Title: The City & The City by China Mieville
Scored a: C+
Status: Unfinished due to mishap
The City & The City was a book I was very eager to read, because the concept sounded great. Two cities occupying the same space? And the book delivers on the idea. The bits and pieces I saw of the cities before the Mishap was just what I was hoping for.
Unfortunately, I only saw bits and pieces. Mieville’s characters proceeded to get in the way of the world over and over. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the characters had been fun in some way, or at least interesting, but they were ciphers. Stick figures who kept standing in front of the shot you were trying to take.
And then, of course, I accidentally lost the book and can’t bring myself to buy a new copy to finish it. So I guess I’ll never find out how the murder mystery turned out, which is a shame. I’m also sad I didn’t get to enjoy the cities if Beszel and Ul Qoma as much as I would have liked.
When I was talking about my problem with the book before the Mishap with my friend, she told me she’d had the same problem with other books of his. Great worlds, not so great characters. Another friend assured me Mieville was really nice, but that didn’t quite explain the problem with the book.
So much for making this book 41 on my 100 books of winter.
Currently working on: All Creatures Great And Small by James Herriot, and Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. Both of which involve a lot of animal care, but I don’t think Herriot gets anything combat worthy from his efforts, unless you count all that cow shit he gets covered in.