City and the city book

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city and the city book

Review: The City and the City by China Miéville | Books | The Guardian

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Published 15.01.2019

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What separates them is not a conventional border — though there is one, which can be crossed with a passport — but the equally impenetrable barriers set up by law and custom.

The City & the City

Look Inside. May 26, Minutes Buy. Apr 27, ISBN May 26, ISBN May 26, Minutes. But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen.

A four-part television adaptation by the BBC was broadcast in These two cities actually occupy much of the same geographical space, but via the volition of their citizens and the threat of the secret power known as Breach , they are perceived as two different cities. A denizen of one city must dutifully "unsee" that is, consciously erase from their mind or fade into the background the denizens, buildings, and events taking place in the other city — even if they are an inch away. This separation is emphasised by the style of clothing, architecture, gait, and the way denizens of each city generally carry themselves. Residents of the cities are taught from childhood to recognise things belonging to the other city without actually seeing them.

China Mieville has for quite some time now been one of the best science fiction writers that this country has produced. Clarke award which he has won three times to name a few. He also writes highly respected non-fiction about Marxism, clearly a clever chap. So it was with some anticipation that I picked up The City and the City. The story is set in two cities unlike any other. Somewhere on the edge of Eastern Europe, lies the city of Beszel; intertwined with it is the city of Ul Qoma.

Yet this same book was honored with the Hugo as best science fiction novel of the year. And readers might be equally justified in describing this story as an extravagant exercise in fantasy literature.
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4 thoughts on “The City & the City by China Miéville

  1. China Miéville is perhaps the current generation's finest writer of science fantasy, that beguiling genre for which JG Ballard and M John Harrison have produced so much of their fiction. Miéville's first novel, King Rat, was a grim urban horror story about contemporary London.

  2. His later work is primarily set in the alternative world of Bas-Lag - ambitious novels such as Perdido Street Station and Iron Council, packed with grotesque characters, gorgeous imagery, amazing monsters, political parables and intricate plotting.

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