We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The City & The City Audiobook

The City & The City

Regular Price:£18.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author China Mieville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in a city unlike any other, real or imagined. When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlof the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borl must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borl is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighbouring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities. Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

©2009 China Mieville (P)2009 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (334 )
5 star
 (150)
4 star
 (118)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.2 (255 )
5 star
 (117)
4 star
 (91)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.2 (256 )
5 star
 (120)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Grammath United Kingdom 01/11/2011
    Grammath United Kingdom 01/11/2011 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fantastic, in both senses"

    Mieville skillfully combines the tropes of a police procedural novel with his extraordinary, surreal creation. Unlike the cliched sword and sorcery fantasy writers who invoke the rural and the medieval in their worlds, Mielville's work is fiercely urban both here and in his other novels making him, to my mind, a much more interesting writer than George R.R. Martin and his ilk.

    There is more to Mieville's creation, however, than simply fantastical story telling. The author is a committed socialist and often uses his fiction to make political points. Here, the message is about how easy we find it to ignore the ills of our societies in the same way as the two cities are trained to ignore one another.

    This is a fantastic novel in both senses of the word. Its sheer inventiveness and the force of its central conceit are undeniable and I was drawn into this richly imagined world. I guess how much you like this novel (and I liked it very much) will depend on how much you can buy into it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel 19/05/2012
    Nigel 19/05/2012 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Twice the city for your money"

    My first China Mieville title, but I've already downloaded another. Gosh, this is good.
    Those who have lived rough on city streets know the phenomenon of acquired invisibility - passers-by strive not to see the awkward beggar (in Mieville's terminology, they 'unsee' them). Jack Vance took this phenomenon further in the Dying Earth, imagining a city called Ampridatvir where the cursed citizens are divided in two; those who wear green can no longer see those who wear grey, and vice versa. Mieville has taken the concept on by a huge leap, brilliantly creating a credible city divided in two by that strangest of human abilities - the capacity to ignore reality. The division of the two cities is enforced in a startling way, while outsiders have to deal with this strange reality as best they can. Science Fiction becomes classic if it is about ideas which illuminate our current human condition, and on that basis this haunting work is destined for classic status. It also helps when there are good characters, and Mieville serves up some approachable people - the conscientious cop and his potty-mouthed counterpart from the 'other side' are superb foils. This is a genre-busting novel, and the ear for detective-fiction dialogue is equally sharp.
    The narrator is John Lee, who will be well known to Audible SF listeners already. Your ears are in safe hands here.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Royston, United Kingdom 12/03/2014
    Jessica Royston, United Kingdom 12/03/2014 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not My Usual Sort of Story, But I Liked It"

    The synopsis intrigued me and the reviews drew me in - and I'm glad, this is a compelling story.
    An interstitial city within 2 cities where new cultures and dynamics must be conformed too is brilliantly and convincingly crafted by the author.
    My only complaint is that I failed to 'feel' for any of the characters, but that may be part of the world they live in.

    If like me, you've need convincing to step outside of genres you're used to - be bold, try The City and The City. A great story, a great listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G 30/11/2015
    G 30/11/2015 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor performance, good book"

    The incredibly monotonous performance was hard to get through, it made dialogue barely understandable. Yet I stuck with the story, because even though the pacing is uneven, the concept is fascinating.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yonyon 15/06/2017
    Yonyon 15/06/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Captivating"

    I ended up getting throughly lost on the tube because I was so engrossed into the story and the narrator's reading of it. I would recommend it to any sci-fi thriller fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scotch-writer 04/01/2017
    Scotch-writer 04/01/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating story"

    This a fascinating "other" story--how we view those who are not us and yet are--like religious factions vying as to who has the rightful claim to be city proprietor. Here Mieville creates extensive competing city-states who occupy the same physical space but have e.g. different names for the same streets and who go out of their way, through complicated laws and cultures, to ignore the other's existence even though the "other" may be standing mere feet away. Into this doppelgänger existence comes a murder mystery that causes both societies to clash. Very good and highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ECK 03/12/2015
    ECK 03/12/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever comment on cultural boarders"
    What did you like most about The City & The City?

    I liked the way that Mieville comments on social issues through his science fiction/ fantasy work. In this case cultural boarders is the theme and it's handled cleverly and makes you think about the problems and absurdities associated with it.


    What other book might you compare The City & The City to, and why?

    Another of Mievilles books Embassy Town. Where he takes a worldly problem and gives its the fantasy treatment. In both books, the worlds are different from our every day lives , but not so strange that we cannot recognise our own world in them.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.Bates UK 02/08/2015
    J.Bates UK 02/08/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and intriguing"

    Fantasy with its roots firmly embedded in a grimy, complex reality - just the way I like it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catwat 07/07/2015
    Catwat 07/07/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable although different to expected"

    Having read several 'otherworldly' novels by CM. this was a little expected.
    Once I understood the landscape the detective story was good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr London, United Kingdom 13/12/2013
    Mr London, United Kingdom 13/12/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting concept very well executed"
    Where does The City & The City rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is among the most memorable audiobooks I have listened to


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The City & The City?

    The attempts to communicate between worlds without being seen to do so were very well told


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His tone evoked the atmosphere of the book perfectly


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jono
    Cape Town, South Africa
    12/08/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderfull introduction to the power of audio"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The City & The City to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The lead detective was the central character and was both compelling and enjoyable


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Absolutely amazing reading


    Any additional comments?

    My first China Mieville and a wonderful listen. The story slowly builds and expands and John Lee's reading was fantastic!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ilana
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    27/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Noir with a Twist"

    Inspector Tyador Borlu, who lives in the fictional rundown East European city of Beszel is called in when a young unidentified woman if found murdered. Borlu has lived his whole life in Beszel and has therefore been deeply programmed to "unsee" the other city, Ul Qoma, which occupies virtually the same physical space, but has a completely different economy, customs, ways of dressing and language. When it appears that the young woman might have been murdered in one city and dumped into the other, Borlu must "travel" to Ul Qoma to work closely with their own police force, but in preparation for his trip he must first undergo training to insure he can "unsee" his hometown of Beszel while he is staying in Ul Qoma. Quite a mind twister, but a fascinating story which puts into question questions of identity and the amount of programming we are all subjected to in order to conform to the order prescribed by the powers that be. China Miéville is known for exploring different genres with each novel, and here he does the Noir criminal mystery genre with a twist very well indeed. My first Miéville and certainly not my last.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eszter
    North Melbourne, Australia
    07/09/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eh - it was okay. John Lee saved it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The plot was pretty flat and ended kind of boring. Its a murder mystery set in an alternate world but I feel that alternate world wasn't enough to set this apart from any other bland mystery


    Has The City & The City turned you off from other books in this genre?

    This is cross genre so no.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    I liked the main character as performed by Lee. I love John Lee's narrating.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It might be better as a movie. And that's why its a pretty crappy book. Not enough substance.


    Any additional comments?

    A slightly better Mieville story but still not extraordinary or memorable. The reason for the duality of the cities was not very well explained - or I wasn't interested enough to remember it. And thus it can't have been that groundbreaking . The end was a let down.
    Its another of those books where the protagonist goes here and does something and then they go there and do something and it never really adds anything to the plot or fleshes out the world any better.
    It was a cool idea let down by a boring plot and poor execution. Even John Lee's fantastic narration couldn't save this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shom
    Hyderabad, India
    05/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly recommended"
    Any additional comments?

    I am lucky in that I have read quite a few extraordinary books this year. This is certainly one of them. A masterpiece of the genre. Miéville is the superstar of the genre, and I was intrigued to find out why. Now I know. His acclaim is well deserved - This is top notch social commentary, a breakneck, hurtling detective story, and the best sci-fi novel I have read in a long, long time.

    The voice artiste does a great job too.


    Please listen. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K
    Brisbane, Australia
    07/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    This is a really excellent story: interesting and twisty. It was also brilliantly read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.