Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

A State Of Beszel

with 5 comments

I’d strongly recommend reading Jonathan McCalmont’s review of The City & The City by China Miéville. It is long (over 4,500 words) and really gets at the novels strengths and weaknesses. Like many readers, he found the police procedural aspects lacking. Personally, I liked it, however, McCalmont does raise the intriguing prospect of what the novel might have looked like if it had been a collaboration with Derek Raymond.

Written by Martin

25 May 2010 at 09:54

5 Responses

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  1. Very kind of you sir :-)

    Jonathan M

    25 May 2010 at 12:08

  2. I think it was particularly interesting for me because that brilliant first third sustained me through the novel. A lot of your criticisms were things I was able to unsee. If I read it again, my view might well become closer to your’s.


    25 May 2010 at 12:30

  3. I think I would have enjoyed the police procedural elements much more if I had been less familiar with the crime genre or if my familiarity had been less slanted towards the densely psychological end of the spectrum.

    As it was, when I encountered the police procedural bits I was instantly aware that they were under-written and lightweight, which then heightened the sense of disconnect from the excellent opening third, which made me even more annoyed at the lack of ambition to the procedural elements.

    Jonathan M

    25 May 2010 at 13:06

  4. I am on page 44 of The City & The City, really struggling, might give up as I am not used to Chin’s syntax. V Hard going.
    I had to check on google to see if Beszel was a real place.

    Having read some comments I might stick with it.

    Peter Comber

    29 June 2011 at 20:01

  5. Read that review… oh boy was it lame. That guy is up himself or what?

    Mr. Clarinet

    16 May 2013 at 13:43

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