I just finished reading Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It was pretty good.
Now I'm working on Mieville's The City and the City, which actually was shipped to me as part of a long-ago and far-off Hubski book experiment by user Creativity. Sorry, Creativity. We kind of borked that one up, didn't we?
Anyway, The City and... is pretty good except for one major issue I'm having with the text. The setting, and much of the conflict of the plot, is established as one physical city which, for reasons lost in the sands of time, are actually considered two separate cities, in fact, two separate countries, essentially. It is a very interesting premise at first.
100 pages in however and I just can't help but wonder why any person in either city would opt to continue the charade. I guess pride? Nationality? Fear of Breach? (When a citizen of one city knowingly acknowledges the other city which they're surrounded by, it causes breach and there is this special supernatural force of Breach which magically whisks that citizen away post-haste. But my question is, where do all those citizens go? How many citizens per year are lost to breach? Like, this seems like it would be difficult to keep population figures up.)
Anyway, I know I'm supposed to employ willing suspension of disbelief here, and I'm trying, but the just total lack of practicality and reasonableness in this set-up is distracting me from the text itself. Like, whose ancient brilliant idea was it that one geographical location should be two cities, neither of which are allowed to interact with each other, supporting 2 governments, 2 class infrastructures, even 2 economies? And that while so doing, somehow feel it's a totally reasonable ask or expectation that individual citizens grow and live while consciously blocking out half of what's around them?
It's an interesting thought experiment, but so is having six children and naming them things like "Shithead," "Poop," "Princess," "Favorite," and "Least Favorite," and seeing what happens. Fun to think about, but only a total asshole would try to implement in reality.