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Embassytown by China Mieville : A delightful cocktail of Aliens and Language


Its scary to have high expectations. More often than not you end up devastated but I am happy to say this is not one of those instances. China Mieville has exceeded all my expectations and come up with the most unique book that I have ever read. Embassytown is a science fiction novel that is at once a thriller and a treatise in linguistics and as usual Mieville takes on a genre and turns it on its head.
This is at its core a study of language albeit one carried in so thrilling a manner that I hardly paused while reading Embassytown. Imagine there are aliens, of course they have means to communicate with themselves but for them everything is as is, their language does not have a concept of abstraction. They cannot lie and make things up so to speak. What they say has to be the truth. Mieville takes this simple idea and stretches it to its absolute limits, building a world, a system of space travel that is incredibly well realized.
The writing is just magnificent. The way Mieville chooses his words and the way he skillfully he shows and hides the physical characteristics of the aliens teasing the imagination of the reader. The way the first words of the novel prepare you for the ride ahead.
At one point of time I was so engrossed in reading this book that I was shocked when someone called out for me. This book is going to win all sorts of awards and this review does not do it justice. A work of pure unadulterated genius and an absolute masterclass.
"The word must communicate something (other than itself)."

You can buy Embassytown here.

Comments

Arindam said…
Bring this to office tomorrow. Gonna borrow it.

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