History Literature / TheCityAndTheCity

16th Mar '16 8:06:59 PM supergod
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* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Besźel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Besźel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besź) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbors act as shocked as if he had breached.
16th Mar '16 7:55:54 PM supergod
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* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Besźel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Besźel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besź) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbors act as shocked as if he had breached.
30th Jan '16 6:33:16 PM RyanofTinellb
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''The City & the City'' is a 2009 NewWeird crime novel by ChinaMieville. Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad of the decaying {{Ruritania}}n city-state of Beszel investigates a murder; his investigation turns international, and he ends up crossing over to Ul Qoma (a Singapore-like city-state, with some Turkish flavor and an embargo by the US) to continue his work. Ul Qoma happens to be geographically - grosstopically, to use the local phrase - in the same place as Beszel, but a completely different culture. There are neighborhoods of Ul Qoma that are exclusively Ul Qoman, and neighborhoods of Beszel that are exclusively Besz, but there are a number of locations that are 'cross-hatched' (part Besz, part Ul Qoman), in which, depending on which city-state one is in, one must unsee what is in the other city-state, for fear of Breach (a kind of secret police). There's also rumors of a third city, Orciny, between the two cities.

to:

''The City & the City'' is a 2009 NewWeird crime novel by ChinaMieville. Inspector Tyador Borlu Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad of the decaying {{Ruritania}}n city-state of Beszel Besźel investigates a murder; his investigation turns international, and he ends up crossing over to Ul Qoma (a Singapore-like city-state, with some Turkish flavor and an embargo by the US) to continue his work. Ul Qoma happens to be geographically - grosstopically, to use the local phrase - in the same place as Beszel, Besźel, but a completely different culture. There are neighborhoods of Ul Qoma that are exclusively Ul Qoman, and neighborhoods of Beszel Besźel that are exclusively Besz, Besź, but there are a number of locations that are 'cross-hatched' (part Besz, Besź, part Ul Qoman), in which, depending on which city-state one is in, one must unsee what is in the other city-state, for fear of Breach (a kind of secret police). There's also rumors of a third city, Orciny, between the two cities.



* DecadeDissonance: For a long time, Beszel was far more technologically advanced than Ul Qoma, and the roads were filled with Qoman donkey traps alongside Besz motor cars. Now the situation is reversed, and Beszel is stuck with late-80s infrastructure - dial-up internet and rickety cars - while Ul Qoma is awash with skyscrapers and broadband. It's implied this is necessary for the separation to keep working - without being able to tell at a glance what city a building or vehicle belongs to, a citizen is perpetually at risk of Breaching.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Yolanda is dead, as well as many other innocent Besz, Ul Qomans and refugees that were caught in the chain of violence in the climax. Sear and Core gets off with little more than a slap on the wrist from their heading the smuggling ring: itís further implied that many other corporations will withdraw funding from Beszel as a result, sending their economy further into a tailspin. To top it all off, Borlu is forced to remain as an avatar of Breach, which means he can no longer interact with his loved ones and coworkers for as long as he remains in the two cities.]]
* FelonyMisdemeanor: Breaching is a much worse crime than anything else that could be committed in either Besz or Ul Quoma, and the police invoke the omnipotent Breach to deal with the case of the murdered girl. When her ''American'' parents fly in to Besz, they're outraged that the police aren't investigating the case more thoroughly. They just don't understand that calling in Breach to deal with a case is akin to summoning {{God}} to enact divine retribution upon a wrongdoer - [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheCurtain or, at least, that's how the two cities see it]]]].

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* DecadeDissonance: For a long time, Beszel Besźel was far more technologically advanced than Ul Qoma, and the roads were filled with Qoman donkey traps alongside Besz Besź motor cars. Now the situation is reversed, and Beszel Besźel is stuck with late-80s infrastructure - dial-up internet and rickety cars - while Ul Qoma is awash with skyscrapers and broadband. It's implied this is necessary for the separation to keep working - without being able to tell at a glance what city a building or vehicle belongs to, a citizen is perpetually at risk of Breaching.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Yolanda is dead, as well as many other innocent Besz, Besź, Ul Qomans and refugees that were caught in the chain of violence in the climax. Sear and Core gets off with little more than a slap on the wrist from their heading the smuggling ring: itís further implied that many other corporations will withdraw funding from Beszel Besźel as a result, sending their economy further into a tailspin. To top it all off, Borlu Borlú is forced to remain as an avatar of Breach, which means he can no longer interact with his loved ones and coworkers for as long as he remains in the two cities.]]
* FelonyMisdemeanor: Breaching is a much worse crime than anything else that could be committed in either Besz Besź or Ul Quoma, Qoma, and the police invoke the omnipotent Breach to deal with the case of the murdered girl. When her ''American'' parents fly in to Besz, Besź, they're outraged that the police aren't investigating the case more thoroughly. They just don't understand that calling in Breach to deal with a case is akin to summoning {{God}} to enact divine retribution upon a wrongdoer - [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheCurtain or, at least, that's how the two cities see it]]]].



* [[spoiler: IChooseToStay: Borlu, deciding that he won't be able to unsee the cities after his stint with Breach, decides to join them and see both cities freely.]]
* JaywalkingWillRuinYourLife: Breach (The act of acknowledging the existence of the other city as well as crossing over into it illegally, in this case, but is also the name of the secret police) is treated as a crime worse than murder in Beszel and Ul Qoma. Adult citizens who cross over into the other city through unofficial venues are taken away by Breach (the secret police in this case) and are never seen again. Tourists are merely exiled permanently from both cities, and it's stated that children are also treated more leniently.

to:

* [[spoiler: IChooseToStay: Borlu, Borlú, deciding that he won't be able to unsee the cities after his stint with Breach, decides to join them and see both cities freely.]]
* JaywalkingWillRuinYourLife: Breach (The act of acknowledging the existence of the other city as well as crossing over into it illegally, in this case, but is also the name of the secret police) is treated as a crime worse than murder in Beszel Besźel and Ul Qoma. Adult citizens who cross over into the other city through unofficial venues are taken away by Breach (the secret police in this case) and are never seen again. Tourists are merely exiled permanently from both cities, and it's stated that children are also treated more leniently.



* TheManBehindTheCurtain: [[spoiler:Breach. After being played up as a mighty, possibly-supernatural force of municipal vengeance for most of the book, they turn out to be little more than a small, moderately high-tech, and very human group who draw their 'powers' from the citizens' psychological blind spots and their recruits from the breachers they abduct. They only exist because Beszel and Ul Qoma allow them to, and the foreign MegaCorp running the artefact smuggling ring holds them in contempt so complete that they're powerless against it.]]

to:

* TheManBehindTheCurtain: [[spoiler:Breach. After being played up as a mighty, possibly-supernatural force of municipal vengeance for most of the book, they turn out to be little more than a small, moderately high-tech, and very human group who draw their 'powers' from the citizens' psychological blind spots and their recruits from the breachers they abduct. They only exist because Beszel Besźel and Ul Qoma allow them to, and the foreign MegaCorp running the artefact smuggling ring holds them in contempt so complete that they're powerless against it.]]



* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Beszel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Beszel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besz) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbors act as shocked as if he had breached.

to:

* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Beszel Besźel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Beszel, Besźel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besz) (Besź) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbors act as shocked as if he had breached.



* SecretPolice: Breach... Sort of. It's a faceless omnipotent magical/alien/divine law-enforcement thing that stops unauthorized crossing over between Beszel and Ul Qoma.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Citizens of Ul Qoma and Beszel are quasi-legally obligated to employ a kind of SelectiveObliviousness at all times to avoid noticing the other city. Failure to do so results in Breach, a crime punishable by [[spoiler:recruitment]]. Despite this, it's implied that [[spoiler: the two cities' mutual selective obliviousness developed independently, and were responsible for the creation of Breach as a power in the city]] rather than the other way round.

to:

* SecretPolice: Breach... Sort of. It's a faceless omnipotent magical/alien/divine law-enforcement thing that stops unauthorized crossing over between Beszel Besźel and Ul Qoma.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Citizens of Ul Qoma and Beszel Besźel are quasi-legally obligated to employ a kind of SelectiveObliviousness at all times to avoid noticing the other city. Failure to do so results in Breach, a crime punishable by [[spoiler:recruitment]]. Despite this, it's implied that [[spoiler: the two cities' mutual selective obliviousness developed independently, and were responsible for the creation of Breach as a power in the city]] rather than the other way round.



* UnreliableNarrator: Borlu, thanks to his culturally-imbued prejudices and blind spots.

to:

* UnreliableNarrator: Borlu, Borlú, thanks to his culturally-imbued prejudices and blind spots.
14th May '15 7:16:08 AM Rinne
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Added DiffLines:

* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Yolanda is dead, as well as many other innocent Besz, Ul Qomans and refugees that were caught in the chain of violence in the climax. Sear and Core gets off with little more than a slap on the wrist from their heading the smuggling ring: itís further implied that many other corporations will withdraw funding from Beszel as a result, sending their economy further into a tailspin. To top it all off, Borlu is forced to remain as an avatar of Breach, which means he can no longer interact with his loved ones and coworkers for as long as he remains in the two cities.]]
12th Jan '15 10:30:28 AM efay
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* OldShame: {{Invoked}}. Bowden's book, ''Between the City and the City'', ruffled a lot of feathers in its time, and is now banned. Even though he has publicly disavowed the book and admitted the theories are all crap, he still can't get any decent work, and he still gets accosted by obsessed fans.
17th Mar '14 6:58:17 PM Ecclytennysmithylove
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* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The artefacts, which are ahistorical, deeply weird, and hinted to have functions and abilities of a decidedly alien sort... but never actually ''do'' anything explicitly supernatural on-screen. In accordance with the book's themes, no explanation is ever given, and the matter is not dwelt upon.
* MindScrew: So it's a crime thriller set in two cities that happen to occupy ''the exact same geographic location'' and are culturally mandated to be unaware of it? Go on... [[spoiler:It only gets worse when you realise that the story contains ''no significant supernatural elements''.]]
* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Beszel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Beszel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besz) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbours act as shocked as if he had breached.

to:

* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The artefacts, which are ahistorical, historical, deeply weird, and hinted to have functions and abilities of a decidedly alien sort... but never actually ''do'' anything explicitly supernatural on-screen. In accordance with the book's themes, no explanation is ever given, and the matter is not dwelt upon.
* MindScrew: So it's a crime thriller set in two cities that happen to occupy ''the exact same geographic location'' and are culturally mandated to be unaware of it? Go on... [[spoiler:It only gets worse when you realise realize that the story contains ''no significant supernatural elements''.]]
* MisplacedWildlife: Wolves live in the streets of both Beszel and Ul Qoma, but the scruffier and scrawnier variety is tacitly native to Beszel, while the larger and better-groomed wolves are supposedly native to Ul Qoma. When the (Besz) narrator shoos away a clean-looking wolf from his garbage, his neighbours neighbors act as shocked as if he had breached.
17th Mar '14 6:57:18 PM Ecclytennysmithylove
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* OldShame: Bowden's book, ''Between the City and the City'', ruffled a lot of feathers in its time, and is now banned. Even though he has publicly disavowed the book and admitted the theories are all crap, he still can't get any decent work, and he still gets accosted by obsessed fans.
6th Jun '13 3:38:56 PM frogpatrol
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The City & the City is a 2009 novel by ChinaMieville. Crime novel, urban fantasy, NewWeird. Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad of the decaying {{Ruritania}}n city-state of Beszel investigates a murder; his investigation turns international, and he ends up crossing over to Ul Qoma (a Singapore-like city-state, with some Turkish flavor and an embargo by the US) to continue his work. Ul Qoma happens to be geographically - grosstopically, to use the local phrase - in the same place as Beszel, but a completely different culture. There are neighborhoods of Ul Qoma that are exclusively Ul Qoman, and neighborhoods of Beszel that are exclusively Besz, but there are a number of locations that are 'cross-hatched' (part Besz, part Ul Qoman), in which, depending on which city-state one is in, one must unsee what is in the other city-state, for fear of Breach (a kind of secret police). There's also rumors of a third city, Orciny, between the two cities.

to:

The ''The City & the City City'' is a 2009 NewWeird crime novel by ChinaMieville. Crime novel, urban fantasy, NewWeird.ChinaMieville. Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad of the decaying {{Ruritania}}n city-state of Beszel investigates a murder; his investigation turns international, and he ends up crossing over to Ul Qoma (a Singapore-like city-state, with some Turkish flavor and an embargo by the US) to continue his work. Ul Qoma happens to be geographically - grosstopically, to use the local phrase - in the same place as Beszel, but a completely different culture. There are neighborhoods of Ul Qoma that are exclusively Ul Qoman, and neighborhoods of Beszel that are exclusively Besz, but there are a number of locations that are 'cross-hatched' (part Besz, part Ul Qoman), in which, depending on which city-state one is in, one must unsee what is in the other city-state, for fear of Breach (a kind of secret police). There's also rumors of a third city, Orciny, between the two cities.
31st Mar '13 7:19:01 PM RookEncounte
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* SelectiveObliviousness: Citizens of Ul Qoma and Beszel are quasi-legally obligated to employ a kind of SelectiveObliviousness at all times to avoid noticing the other city. Failure to do so results in Breach, a crime punishable by [[spoiler:recruitment]]. Despite this, it's implied that the two cities' mutual selective obliviousness developed independently, and were responsible for the creation of Breach as a power in the city rather than the other way round.

to:

* SelectiveObliviousness: Citizens of Ul Qoma and Beszel are quasi-legally obligated to employ a kind of SelectiveObliviousness at all times to avoid noticing the other city. Failure to do so results in Breach, a crime punishable by [[spoiler:recruitment]]. Despite this, it's implied that [[spoiler: the two cities' mutual selective obliviousness developed independently, and were responsible for the creation of Breach as a power in the city city]] rather than the other way round.
9th Dec '12 2:11:41 PM nemui10pm
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* FelonyMisdemeanor: Breaching is a much worse crime than anything else that could be committed in either Besz or Ul Quoma, and the police invoke the omnipotent Breach to deal with the case of the murdered girl. When her ''American'' parents fly in to Besz, they're outraged that the police aren't investigating the case more thoroughly. They just don't understand that calling in Breach to deal with a case is akin to summoning {{God}} to enact divine retribution upon a wrongdoer - [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheCurtain or, at least, that's how the two cities see it]]]].



* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotHeinous: Breaching is a much worse crime than anything else that could be committed in either Besz or Ul Quoma, and the police invoke the omnipotent Breach to deal with the case of the murdered girl. When her ''American'' parents fly in to Besz, they're outraged that the police aren't investigating the case more thoroughly. They just don't understand that calling in Breach to deal with a case is akin to summoning {{God}} to enact divine retribution upon a wrongdoer - [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheCurtain or, at least, that's how the two cities see it]]]].
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