Chat about... Embassytown by China Miéville
Join LibraryThing to post.
This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.
I have a strange attitude to China Mieville's books - either I really like them or I can barely start them. This definitely fell into the "really like" category. (Joining The City and the City and Un Lun Dun, if anyone's interested - I've bounced off Kraken and Perdido Street Station, though I may try the latter again.)
This had properly alien aliens as well as stuff about language and even a bit of German thrown in. What's not to like?
I liked this book too. They were very alien aliens, which are oddly rare in SF. But ye gods and little fishes, it was a tough read. Now that I know what the hell was going on I'd enjoy it a lot more. I get that the No Exposition style is what the author is deliberately aiming for but... yikes.
I'm a bit late to the party on this one but would still like to chime in. Finally made my way through it and yes, it was a tough read. I think I enjoyed it, but I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
I can appreciate the lack of exposition from a stylistic point of view, but the over abundance of invented words with no explanation really drags all the enjoyment out of the book. Technology and events were given names and repeatly used but never described. This makes for a frustrating game of hunt the meaning.
And if the lack of 'alien' aliens in SF irritates you, this book is a good argument against them. In small doses, the Hosts were fascinating, but descriptions of inscrutable thought patterns and poorly described anatomy can only go so far. I would say that even the author was guilty of ultimately humanising them as they went from being totally unknown to learning to be more like us.
The human interactions in the book often annoyed me too. They were the biggest bunch of surly malcontents I would ever have the misfortune to be stuck on a weird planet with. Everytime the narrator tried to get in touch with someone or asked someone a semi-relevent question about events or motivations people simply wouldn't answer her.
"they wouldn't always answer me when pressed"
"Ez's not answering..."
"...but he did't answer either"
"He wouldn't answer my buzzes.."
"He wouldn't asnwer or look at me."
"... and did not answer when anyone came to my door."
"Ehrsul did not answer my buzzes."
"No one answered"
"..still not answer..."
etc etc it went on and one. You could make one hell of a drinking game out of it.
So ok, complaints aside, I could appreciate what the author was trying to do and I enjoyed it for that. It was unique and interesting after a fashion. But it felt ham-fisted and awkward to me. If this is one of the few of the author's books that scorbet could actually get into, I think I will avoid this particular author in future.
Eek. Now I feel like I'm responsible for putting people off other books without even meaning to. The other two books are completely different.
Un Lun Dun is faintly Neverwhere-ish but is a Young Adult fantasy. (I couldn't really get into Neverwhere either to be honest, but loved Un Lun Dun. I am slightly strange.)
The City and the City is a noir mystery city in a divided city. Hmm, apparently I having problems describing it without spoilers. It's worth reading, really.
Join to post
You must be a member of this group to post.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.