SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

This Census-taker, by China Miéville

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Published in US by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House, division of Penguin Random House, New York, USA, 2016, e-book cover

Like it says on the title page, this novella is mystery fiction. I could not figure out, even though I have read it three or four times already, where it is set or when. On first reading it is short and simple, but somehow seems obscure, and trying to clarify it simply creates more questions. However, I thought it was strangely charming and very, very good. Not his best, since it is on a smaller scale than his previous books, but still, pretty darn amazing. Miéville is a Poet of Sci-Fi. But unlike all the other novels in which he has created secondary worlds that are completely coherent and minutely detailed, from the through-the-looking-glass London in Un Lun Dun, to New Crobuzon in Perdido Street Station, to Besźel and Ul Qoma in The City & The City, this is an indeterminate, nameless setting. (Continue reading…)

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