08 July 2019

Review: The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

Hardcover, 205 pages
Published 2016

Acquired December 2018
Read January 2019
The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

I liked the idea of this book-- surrealist artwork come to life in a Paris where World War II and the Nazi occupation continued into the 1950s-- more than I enjoyed reading it. I'm not sure why. I really liked how the other Miéville novella I've read was told, even when I didn't know what was going on, but this one never grabbed me, even among the great imagery. Maybe you need to be more up on Surrealism than I am?

I did really like the afterword (it had a good, spooky nineteenth-century sf vibe, though then it would have been a foreword), and the climax of the book was clever, pitting Surrealist art against fascist. It is perfectly suited to be a novella; this is the kind of idea that wouldn't work as a novel or a short story, I suspect. Miéville explores a number of twists and turns of the central concept, but it doesn't outstay its welcome.

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