Daniel Roy's Reviews > The City & the City

The City & the City by China Miéville
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's review
May 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, new-weird
Read in May, 2010

"The City & The City" is a work of staggering imagination, which in its depth and metaphor rises above even the excellence of his previous novels. Through the entangled cities of his story, Miéville writes about how politics and social privilege separates us even when we live next to one another.

The characters and the plot are interesting, but it is Miéville's meticulous world-building that steals the show. His story is filled both with details that make the city and the city feel 'authentic' Eastern European - not the least of which the language. But also, the entire foundation for the cities' weird dychotomy makes sense in a twisted way, and the description of life there is mesmerizing.

The story does unravel in the third act, which is a pity; and there are times when I wish Miéville stuck to the spirit of police procedurals, instead of adopting its clichés. But overall, this is a staggering work of imagination from a master of the genre, and one which I look forward to rereading.

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