The City And The City

by China Mieville

4 avg rating
Book 6 of 25 in the Mundane Science Fiction Books
77 votes 2 comments
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 Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma. But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of 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 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.

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Anonymous | 2016-04-05 04:37:15
This monothematic story could be an amazing movie, but should have been only a short story in book form. It was based on one very strong, creative theme, but that's it. There is not enough for a full novel and I found it hard to read after a while, with such repeated ideas. In turn, my other beef is the author's attempt to be too realistic in dialogue, leading to stilted, sloppy transactions (like in real life) but again tedious to read and too much swearing to boot. Still, I totally admire Mr Mieville's brilliant idea around which this text is set.
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