Following up on my prior post, I’m definitely looking forward to this one, which arrived today, perhaps more than any other Mieville novel. It looks to be influenced by Borges, Kafka, and Kubin. I’ll be interested to see how the literalization of the figurative–Borges generally works because he doesn’t have traditional scenes in his fiction—is achieved here. If he pulls it off it could be magnificent. I’m just speculating here, but getting to Borges through Kubin might be the key, because Kubin did a nifty job of creepy surrealism and Borgesian-type play in the context of a more conventional story. Add in the structure of a police procedural and you’ve got the recipe for something that updates all of these approaches.
I’m also happy to see that Mieville’s novel and mine are vastly different creatures. It means I probably didn’t need to toss the advance unbound copy I got a few months ago (when you’re in the act of creating something idiosyncratic and retooling your style in the process you don’t want any white noise or interference from another highly visual imagination).
I’m definitely going to tackle a long critical essay, from a writer’s point of view, on this latest wave of surreal, fantastical noir. It’ll be interesting to mix analysis of books like the ones below with my own perspective from inhabiting the interior of Finch for so long–and from eight years of reviewing nothing but mystery/noir novels for Publishers Weekly.
(Interesting review of this one here.)
And I think I’ll have to talk about elements of this one in that context: