across China's previous works. Having read his "Perdido Street Station", however, I was rather dissapointed. I will not explain exactly why, for that would be the review of another book. Why is all of this important? Simply because "The City and the City" is unlike any of China's previous books.
Fans of his style, including chracter- and plotwise, may be dissapointed with this book. People who would never pick any other of his books might be interested by it. With a very interesting premise and interesting, if rather shallow, characters, "The City and the City" could be considered a police investigation novel, but is, ultimately, much more than that.
Whereas the main-characters could be bettter developed, the real point of the novel are the people.Through the first-person narrative of a detective we get to know an imagined society which, despite the unreality of its predicament, serves as a metaphor to our own contemporary society. "The City and the City" manages to redeem its character's one-dimensionality through its portrayal of the human mind, soul and its workings.