Monday, February 13, 2017

This Census-Taker, by China Miéville

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Post-Apocalypse) At age seven, the narrator thought he saw his father murder his mother. But did he? (35,629 words; Time: 1h:58m)

Recommended By: 🏆Hugo+2 🏆Locus+2 👍JStrahan+2 (Q&A)

"," by , published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2016.230 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The prose is beautiful and evocative. We can see everything clearly: the town, the hill, the bridge, the houses--and the people.

Con: The first half of the story is very dull. After an exciting start, it bogs down in page after page of narration. Beautiful narration, but dull.

Once it does get going, it's not clear what really happened. "This Census-Taker is Rogue." What's that supposed to tell us? That his father was killed by a rogue census taker who kidnapped him to make him a new census taker?

There is very little speculative element in this story. It could just about be any remote community--there's no real need to set it in a mostly collapsed civilization.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Way too much left way too vague and no possibility to make sense of it. Like why is the grown-up boy in the present day of the story being guarded? Plus, the whole story is dreary and disturbing.