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The City and the City

by

The City and the City Cover

 

Awards

2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award Winner
2010 Hugo Award Winner
The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Mieville is back with a police procedural set in a pair of Eastern European cities that share a unique border. The City and the City explores personal and cultural identity, and schisms within both. Less fantasy than his previous books, but a fascinating not-quite-reality.
Recommended by Doug, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

New York Times bestselling author China Miéville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in a city unlike any other-real or imagined.

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borlu must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borlu is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

Review:

"Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Miéville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Miéville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities. " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"China Miéville has made his name via award-winning, genre-bending titles such as King Rat, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council. Now, in The City and the City, he sets out to bend yet another genre, that of the police procedural, and he succeeds brilliantly." St. Petersburg Times

Review:

"Like his previous work, The City is an unabashed love letter to the diversity, polyglot sprawl, complexities, contradictions, pitfalls, humanity and streetlife of the metropolis. It's also studded with Miéville's inventive vocabulary." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Grimy, gritty reality occasionally spills over into unintelligible hypercomplexity, but this spectacularly, intricately paranoid yarn is worth the effort." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Lots of books dabble in several genres but few manage to weld them together as seamlessly and as originally as The City and The City. In a tale set in a series of cities vertiginously layered in the same space, Miéville offers the detective novel re-envisioned through the prism of the fantastic. The result is a stunning piece of artistry that has both all the satisfactions of a good mystery and all the delight and wonder of the best fantasy." Brian Evenson, author of Last Days

Review:

"Daring and disturbing...Miéville illuminates fundamental and unsettling questions about culture, governance and the shadowy differences that keep us apart." Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress

Review:

"[O]nce the story picks up speed, it rarely flags, and the seemingly dry prose is a perfect format for exposition about the novel's central conceit....[I]t's doubtful readers will mind the familiarity when offered an urban environment with this much depth. (Grade: A-)" The Onion AV Club

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author China Miéville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in an enthralling city that is unlike any other — real or imagined.

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger.

Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. It is a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen, a journey to Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

Video

About the Author

China Miéville is the author of King Rat; Perdido Street Station, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award; The Scar, winner of the Locus Award and the British Fantasy Award; Iron Council, winner of the Locus Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Looking for Jake, a collection of short stories; and Un Lun Dun, his New York Times bestselling book for younger readers. He lives and works in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

BlueBlaze, January 21, 2012 (view all comments by BlueBlaze)
The City and the City is an alternate-universe fantasy novel, in the form of a police procedural. There are a lot of ways this ambitious, risky undertaking could have gone astray, but China Mieville pulled it off, I think, brilliantly pretty much all the way through. As a linguophile, I found the language issues integrated into the story, a common feature of Mieville's writing, an interesting bonus.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Ariel Valladares, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Ariel Valladares)
What an amazing book! The City & Tbe City showcases two cities, side by side and even sometimes overlapping, with citizens that very carefully do not see the citizens in the other city. China Mieville tells this so-much-more-than a murder mystery wonderfully. I've become a great fan of his work, and highly recommend this novel. Enjoy!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Heather Thayer, September 4, 2011 (view all comments by Heather Thayer)
I have read this book multiple times now and love it more each time. The first time the construct of "unseeing" was difficult to imagine, but then I realized that we do it all the time. We "unsee" those who are different or disturbing or unpleasant. We "unsee" the crazy lady shouting on the street corner, "unsee" the drunk in the gutter and the panhandler. How much of a step would it be to unsee an entire city?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345497512
Publisher:
Del Rey
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Author:
Mieville, China
Author:
China Mi?ville
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Publication Date:
20090526
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.48x6.58x1.15 in. 1.19 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Locked Case
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Sale Books

The City and the City
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Del Rey Books - English 9780345497512 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Mieville is back with a police procedural set in a pair of Eastern European cities that share a unique border. The City and the City explores personal and cultural identity, and schisms within both. Less fantasy than his previous books, but a fascinating not-quite-reality.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Miéville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Miéville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities. " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans."
"Review" by , "China Miéville has made his name via award-winning, genre-bending titles such as King Rat, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council. Now, in The City and the City, he sets out to bend yet another genre, that of the police procedural, and he succeeds brilliantly."
"Review" by , "Like his previous work, The City is an unabashed love letter to the diversity, polyglot sprawl, complexities, contradictions, pitfalls, humanity and streetlife of the metropolis. It's also studded with Miéville's inventive vocabulary."
"Review" by , "Grimy, gritty reality occasionally spills over into unintelligible hypercomplexity, but this spectacularly, intricately paranoid yarn is worth the effort."
"Review" by , "Lots of books dabble in several genres but few manage to weld them together as seamlessly and as originally as The City and The City. In a tale set in a series of cities vertiginously layered in the same space, Miéville offers the detective novel re-envisioned through the prism of the fantastic. The result is a stunning piece of artistry that has both all the satisfactions of a good mystery and all the delight and wonder of the best fantasy."
"Review" by , "Daring and disturbing...Miéville illuminates fundamental and unsettling questions about culture, governance and the shadowy differences that keep us apart."
"Review" by , "[O]nce the story picks up speed, it rarely flags, and the seemingly dry prose is a perfect format for exposition about the novel's central conceit....[I]t's doubtful readers will mind the familiarity when offered an urban environment with this much depth. (Grade: A-)"
"Synopsis" by , New York Times bestselling author China Miéville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in an enthralling city that is unlike any other — real or imagined.

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger.

Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. It is a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen, a journey to Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

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