It's been a while since I asked the question.
I'm feeling a bit sad that the new novel by China Mieville The City and The City - did not at all agree with me and has given me literary indigestion. It was so hyped, has won sci-fi awards and is expected to win more, and I wasin the mood for fiction that breaks the mold. So I thought I was onto a sure thing. (Perhaps I would like other novels by this same author?).
I'm not giving anything more away about the plot than that it's a detective novels played out in parallel dimensions. I must confess to struggling to a third of the way through before I realised that I just wasn't enjoying it and decided to ditch it ... though I did a naughty and skipped to the end to see what happened in the end.
I did feel the central premise of the novel (the two cities idea) was fascinating, and I felt the rather atmosphere was well created (in some ways the novel reminds me of Orhan Pamuk's Snow) but I'm not big on allegorical fables a la Borges and Kafka. You tend to get the idea quickly enough but have just too many pages of tedium to troll through. And oh man, this book is bloody boring and over 300 pages!
Then there's a Dan Brown level of character development which leaves you just not caring about whether the murder gets solved or about what happens to dear Inspector Borlu. This is something so basic - fiction doesn't work if we don't care for the characters!
But worst of all is the appauling editing ... or rather lack thereof. One commentator on Amazon suggested that perhaps the wrong copy of the manuscript got sent to the publishers and I can well believe it. There are sentences that make no sense whatsoever! Other parts are so clunky that I did wonder if Mieville intended the language to imitate a foreign speaker who can't handle English too well. I sat on the plane down to Singapore today and marked 'em with a green pen. (Maybe I'm getting in the mood for my advanced Copy Editing Workshop tomorrow?)
Spot what's wrong here, for e.g. :
Corwi drove - she made no effort to disguise her uniform, despite that we had an unmarked car -Arrrrgh!
Anyway, had the book been better I would have been happily still engrossed in it, instead of talking to you. So maybe a little boredom occasionally is good for one?
And now over to you.