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The Last Days of New Paris

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6883324,798 (3.51)36
A thriller of war that never was - of survival in an impossible city - of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction."Beauty will be convulsive. . . ."1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer - and occult disciple - Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts-and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties - to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.PRAISE FOR CHINA MIEVILLE"[Mieville s] wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing." Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian (on Three Moments of an Explosion) "Dark and thought-provoking." The San Diego Union-Tribune (on The City & The City) "Richly conceived." The New York Times Book Review (on Embassytown)"Mieville more than delivers." San Francisco Chronicle (on Kraken)"Compulsively readable." The Washington Post Book World (on Perdido Street Station)… (more)
  1. 00
    Exquisite Corpse by Robert Irwin (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Intrigue among Surrealists.
  2. 00
    Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling (Soukesian)
    Soukesian: These make coincidental companion pieces on art and (alternative) history.
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» See also 36 mentions

English (32)  French (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Plot:
1950 in Paris. The resistance against the Nazis is on-going, as neither the Nazis nor the Parisians can really leave the city as Paris is home to the manifs, manifestations of surrealist art that roam the streets. Thibaut would like to get out, though, and so he joins forces with Sam, an American photographer who hopes to capture the city with its manifs. But Sam is in a precarious position, too.

The Last Days of New Paris is yet another, completely different thing. I'm in awe of what Miéville always comes up with and how his books barely resemble each other. In any case, it's an engaging novella that doubles as a love-letter to surrealism.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2019/10/28/the-last-days-of-new-paris-china-mieville/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jun 11, 2021 |
Retired baffled after 30 pages ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jun 1, 2021 |
I loved this book so much that, after listening to the audiobook, I read the Kindle version. ( )
  A2Seamster | Apr 9, 2021 |
Probably a little closer to a 4.5, but whatever. Like the Surrealist works it focuses on, this manages to balance being charming and somewhat unnerving. I'd been worried about Miéville after some relatively weaker outings from him recently but he's still got it after all. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
I don't know enough about Surrealism to fully understand this book, but Mieville is enchanting despite that. This is a book about so much, yet how to say what it is about is beyond my skills. It's more or less about everything, and is about a man with a gun and magic pajamas surviving Nazi occupied Paris. ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Jan 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
China Miévilleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fliedner, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
s.BENešCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
« L'art surréaliste suscite toutes sortes de réactions, mais la plus pathétique entre toutes est celle qui consiste à demander ce qu'on est censé voir ou éprouver devant l'œuvre – autrement dit "Papa veut qu'on ressente quoi face à ça ?". »

Grace Pailthorpe, On the Importance of Fantasy Life
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To Rupa
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1950
A street in lamplight. Beyond a wall of ripped-up city, the Nazis were shooting.
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A thriller of war that never was - of survival in an impossible city - of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction."Beauty will be convulsive. . . ."1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer - and occult disciple - Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts-and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties - to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.PRAISE FOR CHINA MIEVILLE"[Mieville s] wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing." Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian (on Three Moments of an Explosion) "Dark and thought-provoking." The San Diego Union-Tribune (on The City & The City) "Richly conceived." The New York Times Book Review (on Embassytown)"Mieville more than delivers." San Francisco Chronicle (on Kraken)"Compulsively readable." The Washington Post Book World (on Perdido Street Station)

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