Nathanial's Reviews > The Scar

The Scar by China Miéville
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's review
Oct 29, 07

bookshelves: fantasy

[cannibalized notes from "Iron Council," moved here for space considerations]

Okay, I know this review space is supposed to be dedicated to the book at hand; since this particular tag holds the 'to-read' label, however, it fits. Just as expectations depend on what's come before, Mieville, as a contemporary author, seems to suspect that, while centuries of fiction have provided ample tools, they will not be sufficient for his purposes (i know, i know, that was a stretch of a transition, but back to the books...).

[And here's the deal: goodreads now tells me, after I've attempted to publish these comments, that they only allow 4000 characters in their comments space, so I've excerpted words onto another book, which may be more appropriate.]

Anyway, I'm excited to read this book. I haven't even talked about his resemblances to (and divergences from) Angela Carter; it would almost be too facile to say that, while they're both maximalists - roccoco in descriptions, baroque in details, and metamorphic in drama - Carter works on the interior scheme, while Mieville moves on an exterior scene. This leaves us room to discuss gender politics (that icky phrase) in both their works - sexuality is never easy, seldom satisfying, and always urgent, while daily performances and quotidian positions are constantly negotiated, continually contested, and simultaneously contrived and compulsive - which won't be possible in this format. If reviews are a foil, a touchstone, a whetting-device, then we have a whole lifetime to fence, sharpen blades, and butcher (sorry, had to do it).

Plus, he's a hunk.

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