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The City & The City Audiobook

The City & The City

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author China Mieville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in a city unlike any other, real or imagined.

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlof the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borl must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borl is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

©2009 China Mieville; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2010

"Daring and disturbing...Miéville illuminates fundamental and unsettling questions about culture, governance and the shadowy differences that keep us apart." (Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress)
"An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans." (Booklist)

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1305 )
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4.3 (844 )
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Performance
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  •  
    chocobochick Los Angeles, CA United States 08-26-12
    chocobochick Los Angeles, CA United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "China Mieville is Awesomeness"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynette 08-20-12
    Lynette 08-20-12
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    "Mieville is creative, descriptive and brilliant!!"
    What did you love best about The City & The City?

    The ins and outs of how the human mind can tune things out. Also how involved the mystery was.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The lead Detective. He was passionate about finding out the reasons for things.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His style is low and just involved enough in the characters to differentiate them.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    If I tell you about it, I would have to put out a spoiler alert.


    Any additional comments?

    Very well written and read. I am really enjoying all the China Mieville's works. They are all different, are all excellent, and are all well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Streb Long Island NY 07-10-12
    Robert Streb Long Island NY 07-10-12 Listener Since 2005
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    "Facinating"

    A murder mystery that's like three dimensional chess.You are never sure which direction you should be facing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrik Pettersen Florida, United States 03-28-12
    Fredrik Pettersen Florida, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of those books that stays with you forever."

    This is one of the best books of any genre I have read in years - lucky, as it is nigh-on unclassifiable. It mixes tropes from alt-history, sci-fi, fantasy and crime, without being rooted in any of them.
    Saying too much would spoil the surprise; suffice it to say that the central conceit is so carefully introduced and handled that it made me gasp the first time I saw it in its entirety, and it is a testament to Mieville's skill as a writer that he keeps building on that premise without ever making the edifice crumble. It is a powerful allegory for the life of any city-dweller.

    The narration by John Lee is also flawless, an after listening to Kraken and Perdido Street Station by the same author and narrator, I can't imagine anyone else as the voice of Mievilles fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Montreal, QC, Canada 02-24-12
    Ryan Montreal, QC, Canada 02-24-12 Member Since 2004
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    "China Mieville takes you to places that never were"

    I confess to being completely baffled by the first few chapters of the book: maybe I hadn't read the flyleaf or maybe I'm just dumb. But when I figured out that the City and the City occupy the same geographical space and how and what it meant to breach, I was captivated. The idea of two interlaced and superposed solitudes blew me away, and to tie a murder mystery into the mix absolutely brilliant. I would read this book again and I've recommended the author to many, and so I'm doing it to you too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne montclair, NJ, United States 02-23-12
    Lynne montclair, NJ, United States 02-23-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic premise!"
    What made the experience of listening to The City & The City the most enjoyable?

    I read that this genre is called


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Fort Morgan, CO, United States 01-07-12
    John Fort Morgan, CO, United States 01-07-12 Member Since 2014

    Great way to read great books on the go. Love Sci Fi especially Orson Scott Card and Star Wars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Choosing Sides"
    If you could sum up The City & The City in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent Political Allegory


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Inspector Borlu was a great character for the reader to follow around. He is a cop but is very likeable with real emotions and a great arc.


    What three words best describe John Lee’s voice?

    Melodic, smoky, engaging.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Borlu confronts the professor in the boundary, I was riveted. China writes the book in a way that you can interpret the boundary as real, imagined, or magical and the story still makes sense. A perfect allegory for our made up boundaries in our own world.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riley A. Vann Morristown, NJ USA 11-15-11
    Riley A. Vann Morristown, NJ USA 11-15-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Mieville Wonder"

    Wow, China Mieville has done it again. A great blend of sci-fi and hard-boiled genres. John Lee continues to amaze me as an outstanding narrator who lets the story take center stage. Excellent all way around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 10-25-11
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Too slow/too fast"

    The story started out quite slowly, built up gradually and ended too quickly. Perhaps the lack of a detailed ending is an invitation to a sequel- I'd RSVP in the negative.

    The "science" aspect of the fiction is odd and inadequately explored. I never quite got the significance or origin of the coexistence of 2 cities occupying the same physical space.

    Mostly this is a murder mystery with the fantasy serving only an important piece of background.

    Overall an adequate listen and fairly short, so nothing lost.

    John Lee is my favorite narrator and did not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason A. Beineke OMAHA, NE, United States 04-14-11
    Jason A. Beineke OMAHA, NE, United States 04-14-11

    Blackstone Series

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Silly Premise"

    The premise that one can suspend disbelief to such a degree as the author asks of his readers/listeners was a bit much. Only in Europe would one find the idiotic idea of two cities occupying the same patch of land, not in multiple dimensions, but in the really, really real world. The overlord policing organization "Breach" has unrealistic powers, abilities and weapons. For the most part it is a rather simple murder mystery that the author tried to make original by tossing the whole premise into a blender and expecting the frappe to be astonishing and amazing. For the life of me, I cannot understand why this book is such the buzz in the sci-fi and fantasy cliques.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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