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The City and the City
     

The City and the City

4.0 107
by China Mieville
 

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BONUS: This edition contains a The City & The City discussion guide and excerpts from China Miéville's Kraken and Embassytown.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE SEATTLE TIMES, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
 
When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at

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The City and the City 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
sybil_rising More than 1 year ago
I will not recap the plot as it is done admirably in other reviews. I will say that I was captivated by how cunningly the thread of surreality is interwoven into the gritty realistic crime story. The twists caught me by surprise (which I love,) and added a very interesting dimension that became as important to me as the "main" plotline. I really enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it with one caveat: there had better be another one coming. There are simply too many tantalizing clues and pressing unanswered questions left hanging. I don't know if he is planning another volume to make this a series, but I am reminded of Stephen King's Dark Tower series in that I am breathlessly waiting to find out, can China Mieville pull this all together? I will definitely read the next one when and if it comes out. As a stand alone, it was intriguing and enjoyable but I am left wanting more.
MightyCow More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that you have to give a chance to blossom. It seems simple on the surface, but at the same time confusing. The reason for the confusion starts to become clear if you give it a little time, and then you see the great complexity and creativity of the story. I found it one of the most enjoying books I've read in recent memory.
SteelyJan More than 1 year ago
I had wanted to read Mieville for quite awhile, but I probably should have chosen something from his earlier work to start with. While I fully appreciate his idea of two separate cities sharing the same space, the bulk of the book was REALLY mundane and not compelling, whatsoever. It read like an episode of Law and Order, with a slight sci-fi twist. I had to force myself to continue reading, and I only did so because I actually paid for the book and knew I'd never pick it back up if I put it aside for a bit. It turned out to be worth neither my time or $$.
FuriousGeorge More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended reading. I think it's categorized as Sci-Fi, but the Science Fiction aspect of it is not very strong - it's more like mild fantasy. The central conceit of the book (which is the fantasy element) takes a little while to understand, but after that it's completely accessible. Really interesting, well-written, thoughtful book that I thoroughly enjoyed cover-to-cover. Great characters, a really cool plot, and a wonderfully imagined world make this a no-brainer for me.
jessicak922 More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading this I was afraid it was going to be too confusing. I decided to stick with it and am glad I did! The more you get into the story, the more it makes sense. It's a great crime novel with a hint of fantasy to it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The corpse was found near a skating rink ramp in somewhat seedy Beszell. All the curious spectators knew she was murdered just by looking at the award angles of her body. Extreme Crime Inspector Tyador Borlu leads the investigation that he assumes is a simple homicide. ----------- He soon learns the victim is Mahalia Geary, which makes him reconsider the simplicity of her murder. She was the leading proponent of a theory that a third unseen city she called Orciny co-exists in the same physical space as that of Beszell and affluent Ul-Oomaof. Her belief and that of her supporters was this other locale filled the vacant blind spots between the co-located "twin" cities. As Geary's cohorts mysteriously begin to vanish, Borlu reexamines Geary's theory because increasingly the evidence points towards a third party conspiracy cleverly manipulating the biases of the two known urban centers.--------- THE CITY AND THE CITY is a fantastic police procedural parable as brilliant fantasist China Mieville makes a strong case as to how far groups will go to keep the comfort zone of their social order. The story line is fast-paced with the audience accepting the existence of two "cities" intermingled but separate; sort of like the Bronx in the 1970s where a bus line would go from the burned out slums of the south to the affluent estates of the north. .Readers will appreciate this hyperbole as maintaining the illusion of belonging is more critical than economic and social realities. A tale of two cities and perhaps a third too, this is a great whodunit that will have readers pondering what psychological devices we employ to "protect" our places in society.---------- Harriet Klausner
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catburglar More than 1 year ago
An interesting crime fiction novel. This story is a fascinating, complicated murder mystery. The doppelganger cities principle makes it even more interesting.
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Great and memorable
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B-Cyr More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a good book that mixed noir and Sci Fi and this kept coming up as a good choice.  This was a good book, but wasn't quit what I was expecting.  This is more noir in a made up city with fantasy elements then Sci Fi.  Still a cool read and worth checking out.
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ohthatashley More than 1 year ago
In Bes¿el, Inspector Tyador Borlú is investigating a murder with some unique complications. As with most Miéville books, there is an active political element to the story. With the divided cities of Bes¿el and Ul Qoma, the politics are brought down to a local, tangible level. These things are happening for a reason, and it could be that this unfortunate young woman was brought into the crossfire. Between Bes¿el and Ul Qoma is Breach, the area that drives the story. Breach is known by many names, and it has its own secret shadowy police force, themselves simply known as “Breach.” Borlú is forced to go around Breach – both the physical place and the investigating force – to investigate the woman’s murder. Borlú’s work is his life, and this case demonstrates that. He and Corwi, the young subordinate he drafts in to help, work together to determine who this woman was, and come to some astonishing conclusions. To take those conclusions to their next logical step, Borlú must go to Ul Qoma. Together with Senior Detective Quatt of Ul Qoma, Borlú reaches some incredible conclusions. Who is Breach? What is the nature of (a) Breach? What, when it comes down to it, is between the city and the city? As a commentary on the nature of the cities, it is interesting to note that there is very little visible light in this book. There are no sunny days; there is no really pleasant weather to discuss. In fact, “Holy Light!” is used as an expletive. It wasn’t something I noticed on the first reading, but on the second, it seemed an apt summation of the state of the cities and the people in them. What drew me to a re-read on The City & The City is that the story works on so many levels. It works as a police procedural. It works as an examination of class distinctions. It works as a biting statement on the things that we, as a society, choose to see and to unsee on a daily basis.
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