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London's Overthrow by China Mieville
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London's Overthrow (edition 2012)

by China Mieville

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35None318,853 (3.82)15
Member:clfisha
Title:London's Overthrow
Authors:China Mieville
Info:The Westbourne Press (2012), Paperback, 96 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:essay, polemic, London, 12 in 12, 2012

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London's Overthrow by China Miéville

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A polemic essay, a snapshot of London in 2011; the aftermath of riots, a precursor to the Olympics and right in the middle of harsh austerity cuts. It is of course beautifully written and interspersed with delightfully murky and often blurred snapshots of London.

This is an era of CGI end-times porn, but London’s destructions, dreamed-up and real, started a long time ago. It’s been drowned, ruined by war, overgrown, burned up, split in two, filled with hungry dead. Endlessly emptied.

A book for hard core Mieville fans only, as it’s a very pricey essay and one you can find on the internet. Although I would seek it out there, unless of course your politics leans hard right. Those who have never set foot in London will still get the gist, this books speaks of the universal city and is soaked in familiar politics. Of course you can also just admire this poetic plea. ( )
2 vote clfisha | Nov 19, 2012 |
This is a city both divided and yet crammed together, elements of poverty and wealth jostling together, and so its form – paragraphs either poetic or angrily factual with little apparent thought for structure and overall order – seems fitting. But on rereading, it seems that there is a framework underneath it all. I can't help feeling that this book was conceived and written in the same kind of mood, and for the same kinds of reasons, as The Waste Land – with the crucial difference that Miéville, as a socialist, has to keep believing that one day, things will get better. And yet he cannot let go of the apocalypse.
 
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London's Overthrow is a potent polemic describing the capital in a time of austerity at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Award-winning author and essayist China Miéville cuts through the hyperbole of our politicians to present a view from ordinary London of the inequality, oppression and indignity and the hidden, subversive sentiment pervading throughout our streets. [Amazon.co.uk]
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