Response to “The City & the City”

Over Christmas break, it was required to read “The City & the City”, by China Miéville. I had many mixed feelings about this book. I found it challenging at first to find interest in itbut after listening to the audiobook it became more of a story to follow along with. It also helped to remember how most crime shows & books wait till the end to piece everything together. As a fan of suspenseful crime shows I stuck through some of the confusion to try to figure out the murderer of Mahalia Geary. The first half of the book didn’t interest me, it took me a while to get a feel of the author’s writing; but when a lot of the questions became to piece together I was following along more easily. Also, for not being an active reader this style of a very detailed description seemed foreign to me.

For most of the book the setting took place in Besźel, where Inspector Borlú begins to piece together Mahalia’s death. Later on in the book, Borlú travels to Ul Qoma to find more evidence to help his case, and teams up with Dhatt (a Ul Qoman Detective). Borlú began to uncover that Mahalia was looking into Orciny, a secret city in-between Ul Qoma and Besźel. Those who learn about this rumored city were scared for there life; many who knew too much were killed because of it.

Between Ul Qoma and Beszél, there were many cultural and political differences, but one thing they both had in common was breach. Breach was a group of individuals, a place, and a barrier between the cities; if someone on either side crosses to the opposite city without permission it would be considered breaching. Inspector Borlú spend some time in Breach accidentally when he was trying to catch the killer of Yolanda, who also knew a lot about Orciny, and who shot Dhatt. While in Breach Borlú figured out who had killed Mahalia Geary, then he knew he must escape to stop Bowden (the author of the book “Between Two Cities”) from crossing to another city. Borlú was able to escape breach, then contact his sidekick Corwi and Dhatt to corner Bowden between both cities. In the end Borlú was able to catch Bowden and stop him from anymore harm he may cause.

Overall, I’m interested in going back over the last few chapters to catch any information I’ve missed and help clear up any confusion. This will also help my groups upcoming Fishbowl assignment.


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