anghara (anghara) wrote,

A couple of good books

It took a while, but I finally found the time to pick up "The City and the City" by China Mieville

That's because I don't usually pick up his books without a stretch of time to actually READ them - he requires a slightly more intense approach to the reading than most other writers I like. Every time I read Mieville I learn new words in the English language which I have never heard before he used them and which are perfect in the context in which he used them and he could not possibly have used any other word there, at all. His plots are complicated, his characters often cryptic, and I daresay there are those out there who give up on him in despair because he forces you to think while you're reading and I know for a fact that there are plenty of readers out there who might resent that mightily. I don't resent it. I revel in it.

I wouldn't offer this as an introduction to Mieville to somebody who hasn't encountered him before. But in some ways this particular book is closer to me than his other books because those are random and vivid imagination. "The City and the City" is... far more familiar. The building blocks of it - or respectable facsimiles of them - are taken squarely from Eastern Europe, and I recognise their shapes as Mieville manipulates them in the story. For that alone it was a special read.

But it was vintage Mieville, in many other ways. I admire and respect this guy's range, his ability to harness the sense of wonder, his erudition, his vocabulary, his limitless imagination. If you are after something strange and wonderful and eerie - something that doesn't necessarily give you full closure but does leave you with a sense of completeness - I recommend this one highly. Run and get it.

On quite a different level, there are writers out there who simply set out to tell a rollicking good STORY, and Glenda Larke is one of them.

Her latest, the first in a new trilogy, is a solid and satisfying read, the kind that reminds me why I like reading fantasy, why I love writing it. She spreads her wings wide and makes a world come vividly alive - her worldbuilding is fantastic and consistent and I have loved losing myself in every single book of hers that I've read. This one is no exception - it made a long and tedious plane journey vanish in the space of a handful of enchanted moments, and I am very much looking forward to #2. Again, highly recommended - but probably not for the same readers who might race for the Mieville. This is quite a different KIND of book.

These are not reviews. THey're opinions of an omnivorous reader. Take them as such. And if you think that you might enjoy that kind of thing... check out these two writers. They both bring jewels to the table.
Tags: omnivorous reader opinions

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