Skip to main content

The City & the City by China Mieville : Two cities with the most peculiar geography

A hard boiled detective novel is familiar territory. What usually happens is that there is a murder that takes place which seems to be of no consequence but turns out to be anything but. As the story pans out it so happens that there is a larger conspiracy happening and its up to the lone detective to solve the mystery.
The City & the City is Mieville's take on the hard boiled detective novel. Is it good? you bet it is. It embraces all the trappings of the genre, enhances it and makes it something more.
The premise is simple and yet complex when given a thought. There are two cities, both of which occupy much of the same physical space owing to strange quirk of history. The citizens of each city practice something called unseeing and unhearing to ignore the residents of the other city. The cities have their own arcane rules for passing through of course. A seemingly innocuous murder takes place which quickly becomes something more.
Mieville tackles an extremely complex novel with consumate ease. You don't even realize how well he's immersed you in the twin cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma. For all its merits though, the usual flair which is omniscient in his Bas Lag novels is not present. Like I said in Kraken's review it seems as if Mieville has reined himself in and held himself on a tight leash. Also there are no lovingly described with great details monsters(To be fair though, it would have been impossible to insert monsters into a novel like this).
This novel is based in our own world so Google, Facebook et al are commonplace and it is his shortest novel by far, so it is a good introduction to Mieville's writing. If you haven't read anything by Mieville this is the place to start.

You can buy The City & The City here.


Popular posts from this blog

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

On Hans Zimmer

I have been listening to quite a lot of soundtracks lately. Two composers in particular stand out, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell. I have written about Clint Mansell over here . Hans Zimmer has somehow managed to score a lot of my favorite movies including Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight , the Gladiator, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean just to name a few. In fact chances are that if there is a movie's score you like in the last decade its by Zimmer.(Apart from Lord of the rings of course :)) The thing about Zimmer though is that he is able to deliver even in movies that are not particularly good. Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons come to mind immediately which feature some great violin solos courtesy Joshua Bell. Here are a few of my favorite tracks. Put your headphones on and listen. Discombulate from Sherlock Red Warrior from The Last Samurai Time from Inception Jack Sparrow's Theme Science and Religion from Angels and Demons

Announcing the first part of the Karna trilogy

Finally after a lot of procrastination and some hard work the novel is done or at least the first part of it. Its about Karna in the Mahabharata. It also revolves around Kunti. From my reading experience Karna is highly readable and is short as well. (Novella length). You can read the whole book online here or if you want to get the pdf/epub for your reading devices you can get them from Leanpub Let me know what you think of Karna Part One. Two more parts are on their way.