Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 13 June 2011

"The city and the city" by China Mieville (Pan, 2010)

This was in the library's SF section. At the start I thought the 2 cities in the title were co-spatial, one East-european, the other ghostly. Then we discover that the 2 cities are interspliced, the citizens of each city trained to unsee the other. Tourists have to go on courses so as not to breach the rules. Infringements are dealt with harshly. This, a world of iPods and skateboard parks, is the setting for a whodunnit. The setting isn't feasible but I didn't mind - the consequences of it are fruitfully exploited. The motivations aren't convincing either (Dhatt defects far too easily). The pace and tone carried me through.

The Breach live in both cities, safeguarding their integrity. One city's not the subconscious of the other, more a doppelganger. The metaphor of (psychological) integration isn't exploited.

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