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Embassytown
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Monthly Read: Themed > August 2014 Themed Read - Embassytown

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message 1: by Megan (last edited Aug 01, 2014 05:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Megan Baxter | 277 comments Mod
This month, the theme Moderator's Choice - meaning that I got to pick a book! I've been on a huge Mieville kick the last year or so, and this was one that was lingering on my to-read list, but which I'd not gotten to yet. I go down to pick it up from the library today, so I look forward to reading it and discussing it with everyone.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments I've not read a Mieville book yet. Started Perido Street but got diverted. I have Embassytown but it is in a different city than I am at the moment. Intend to get started on Wednesday or Thursday. Looking forward to reading it with the group.


message 3: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I read this last year and really enjoyed it. A lot of playing with language....very thoughtful book!


Megan Baxter | 277 comments Mod
I'm about halfway through, and what's striking me most so far is the commentary on colonialism. I'm very interested to see where he goes with it. It's subtle, but fascinating.


Salem Salem | 20 comments I recently read Embassytown, and I've read a fair number of Mieville books. This one was not my favorite, though. I was more into the language side of it. It's been a long time since I read anything about an outer space colony. I'm about to move onto Solaris as I'm eager for a comparison between the worlds. No spoilers here about Embassytown, but I will participate in this thread as dialogue opens up. There were some things I thought either I simply missed or did not get addressed by the author. Maybe other eyes could help me out with this.


Alex Hammel (ahammel) Read this one last year. It's my favourite Miéville book of the ones I've read. My one complaint was that it felt like he got three quarters of the way into the book and said "ok, enough of this thoughtful exploration of the nature of language. Time for crazy monsters!"


Salem Salem | 20 comments "ok, enough of this thoughtful exploration of the nature of language. Time for crazy monsters!"

I can agree with this!


message 8: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
lmaoooooooooooo---but it is true!


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Guy (toliman) | 1 comments I did like the city and the city, it has a decent 'noir detective flair, and a pretty decent story, that takes a very non sci-fi setting of a murder, and makes a compelling scifi setting out of the title itself.

It's a very self contained premise, and a good overall read, it exists in a kind of kitsch 90s alternate universe analogue of east/west Germany, two cities divided by a long forgotten pact or history where the land between the two cities overlaps. It's very compelling.

Still flipping through perdido street and embassy town, very slowly.

Without spoiling too much, the book takes place between two cities that exist in nearly the same place, people who live and visit, live in a city that exists by a sense of color and culture, language and writing. the lines of demarcation are poorly drawn around architecture or between streets. Standing on the corner of an intersection could place you on the border, while cars and pedestrians avoid crossing the boundaries diligently. The twin cities are demarcated and named differently. residents walk past shops and restaurants and other pedestrians, that they have to unsee. buildings sometimes face their neighbouring city by the distance of a street block, cars can drive past cars on the same roads of a different city, while accidents belonging to different cities are bureaucratically handled as you'd expect, by police of both sides unseeing the residents and cars on the other side of the same street, held together by the whispered and very real threat of breach, an unknowable and omnipresent authority that has an unseen, autonomous, unfettered power to keep the boundaries and the cities intact.

Like I said, compelling.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments I am finding Embassytown difficult to get engaged with. So far, I'm only on page 58 and have allowed myself to become distracted by other reads that I am enjoying more. I shan't give up but it is a lot of work!


Megan Baxter | 277 comments Mod
It's certainly not my favourite of Mieville's works, but I quite enjoyed it. Still letting it percolate a bit before I write the review!


Kirsten  (kmcripn) I'm not that far into this, but I really like the "voice" of the narrator.


message 13: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I really loved the idea of metaphors as language...


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments OK. I stuck with it and it got better, but I don't think Melville is going to make my top 5 sci fi writers! What I did like was the use of the concept of language. Very original and creative. What I did not like was the narrator. I got no sense of her until the end. Maybe that was because she was looking for herself as she bounced around Embassytown. And what's up with the automat? What happened to her?


Megan Baxter | 277 comments Mod
It's funny, because I like Embassytown, but I felt like it had less of what I've come to think of as Mieville's "voice" in the prose, than the others I've read.

Here's my review: Embassytown


Kirsten  (kmcripn) Not quite done with it - but I really like the narrator (the audiobook is very well narrated too) and the worldbuilding.


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