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China Miéville
The Last Days of New Paris

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This is going to be difficult to review.


China Miéville is one of my favourite writers.


The book is a very short one, 168 pages or so, and is set in Paris, France (just to be clear) during the years 1941 and 1950.  Both years Paris is occupied by the Germans, Nazi era.  The main character is a Resistance fighter and all of the other members of his particular cell have been killed.  He meets someone else who seems to want the same thing that he does but turns out to be his mortal enemy.  Now, this is the hard bit, the Germans are working towards controlling what's called in the book a manif.  This is short for manifestation and means that the Germans are trying to control a piece of art (i.e. figure from a painting) that they have somehow managed to bring to life.  There are  many manifs around, all out of control and some more deadly than others.  There are also Devils and Demons on the loose and out of control.  The main character has, and can control to a certain extent, something called an exquisite corpse, of which there is more than one scattered around.  This is made up of weird things that shouldn't work at all, let alone together and comes in very useful when the two main characters are being shot at. 


I got lost somewhere in the middle of the story - but I don't mind that - so it's not a straightforward summary of the storyline.  If you look at the attached photo of the cover of the book, the picture  is of the main character's exquisite corpse and then you'll see the difficulty in describing it (and the other manifs).




China does provide an afterword to say how he came to write the book and a list of the manifs at the back and from which art they came.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I'd recommend it but I think really to only people who are familiar with China's work.



Edited by lunababymoonchild

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