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Book Review: Railsea by China Mieville

 “People have wanted to narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There’ll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.”

What’s it about? Basically, it’s a retelling of Moby Dick, but instead of a whale, we have a giant carnivorous mole rat, and instead of a ship, we have a train. Sounds awesome? That’s because it is. This is one of China Mieville’s works that is more suited to a younger audience, but this guy can really write for any age.

“As long as humanity has rolled on the railsea, the rigours & vigours & bloody triggers of the underground have been legendary.”

What did I think? It’s completely brilliant. Go read it now. I’ve never read a more cleverly written book in my life. This was just brilliant. It has a non-traditional sentence structure that reads a bit like poetry. I actually found myself only reading this book home alone because the writing was just so wonderful that I felt it needed to be read outloud. It is so fun and imaginative and weird.

And this book is weird. China Mieville’s genre is often referred to as ‘the new weird’ and this book is no exception. I think one of the best ways I can describe this book to you is that it would be perfectly suited for a Studio Ghibli adaptation. There aren’t a great many books that I believe could make that claim.

“”What do we do?”, Zhed said. “Things couldn’t get any weirder.” 

It would have been simply rude for reality not to respond to a challenge like that. “

If you haven’t read any China Mieville but want to be introduced to his wonderousness, this is definitely the place to start. This book is definitely now on my favourites lists. It truly is something special.

I rate it 5/5 stars


Find it here: GoodreadsTheBookDepository. Kobo. Amazon.


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