My paper version of the Miéville book was a gift. Its hugeness makes it hard to carry, so I never got round to reading it. I bought it again for my Kindle (I wonder how often that happens?). Alongside his newly coined words there are many that lie just outside my vocabulary, so the built-in Kindle dictionary was very handy. Some of his invented words, e.g. “grosstopically” and “toppelganger”, make so much sense. I almost wish I lived in his cleaved world of seeing and unseeing, just so I could use them.
I’m reading another book of his, Embassytown, right now. It is more outright Science Fiction, and is spattered with new words. A main subject of the book is language, so this richness makes sense in this context, but I imagine I would grow sick of it if the usage wasn’t so relevant.
I seem to be into a ‘divided city’ shtick this holiday, as I also read Jerusalem by Guy Delisle. A lot of it is just day-to-day errands and looking after his kids; not surprising, given it’s basically a diary. However, it is leavened by the many WTF moments when he encounters another bizarre behaviour of the locals. The strange but rigid rules of movement in The City & The City seem pedestrian in comparison to the complex enforcements in place in Israel and Palestine.
Delisle isn’t primarily there for journalistic purposes; he mostly just happens to be there with his wife, who works for MSF. This make Delisle a lot softer than other authors, like Sacco. I find it hard to read more than one of Sacco’s books in quick succession. They are lively, in-depth, but simply too depressing.
However, I haven’t read one of Sacco’s in a while, so it may be time to spend more holiday money on Amazon … recommendations?