The City & The City – China Miéville
I didn’t want this book to end. I wanted to play it like a video game. I wanted to dive deeper and deeper into its backstory. I craved a glossary, fan sites, and detailed maps.
It’s almost impossible to review this book without spoiling the intricate plot. On the surface, a police officer investigates a murder – beneath the surface, the officer investigates the ridiculous society everyone is trapped in.
It is pure psychogeography and social conditioning distilled into a whodunnit.
The plot is basically fine – interview the suspects, work with a different squad, break the rules, tramp the city. But the plot is second-to-none – explore the contradictions which keep society functioning.
I can’t begin to imagine how this was turned into a TV series – it reads more like it was designed to be a work of interactive fiction. Especially the way the intricacies of the plot gradually build up into a fully formed world.
A bloody good read. Highly recommended that you go into it cold, with no idea of the central plot devices.