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Cover image for The city & the city
Format:
Title:
The city & the city
Other title(s):
City and the city
ISBN:
9780345497512

9780345497529

9781509886531
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Del Rey Ballantine Books, 2009.
Physical Description:
312 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
The second time "the city" appears in the title, it reads backwards.
Summary:
Inspector Tyador Borlú must travel to Ul Qoma to search for answers in the murder of a woman found in the city of Besźel.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 9-12 5 15 Quiz 151286 English fiction.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
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FIC (SF) MIEVILLE 2009
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Mieville
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FANTASY MIEVILLE
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FANTASY Mieville, C.
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FN MIEVILLE, CHINA
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FANTASY Mieville, C.
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Miéville
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On Order

Summary

Summary

New York Times-bestselling author Mieville delivers an existential thriller set in a city that is unlike any other, real or imagined--a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights."


Author Notes

China Miéville was born in Norwich, England on September 6, 1972. He received a B.A. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 1994, and a Masters' degree with distinction and Ph.D in international relations from the London School of Economics, the latter in 2001. He has also held a Frank Knox fellowship at Harvard University.

His first novel, King Rat, was nominated for both an International Horror Guild and a Bram Stoker award. His other works include Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council, Un Lun Dun, The City and the City, Embassytown, and Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. He has won numerous awards for his works including three Arthur C. Clarke Awards, two British Fantasy Awards, the British Science Fiction Award, and the 2008 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book.

He also published a book on Marxism and international law called Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Theory of International Law. He teaches creative writing at Warwick University.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-A blend of near-future science fiction and police procedural, this novel is a successful example of the hybrid genre so popular of late. In a contemporary time period, two fantastical cities somewhere between Europe and Asia exist, not adjacent to one another, but by literally occupying the same area. Forbidden to acknowledge the existence of one another-a discipline imposed by the shadowy and terrifying entity known as Breach-residents in both cities have honed the ability to "unsee" people, places, and events existing in the other realm. This ticklish balance ruptures when Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad must investigate the murder of a foreign archaeological student. Long after the book's satisfying conclusion, astute readers will have much to ponder, such as the facility with which Authority can manipulate and repress a population and the attendant ills that life in such a society inevitably generate. Add in the novel's highly effective cover art and the result is a book that may appeal as much to a young, new-to-Mieville audience as it will to his loyal fans.-Dori DeSpain, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Mieville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Mieville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

Fantasy veteran Miville (Iron Council, 2004, etc.) adds a murder mystery to the mix in his tale of two fiercely independent East European cities coexisting in the same physical location, the denizens of one willfully imperceptible to the other. The idea's not newJack Vance sketched something similar 60 years agobut Miville stretches it until it twangs. Citizens of Beszel are trained from birth to ignore, or "unsee," the city and inhabitants of Ul Qoma (and vice versa), even when trains from both cities run along the same set of tracks, and houses of different cities stand alongside one another. To step from one city to the other, or even to attempt to perceive the counterpart city, is a criminal act that immediately invokes Breach, the terrifying, implacable, ever-watching forces that patrol the shadowy borders. Summoned to a patch of waste ground where a murdered female has been dumped from a van, Beszel's Detective Inspector Tyador Borl learns the victim was a resident of Ul Qoma. Clearly, the Oversight Committee must invoke Breach, thus relieving Borl of all further responsibility. Except that a videotape shows the van arriving legally in Beszel from Ul Qoma via the official border crossing point. Therefore, no breach, so Borl must venture personally into Ul Qoma to pursue an investigation that grows steadily more difficult and alarming. Grimy, gritty reality occasionally spills over into unintelligible hypercomplexity, but this spectacularly, intricately paranoid yarn is worth the effort. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Fantasy author Mieville (Looking for Jake, 2005) puts his own unique spin on the detective story. Inspector Tyador Borlu, a lonely police detective, is assigned to the murder of a young woman found dumped in a park on the edge of Beszel, an old city, decaying and mostly forgotten, situated in an unspecified area on the southeastern fringes of Europe. But Beszel does not exist alone; it shares much of the same physical space with Ul Qoma. Each city retains a distinct culture and style, and the citizenry of both places has elaborate rules and rituals to avoid the dreaded Breach, which separates the two across space and time. This unique setting becomes one of the most important and well-developed characters in the novel, playing a pivotal role in the mystery when Tyador discovers that his murder case is much more complex than a dumped body, requiring international cooperation with the Ul Qoman authorities. Eschewing the preliminary world-building techniques of many fantasy books, Mieville dumps the reader straight into Tyador's world of crosshatching and unseeing, only gradually developing and explaining his one-of-a kind setting. Suggest to readers who enjoyed Michael Chabon's alternate-history mystery, The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007), or to fans of the futuristic urban setting in A. L. Martinez's Automatic Detective (2008). An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans.--Moyer, Jessica Copyright 2009 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Mieville (Un Lun Dun; Perdido Street Station) tells vivid stories in the borderlands of literary fantasy, science fiction, and horror, and here he adds noir crime to the mix. Fittingly, his tale is set in the borderlands, creating a mysterious pair of cities somewhere on Europe's eastern edge. Beszel and Ul Qoma share the same ground, but their citizens are not allowed to react to one another, learning to "unsee" the other city and its inhabitants from a young age. Enforcing this division is a mysterious power called Breach. When an archaeology student is found dead, Inspector Tyador Borl gets caught up in a case that forces him to navigate precariously between the cities, perhaps into the sinister worlds that straddle them. It's a fascinating premise. Unfortunately, the cities, protagonist, and case remain stubbornly in the haze. For all genre fiction collections because Mieville is a trailblazer with a dedicated following, but this work is more an existential thought piece than a reading pleasure. [Library marketing.]-Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.