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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 Borlú 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. Borlú must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other.
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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Certain writers absolutely defy categorisation – and China Miéville is most definitely of that rarefied company. His prose is exhilarating, poetic, coruscating with ideas and atmosphere – and it has enhanced a body of work that has almost no parallels in modern writing. Heretofore, if Miéville has brushed shoulders with any identifiable genres, they are those of fantasy and science fiction – which makes his remarkable new book, The City and The City, such a surprise. The author’s publishers compare this novel to Philip K Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984 – which at least gives a series of corollaries for this book, however tentative. There are elements here of the crime thriller, but very much refracted through Miéville’s highly individual imagination.
The body of a murdered woman is discovered in the remarkable, crumbling European city of Besźel. Such a crime is par for the course for Inspector Tyador Borlú, who is the premier talent of the Extreme Crime Squad – until his investigations uncover evidence that bizarre and terrifying forces are at work – and soon both he and those around him will be in considerable peril. He must undertake an odyssey, a journey across borders both physical and psychical, to the city which is both a complement and rival to his own, that of Ul Qoma.
Like all of China Miéville’s work, The City and The City will not be to everyone’s taste – the very individuality of the prose and the surrealistic inventiveness will not attract those preferring more prosaic fare. But for readers who hanker after untrammelled imagination – and look for literary fare unlike anything they have read before (even, it has to be said, by Miéville himself), then this is a journey to be undertaken. But with caution, perhaps... --Barry ForshawReview:
'A gripping philosophical thriller about how human fears and prejudice can reshape reality.'
'In this mind-boggling novel, which includes elements of detective fiction, sci-fi and political thriller, Miéville uses all the imaginative skills that have helped him succeed with titles such as Perdido Street Station.' --Bookseller's Choice, The Bookseller
'A fantasy thriller in which a murder case spins its inspector on an existential journey from the curious tumbledown city of Beszel and into its parallel metropolis.'
'China Miéville is partial to a fabricated city setting, and he has outdone himself here by constructing two adjoining Eastern European city-states, Beszel and Ul Qoma, and their complex and political and linguistic systems. Against this impressively realized backdrop is set a nourish thriller.' --Observer
'An original fantasy thriller.'
`Wrapping your brain around the strangeness is part of the pleasure. It pushes up against the boundaries of possibilities to provoke a reassessment of our own reality.'
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Book Description Pan Books, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110330493108