"My task is changed: not to uphold the law, or another law, but to maintain the skin that keeps law in place. Two laws in two places, in fact."
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The City and the City by China Miéville
To Breach or Not To Breach
This book totally unscrewed a couple of hinges, and fangirling for the author didn't really help screw them back. Leave it to China Miéville to make the absurd seem normal, and then send you reeling in complete dizzying pleasure.
This is a story about two distinct cities, Beszel and Ul Qoma, united together in a surrealistic manner. In Eastern Europe, these Millennia-old cities have pieces and patches that coexist in the same geography with residents trained to “unsee”, “unhear”, and maybe even “unsmell” (although it wasn't mentioned directly) their neighboring city. Any direct infraction of this protocol will send the shadowy forces of Breach after them citizens.
Yet, avoiding breach seems highly improbable if murder was committed. A young woman was brutally murdered and dumped in a slum area of Beszel. On the case is Tyador Borlú, a morally ambiguous cop, who uses every trick he can to seek justice and closure despite pervasive corruption in the bureaucratic governments. Adding to the complexity of the case is the not-to-be-mentioned city of Orciny. The existence of this small space and people between the two cities is as mysterious as the murder itself. Solving one mystery means solving the other as well.
The third mystery is the identity of Breach. People of both cities know that these forces are constantly watching and guarding, but how they operate and execute justice is beyond ken. Nobody has seen them in person and lived to tell the tale, until Tyador risked to breach.
I will say again, I have nothing but pure admiration to the genius of China Miéville. His books are unconventional, unpredictable and absolutely creative. I am a FAN.
Title: The City and the City
Author: China Tom Miéville
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication: May 26, 2009
Genre: Weird Fiction, Murder