Tomo20's Reviews > Railsea

Railsea by China Miéville
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Jun 08, 12

Read from June 06 to 08, 2012

I'm relatively new to China Mieville but this doesn't fee like vintage work. The fact that it is still a four star book in my mind only says how good he can be.

There is a lightness about this book, a lack of real danger, that doesn't sit well with his exploratory writing style. But what style. For a book that is ostensibly a young adult work, it makes very few concessions of language or structure. The plot itself may run on rails (sorry) but the telling is rich and knowing; with a meta narrator commenting on when we might return to the action elsewhere and why perhaps not right now.

The homage to Moby Dick is clear and well rehearsed and the musings on philosophy, religion and loss deftly handled. While Mieville may have ruled out the darkest corners as a concession to this experiment in his continuing trek through genre he has not put big idea out of bounds and for that he deserves the highest credit.

Of the work I've read so far; Perdido St Station, The City and The City, some of Looking for Jake and an abandoned start on Un Lun Dun, it is only the last that has given me anything but pleasure and I will give that another go after a palette cleanser somewhere else.

Railsea has put me right back on track (sorry...again. Dad's can't resist puns...)
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