Category Archives: read

The City and The City, by China Miéville (sci fi, 2 stars)

Just finished this book, which won a sci fi award in the past few years. China Miéville has written several award winners and topped several ‘best’ lists, so I wanted to read something by him. The story is a police procedural, with the narrator being a cop in an Eastern European city, who is investigating a murder. The sci-fi aspect is that there are two cities that intersect / overlap / occupy much the same space. Separate cities that require boarder crossings, but occupy much of the same space, it seems. The premise was fascinating, but the actual description of how these two cities co-exist disappointed me.

At times the language was challenging, not merely because of references to the two cities, which speak different languages, but also because the English sometimes read as if translated. I could not decide if this was intentional, underscoring the foreign scene.

On the whole, this was better literature than Nevada Barr, but not nearly as compelling or exciting.