The City & the City

China Miéville
The City & the City Cover

The City & the City


The City and the City is an outstanding book. Mieville has written it as a hardboiled police procedural with a truly brilliant concept. (If you don't wish to know what this concept is then please skip ahead to the next paragraph.) As can be grasped from the book's title, the story is set in two cities: Beszel and Ul Qoma. These wonderfully named places are fictional cities found somewhere in Eastern Europe. This being a China Mieville book, the two cities exist simultaneously in the same location. How the author makes this fascinating concept work should be saved for the reader to discover.


The City and the City is a great book. It rewards the reader's attention by offering its secrets in stages as the author builds his world. It feels like a book that can be enjoyed more than once with the reader discovering even more on a re-read. A four-part television adaptation by the BBC was broadcast in 2018. I've seen episode one and thought it was pretty good. I haven't been able to watch the other episodes yet, but I will if I can access them.

Full review can be found here: