The City & the City

Paperback, 336 pages

English language

Published April 26, 2010 by Del Rey.

ISBN:
9780345497529
OCLC Number:
436030058

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4 stars (32 reviews)

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one.

As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives. What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which …

10 editions

Review of 'The City & the City' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book was nothing like I was expecting, as a winner of an Arthur C. Clarke Award I was expecting a cracking good Sci-Fi story, I was really disappointed. The Sci-Fi aspect is dull and repetitive, how many times can you mention that somebody has to unsee something that exists in another city? Plenty loads according to this book.

The last line of the blurb mentions Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler and that is spot on. There is the futuristic feeling from Dick, the poor, the punks, sinister policing and the rich controlling everything. Heavy influences from Chandler are there too in the fantastic detectives Tyador Borlú and Qussim Dhatt, some real gritty guys. You witness them slowly unravel a very complex case, up against tough odds. Just to prove how good a detective story this is, Borlú's boss kept shouting at him to get the job done in …

Review of 'The city & the city' on Goodreads

3 stars

Set in Eastern Europe, circa 2009, in the fictional twin city-states of Besźel and Ul Qoma, a young woman's body is discovered in a park. What starts as a routine murder investigation soon takes on larger ramifications which threaten the history, political system, and even the unique border separating these two estranged cities.

Having read and had mixed feelings about Miéville's Bas-Lag trilogy, I was curious to try something else by him that may showcase the depth and skill of his writing. I chose this one because it was his most-awarded novel, having won the holy trinity of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award, and the Hugo Award. The surprising thing for me was the lack of hardcore Science-Fiction or Fantasy elements. While the Bas-Lag novels were loaded with all manner of weirdness, this one is firmly grounded in our real world, with our technology. In fact, the …

Review of 'The city & the city' on Goodreads

4 stars

1) "'Is the mattress being tested for trace?'
'Should be, sir.'
'Check. If the techs are on it we're fine, but Briamiv and his buddy could fuck up a full stop at the end of a sentence.'"

2) "It was, not surprisingly that day perhaps, hard to observe borders, to see and unsee only what I should, on my way home. I was hemmed in by people not in my city, walking slowly through areas crowded but not crowded in Besźel. I focused on the stones really around me---cathedrals, bars, the brick flourishes of what had been a school---that I had grown up with. I ignored the rest or tried."

3) "That beginning was a shadow in history, an unknown---records effaced and vanished for a century either side. Anything could have happened. From that historically brief quite opaque moment came the chaos of our material history, an anarchy of chronology, …

Review of 'The City & The City' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

I've read The City & the City twice now, and find that I come back to its imagery over and over again in my mind and in conversation. In fact, I originally gave it four stars and returned just now to bump it up to five. This book is one of the few that can be called science-fiction but that also transcend – or maybe just completely fulfill? – the genre. I really can't recommend it highly enough.

Review of 'The city & the city' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I didn't know anything about the author and might have put the book down as a run-of-the-mill murder mystery, but it was my only book over a holiday trip and I kept coming back. Slowly it seeped in - this is lovingly crafted detective noir novel with one strange, nearly impossible premise. The more I read the better I liked it, all the way to the end.

Review of 'The City & the City' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

If [a:Raymond Chandler|1377|Raymond Chandler|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1206535318p2/1377.jpg] and [a:Philip K Dick|5178267|Philip K Dick|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg] wrote a book together it would be very similar to [b:The City & the City|4703581|The City & the City|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266894982s/4703581.jpg|4767909] (if you throw a little [a:George Orwell|3706|George Orwell|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1175614486p2/3706.jpg] into the mix). [a:China Miéville|33918|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1243988363p2/33918.jpg] calls his novels fantasy/weird fiction and this is no different, though I think I would consider it more Science Fiction. There is a complex plot full of twists and turns in an even more complex couple of cities. These cities are confusing and very hard to navigate, you feel like a complete alien in them and China doesn’t help you along with this part of the journey; in this aspect it can be a very hard book to read.

But stick to it! The City & The City has a lot to offer; a complex mystery in a homage to Chandler, a foreign country with strike …

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Subjects

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy -- Fantasy