David's Reviews > The City & the City

The City & the City by China Miéville
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's review
Dec 04, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

Really enjoyed this book, but took me a while to get into it and get my footing.

The book is a murder mystery set in two neighboring (and overlapping) cities. Where they overlap (called "crosshatching" in the book), they might share same street, or alternate floors in a building even.

For some (unexplained) Kafkaesque reason citizens of each city aren't allowed to acknowledge what they see in the other city in these convergent areas - they are required to "unsee" them. The cities are in fact considered their own countries. You're required to pass through immigration go to a location that's around the block from you - in that other country.

What happens if you illegally cross the country lines, or accidentally stare at a foreigner? Well, that's where a more supernatural element comes in.

The murder in question is tangled up between the two cities. Fun concept. And it's all set in the world we live in today (complete with pop cultural references) which makes it even more inventive.

Miéville's writing of course is imaginative, vivid, and engaging. Currently he's my favorite author.

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11/19/2009 page 20
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