Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The City & The City (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – April 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Miéville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Miéville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Our hero, inspector Tyador Borlu, gets drawn into a murder with obvious political overtones. Despite wishing to turn it over to Breach, he must follow the clues with the help of some daring but not entirely willing collaborators, and even finds himself assisting the Ul Qoma police, where he must see what he normally un-sees, and vice-versa. There are hints of dark conspiracy and evidence of secret manipulation, and they do amount to a suspenseful hunt and a resolution full of surprises.
I found myself following a different set of clues as to what Mieville was actually suggesting about the world, but never felt that they added up to a worldview or a tidy commentary on any particular issue. I liked the resolution, and it did feel rather "meta" in that the politics of the division turned out to be . . . oh, all right, I won't spoil it. Suffice it to say some will feel the resolution is a letdown, but if you like Zizek and Eco, its common sense interpretation will feel right.
Nobody is a great hero, nobody is a great villain, people are part of systems and yet have some scope for thinking for themselves. Do you have a problem with that?
To start, this book is BONKERS. But in the best way possible. Admittedly, I found the beginning to be tough to get through simply because Mieville's writing is something I wasn't used to reading; at times it feels very sporadic and seems to "jump around" a lot without much exposition, but after a while I realized that I actually enjoy it that way, things seem more "fast-paced" which fits well with the story itself. It gets really interesting once he starts to describe "Breach" and the way the characters "unsee" the neighboring city. [MILD SPOILER] these details don't get "explained" until some chapters into the book, but I felt that this helped set the tone earlier on by making the character's actions that more intriguing; I kept reading because I wanted to better understand their strange behaviors and "see" the picture that Mieville was creating.
I love the concept (I haven't seen or read other stories like it), and the characters are believable and entertaining. If anyone has other suggestions for books like this please let me know, but in the meantime I would recommend this to anyone interested in more speculative fiction.
The novel takes place in two cities in different countries which occupy the same physical space. You wouldn't have thought that possible but the author makes the world so logically consistent that you come to believe it. While the setting is inventive, imaginative, and engrossing, the author does not make the mistake of thinking it is the story. The story is also engrossing and consistent, and dependent on, its weird local. The characters, except the main one, might stand a little fleshing out, but that does not detract from the story. In fact, with so much else to think about, maybe their lack of depth is a bit of a relief.
At the end, I really could not put this down. Strong recommendation.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't believe the cities could ever exist in real life, but, assuming that they did...Read more