Ike Sharpless's Reviews > The City & the City

The City & the City by China Miéville
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed, speculative-fiction, favorites

I can see why some reviewers have their reservations, especially when comparing this to Mieville's other work, but I thought this was a brilliantly done deconstruction of the nature of sovereign authority. (This was the first book of his I'd read, and I've subsequently read Embassytown and Perdido Street Station, am about to dip into The Scar, and I sort of gave up on Kraken.) What particularly interested me about this book was its 'speculative fiction' rather than 'science fiction' nature. In other words, pretty much everything that took place *could* take place within our current understanding of physical reality. I also loved how the themes I thought the book was *really* discussing were never presented directly but were present sotto voce throughout, as if to parallel the book's oblique focus on the oblique, on the corner-of-the-eye flitting vision. I essentially read this as a grown up Neverwhere, and I think it tackles a lot of the same issues, but in a far more interesting and ambiguous fashion.

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