The City & the City Review

The City and the City
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The City & the City ReviewI read this book last year in hardback, and have recently read it a second time. It really was my beach read last year, the first book I read laying by on the beach on vacation. It was different, and more of a mystery story than I expected. The premise is unique - two cities existing in the same physical space that overlaps somehow. And that exist in our modern world. You are left wondering about how the separation happened, how it is maintained, and what is the complete story behind it. THAT is what demands a sequel, that I hope China will write one day. I am giving the story four stars instead of five because I really wanted more back story of the city, and the story could have been longer. However, it was the perfect size for a beach read, it does wrap up the mystery, and there are lots of directions the author can take if he wants to do another book with the same detective character.
Reading this book, you are plunged into this very strange concept of the two cites occuping same space right away. As the story develops, you learn how people living there deal with their unusual reality. The reader follows the main character, a police detective, as he investigates a murder. As he finds out more about the murder, the clues may lead to a bigger mystery and conspiracy. Finding out all the pieces of the puzzle as the detective does is part of the fun.
I adore China Mieville, his prose, his writing style and his unique concepts. I love most everything he has written. His books set in Bas-Lag are very intricate and complex and long. This book is NOT set in Bas-Lag, it is shorter than those novels, and a satisfying read by itself. Highly recommended.
One more recommendation: If you ever have the chance to hear the author in person, go see him. He is very gracious in person. He has a wonderful voice and I enjoyed hearing him read from one of his works when I had the chance to see him at a signing event.The City & the City Overview

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