The reading of this entertaining story was fittingly gruff/gritty, irreverently flippant when appropriate, but never cartoonish. It was a perfect fit for this combination of weird fiction/fantasy and modern noir detective tale.
CM - probably not, but I'll snoop it out
JL - absolutely
John Lee is one of my favorite narrators. Simply put, he is great at what he does.
With this book however the sound engineers or Director may be to blame.
Lee's voice is very stacato and choppy. Like the SNL's parody of Obama. Each of his sentences start with an abrubt loud bark and trail off to a whisper.
The trailing off to a whisper forces me to turn up the stereo (and I have a good stereo). Therefor the ensueing bark at the beginning of the next sentence actually hurts the ears. Overall it was a very diffucult book and I was copmletely unable to enjoy it.
It got to the point where I would wince in anticipation of the next sentence.
I'm sure Audible knows alot of the books are enjoyed in cars(small spaces) or with headphones but maybe overlooked this when they signed a sure bet like John Lee to this title.
Ever hear of Opposite Day? Or Wear Your Pants Backwards Day?
This book has about as much creative genius.
The author just pulled a slightly abstract idea from a hat and ran hard with it.
Hard enough to write an entire book!
To be fair I should have done more research beyond the Hugo website, but I was in a hurry. The book is a runner up for the 2012 Hugo's. Hugo's are Scifi awards, but this book was contemporary fantasy. Which to be fair is a category of scifi (really?).
The story is set in an otherwise completely normal modern day Earth. With the exception of some small part of the USA that contains a large city. Superimposed on this city is another city where inhabitants must un-see and un-hear and completely avoid one another. They share the same streets and sidewalks. Sounds like the next big screen comedy right?
The book is not a comedy. If you get caught seeing or hearing a member of the other city you will be taken away by an agency called Breach. Breach is an agency that no one person or government has ever seen. They hare a myth, but everyone knows they are real.
Anyway. It was all just a bit too ridiculous for me. So much so I could not follow the story one bit and the audio portion pushed me into returning the book.
By the way. The book is police proceedural.
I honestly don't know anyone who would enjoy this bok.
This book is unintelligible. The core theme was never explained and the way it was referenced ( constantly )....was very annoying. Wasn't a good story to begin with, but the fact that you can never really figure out what is going on and the point of it all.....is just truly bad writing. I've hung in there on many not great books.....I can't find anything redeeming about this one.
John Lee, perhaps.
China Mieville, NO.
No. Although the idea was intriguing - murder mystery in strange cross-culture society - about half way through, I decided the F-word had been over-used.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude, but seriously? How many characters can one have that use the word multiple times in one sentence?
Lost the story to the language. My loss I'm sure, but there it is.
Non-dialogue narration is better than most I have heard so far.
Most of the foul-mouthed police-type authority figures, but then the story would be much shorter.
I had read Perdido Street Station, received as a gift, didn't like it much. Again, interesting idea, but the characters were too remote or too strange to relate to. It may have suffered from language as well, but such things are easier to gloss over when reading.
I tried this to give either the author or myself a second chance; apparently I am too dim to "get" the genius.
I read nothing that is popular.
China Mieville is my favorite new author. I'm still trying to get familiar with his work, but he is an excellent writer and so far, I am not always sure what I am getting into when I'm reading his materials. "The City & The City" is a sci fi detective story that is so well play. Many of the main characters are easily identified and liked. This is my second title from this author and from what I'm noticing in his work, the reader has no idea what they are getting into until a few hours into his books and this is why I am favoring his work. One of the best novelist that I have ever read and I can't wait to read more. I can't really think of one genre for "The City & The City". It is a mixture of genres, including cyber punk. If you read his Wiki, you can see where he gets his thought process.
Reading Fantasy and SCI-FI on audible.
I read this book as the 2008 Hugo SCI-FI best novel award. I say this because I was expecting SCI-FI, but this is more of a detective novel set in a few years from now. But there is not that much in the way of real SCI-FI (hard core stuff). It is a quick read (listen) and the performance is very good. The story does carry you and keep you guessing. It does kind of follow the 2000 - 2010 SCI-FI winners where many of the books are more fantasy based then SCI-FI (with a few exceptions).
The author really likes to use imperatives and the performer took great glee in using them - not sure they were needed quite as much as it showed.
But I was entertained overall.
Yes, I enjoyed it overall.
The intricacy of it.
Nothing. He was constantly overacting some of the characters and made the story harder to follow.
Sure. Anybody but John Lee.
I'll never buy another audiobook read by John Lee. It got really close to ruin the experience for me.
I really, really enjoyed this. I've thought about it quite a bit after, about how we all "unsee" things so much in our daily life. Mieville is probably not for everyone and it requires a fair amount of attention when listening, although not as much as some of his other books.
It's a clever murder mystery wrapped up in a Mievillian complex tale involving a slice of the world that takes international politics to an extreme level.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. China Mieville is the thinking man's author. And, as usual, John Lee's narration was superb: rather than just presenting the book his work added to it. If you like your bookscapes off beam and challenging, this is for you.
Incredible writer with an even more incredible imagination. I've read Perdido Street Station, Un Lun Dun, Kraken and now listened to The City & The City. Mieville does not disappoint. John Lee does a great job reading this novel. If you're a fantasy lover as I am and are looking for something different from the traditional epic fantasy, try Mieville. He's amazing. One caveat: this is not a light, easy read. Mieville is deep and thought-provoking with an awesome knack for writing dark fantasy that isn't cheesy. If you're looking for intelligent fantasy writing, you've come to the right place.