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« I want to suck your blood (at Pemberley) | Main | This Week's Acquisitions »

August 19, 2009



I heard about this book on NPR this morning. Nancy Pearl was recommending mystery books and this was one of them. In listening to her and then reading your review, I was reminded of a story (possibly apocryphal) that I’d been told in my elementary world history class: When Captain Cook’s ships sailed into the waters of one particular island, the natives, who were fishing in shallow water, did not acknowledge the ships in any way. Even as the ships got closer, even as Cook’s men began to disembark, the inhabitants went about their work. They literally could not see the ships or the men on them.

I must have had a very open-minded teacher (this was the 1960s) because she did not tell the story in a patronizing or condescending way; she told it in a way that let us know that there were other ways of “seeing” the world.

As for The City & The City, I think it might be one of those books that is more interesting to read about than to read.

Michael E.

I haven't read Mieville, but want to soon. Am eager for a recommendation of the best book to start with. This doesn't seem to be.

Thanks for the fabulous tip. Got to get this and read this soonest. I'd avoided Perdido Street Station --- didn't sound quite right. But this!

@Deb --- Incidentally, I heard the same anecdote, but I heard it happened to Magellan at Terra del Fuego! The way I heard it, the medicine man was the only one who could see them.

I'm reading 2666, by Roberto Bolaño, also a case of detective (s) invading another genre, in this case, I guess, literary fiction. And his earlier book, The Savage Detectives, is more clearly such an invasion.

I just wonder whether people would begin not to see, not just need to unsee. It's like politicians --- they say enough times that they don't recall --- then they are rewarded with altzeimer's

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