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Miasto i miasto

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  31,739 Ratings  ·  3,744 Reviews
China Miéville stworzył swą najdoskonalszą dotąd powieść – egzystencjalny thriller rozgrywający się w mieście najniezwyklejszym ze wszystkich, realnych czy wyimaginowanych…
• • •
Gdy w ponurym, chylącym się ku upadkowi mieście Besźel położonym gdzieś na skraju Europy znaleziono ciało zamordowanej kobiety, wydawało się, że inspektora Tyadora Borlú z Brygady Najpoważniejszych
Paperback, 392 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Zysk i S-ka (first published 2009)
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Stephen Snowder There are essentially no politics in this book. I suppose if you're really looking hard for it, you could find some commentary on the barriers people…moreThere are essentially no politics in this book. I suppose if you're really looking hard for it, you could find some commentary on the barriers people set up between themselves and the things they will do to maintain those barriers. However, I found the book to be a straightforward murder mystery - surprisingly straightforward, actually, given the originality of the setting. I highly recommend that you give it a shot.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wow. Okay, I'm definitely fangirling for China Miéville. I love his limitless imagination, the skill to effortlessly make an unbelievable premise feel real, and ability to turn any setting and place into a true protagonist.


This is my first non-Bas Lag novel, set in the (more or less) real world. But no reason to worry - this remains as much of "weird fiction" as anything else by His Chinaness. As Miéville tries to write a novel in every genr

6.0 stars. We all know that relationships have there ups and downs and that spats are going to happen even to the strongest of them. Well a few months ago, after having a couple of incredible years with China Mieville’s books, (i.e., Perdido Street Station and The Scar and ), both of which are among my ALL TIME FAVORITES...suddenly turmoil. The cause of the turmoil was Un Lun Dun, which I just did not like and thought was UGH-LAME-
I see why so many people are underwhelmed by The City and The City, China Miéville's strange and wonderful homage to the mystery genre and his mother.

It is because while The City and The City is both of those things, it is also -- and more powerfully -- a love letter to his fans and an act of oeuvre snobbery of the first order.

What Miéville has done is to build a story upon his favourite themes, and to require that his audience is familiar with other occurrences of these themes in his work to fu
Bill  Kerwin
Mar 16, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The premise is extraordinarily interesting and meticulously developed. The question posed: what if two opposed cities existed side by side (with more than an occasional overlap) but were separated, not by an actual wall like East and West Berlin, but by the deeply enculturated habit of deliberate ignorance, a studied denial of the other, a fierce determination not to see? The central dilemma: when a murder is committed in one city, and the body is dumped in the other, how do the detectives inves
Ian Grayejoy
Urban Recall

I read this almost 12 months ago, which makes it difficult to recall and recount the tone of the writing.
However, I would like to make some general comments about the novel.

An Abstract High Concept Novel

In one sense, it is an abstract high concept novel.
What does this mean?
It's high concept in the sense that it takes a basic concept and explores it in detail.
And it doesn't stray very far away from that concept.
It's not "Snakes on a Plane".
It's far more abstract than that.

The C
Mieville is the sort of author I expect and want to like, but I didn't feel the love with "The Scar" ( This second foray into his works was far more rewarding, and my third, Embassytown, was even more so (there are some interesting parallels, too, which I've outlined in my review:

I enjoyed the concept, the wordplay, and the impossibility of categorisation: it's a detective story, but it's set in a world that is
Dan Schwent
Tyador Borlu of Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad is assigned to the murder case of an unknown woman. To find her killer, Borlu must go to the neighboring city of Ul Qoma and team with Qussim Dhatt of the Murder Squad. Can the two detectives from different cultures figure out who the victim is and why she was killed?

Wow. The core premise of The City & The City requires some explaining but I think I'm up to the task. Remember those perceptual illusions you were so enamored with when you were a kid
Jan 15, 2016 Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a solid read. I listened to the audiobook which was at that 10-hour sweet spot I love. And overall the story was incredibly well-crafted and engaging. The way that Mieville blends the detective/crime fiction genre with pseudo-sci-fi elements was really ingenious. It was complex and imaginative but never too hard to follow. I would highly recommend this one to people who enjoy either crime novels or sci-fi, but with a twist. He goes beyond the expectations of both genres and deliver ...more
James Thane
Feb 04, 2015 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
In The City & the City, China Mieville blends fantasy, sci-fi and crime fiction into one of the most interesting books I've read in a while. It's a tale of two cities set in eastern Europe. One, Beszel, is in decay; the other, Ul Qoman, is much more prosperous. The kicker is that the two cities share the same physical space and the citizens of one city are strictly forbidden from interacting with citizens of the other.

Citizens of one city are prohibited from even looking at each other or in
My first reread of The City The City was an experience as convoluted as the grosstopography of Beszel and Ul Qoma. A chapter read, four chapters listened to; three chapters read, two chapters listened to; and on. Teaching this book in a town in a different province than the town I live in, across a straight, over a bridge (my adopted country's longest, the adopted country that plays such an important role in the piece, which is itself a nation sandwiched between nations in our always); a soccer ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
China Mieville is to modern fiction as The Clash was to popular music of their day: fresh, alive, vibrant, powerful, edgy, dangerous, misunderstood and by all accounts – original.

The City and The City is about as original an idea, concept, theme as I can imagine– and all put together nicely into an ostensible murder mystery. While that is the tone and structure, to me the real story was the absurdist city on top of or within, or beside or related to the other city. Or whatever.

Don’t want to ad
Oct 31, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
You don’t have to be crazy to read this book, but it helps.

Nah, I jest. The basic idea of this book is not hard to understand, but it is a springboard to an extraordinary level of weirdness. The book is set in two cities that occupy the same geographical space. Imagine two cities existing side by side and then whisk them so that they are all jumbled up. That is one way of looking at the setting. The citizens of Besel* and Ul Qoma are not permitted to interact with the citizens, objects, or groun
This book kind of makes my head hurt. Unlike the two previous novels I've read by Mieville, this one takes his outlandish and strange and doesn't put them into their own world, but into ours. Somewhere in our world there are two Cities, they are neighbors to one another and passage between them is strictly monitored and enforced. These two cities are sort of rivals and don't really like each other much, and they actually occupy pretty much the exact same geographical space as one another. The pe ...more
Ugh, I feel like such a jerk. This book has received such praise, so my expecations were pretty high. I had read more than my fair share of excellent reviews, so I felt I was in for a treat.

I really tried to like this - I really did. I thought the premise was absolutely brilliant. I just felt like it was either his prose or just the way the story itself came together that I didn't "get". I've yet to read a book that made me feel so confused.

Please don't hate me goodreaders! I tried, I really did
Jun 08, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, fantasy
I think that this is the absolute worst choice for someone who’s never read China Mieville. Like me. All I have to say is: it’s a good thing that I have an endless store of patience and I like being confused. In audiobook terms, it took eight miles, three loads of laundry, four bathrooms, and a huge batch of vegetable korma for me to start liking this book. My interest was sparked by his creative, highly detailed world building, and my brain was completely engaged by the dozens of philosophical ...more
January 2009 (Before)

Don't want to sound shallow, but...that shade of blue (referring to this cover) really doesn't make me think of China Miéville. The UK editon looks much better.

(Although it does kinda grow on you, so I'll stop complaining)


June 2009 (First)

Obvious fact #1: China Miéville likes cities. A lot. Urban geography, borders and boundaries, the politics and character of city-states that exist on rails, on ships, beneath towering bones. Here, Miéville gives us the cities of Besźel a
David Sven
Aug 04, 2014 David Sven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, thriller, crime
One thing I'm noticing in my recent Mieville binge is that China likes his cities. They are as much a character as the protagonists of his weird imagination. They have their own unique personalities, differing from book to book whether we're talking about dark and dirty New Crobuzon in Perdido Street Station or the pirate city, Armada in The Scar or Embassytown on an alien planet in Embassytown. In The City & the City we are treated to not one but two cities - or maybe it's one city with mul ...more
For all its police procedural framework, the genre The City and the City reminds me most of is Golden Age SF. This is odd because there is no science involved in this. However, The City and the City does what Golden Age SF did: it takes a "what if…" and riffs on it as far as the author can logically take it. What if … you had a planet where night only came once every thousand years ("Nightfall", Isaac Asimov), robots could be implanted with memories ("Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", Philip ...more
First off, China Mieville is very brainy and gives good vocabulary. I can see why Ceridwen is dating him as a literary boyfriend.

The plot revolves around a detective investigating a murder in a city shared by two distinct nations. One society, Ul-Ooma, seems to be Turkish, Middle Eastern, Chinese, or North African. The other society, Besel, seems gray, depressive, and borrows words that are vaguely slavic. So, maybe Besel is council estate England and Bulgaria.

The two cultures share exactly the
Lit Bug
Jun 25, 2015 Lit Bug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, sf-fantasy
4.5/5 stars

China Mieville is not Orwellian, as reviewers say – he is the new Orwell – or what Orwell would have been had he been writing today. This urban fantasy novel walks a tight-rope between literature and popular-fiction. A fuzzy place where it belongs to literature, and to popular-fiction too, yet it is a part of both and neither – just like his two cities, or rather, three cities. Beszel, the first city, Ul Qoma, the second city and the fuzzy place in between – Orciny – the third city –
Camille Stein
May 01, 2016 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book, City and the City, by China Mieville. drawing by Warwick Mihaly.:

City & City | Panfilocastaldi -

Era allí, en el sombreado de intersección de líneas, donde los estudiantes podían quedarse, escandalosamente, a un palmo de distancia de una autoridad extranjera, una pornografía de separación.


No debe ser tarea fácil construir una arqueología tan compleja como la urdida por China Miéville. Mundos erráticos y escindidos que cohabitan una misma geografía urbana, imposible y dislocada. Desdoblamientos de paisaje, de idiomas, de seres que de
So glad this one reeled me in and threw me up on the bank all spinning with dizzy pleasure. I was headed for disappointment 100 pages in. The fantasy of the setting was intriguing at first: two cities of distinct cultures in some fictional Near East country coexisting in the same place in pieces and patches with their residents trained to “unsee” each other and forbidden to interact. But I started to get a headache with its impossibilities. Was this just some intellectual game?

Yet leave it to b
Ian Grayejoy
Urban Recall

I read this almost 12 months ago, which makes it difficult to recall and recount the tone of the writing.
However, I would like to make some general comments about the novel.

An Abstract High Concept Novel

In one sense, it is an abstract high concept novel.
What does this mean?
It's high concept in the sense that it takes a basic concept and explores it in detail.
And it doesn't stray very far away from that concept.
It's not "Snakes on a Plane".
It's far more abstract than that.

The C
Aug 06, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
My first China Mieville and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It does not easily lend itself to straightforward analysis. Mieville has said he wants to write in every genre and this one is very solidly a detective novel, with a good slice of Chandleresque noir. Yet, of course it is also much more; there is a strangeness to it which lends an air otherness which is not really science fiction or fantasy; but it works.
The action takes place somewhere in the east of Europe in the cities of Beszal and Ul Qoma
Oct 03, 2012 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by:
When I finished this I first gave it four stars, but as I thought about it and pondered what I had to say here, that rating kept nudging up. Oddly, I think I liked this book more than it deserves.

First, the obligatory synopsis: Miéville has presented us with a fable set in contemporary times. The novel is a murder mystery and police procedural: a young woman has been killed in Besźel, and the story is told from the perspective of the investigator of the crime. Besźel is a struggling city, appare
The City & the City is a book that defies explanation. On the surface, it's a murder mystery about an archeology student whose body is found in one city, Beszel, but she was murdered in the city that borders it, Ul Qoma. The two cities are very different from each other and it's very difficult to get permission to cross the border. Those who cross illegally are subject to Breach.

As the story starts, the relationship between the two cities seems kind of like the relationship between West and
Mieville in his Bas Lag books took the gothic secondary world fantasy of Peake and M. John Harrison added complexity worthy of THomas Pynchon, a vocabulary matching Gene Wolfe and Cormac McCarthy, and grotesque imagery of Bosch and Ernst; and created a series that may have the cultural impact of Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy. This book features not even a hint of that. He must have lost his favorite thesaurus with all the sticky notes in the right place. If this was handed to me without a cover Mievil ...more
I had a lukewarm response to Mieville until I read Un Lun Dun. Prior to Un Lun Dun, I had read Perdido Street Station and The Scar. I enjoyed them, but they didn't really knock my socks off. Un Lun Dun I enjoyed more. I picked up this book on the strength of Un Lun Dun, and due to the fact that one of the groups I belong to is reading it.

Some people I know think that science fiction and fantasy are "pulp" fiction. Just stories that don't say much or comment on anything. Usually, the people I kno
Jun 24, 2011 Ken rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first encounter with China Miéville. I was suddenly seeing his name in lots of places (never having heard it until recently), his books piled up in Waterstones, and my curiosity was aroused enough to give a try to one of the best recommended.

Well, I think that's the end of the experiment. Really, this was dire. The central idea of the twin cities is intriguing, but that's about it.

The writing is appalling, full of dialogue you have to read 3 times to understand, which even then goe
More compelling as a concept than it is as a mystery. Though the central conceit is rather confusing at first, once you work out the logistics (and get used to Mieville's thesaurus-assisted writing style -- contumely, ossified, topolganger), it's really a lot of fun just to inhabit his world and consider the metaphysical questions he poses about how much of a role observation plays in shaping reality.
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A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist W ...more
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“Books are always obviously having conversations with other books, and some times they're amiable and sometimes not.” 1258 likes
“Is it more childish and foolish to insist that there is a conspiracy or that there is not?” 14 likes
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