So I finished Railsea today.
There are some books that I want to just… rub my face in. That I sink into like molasses every time I open and start to read. That I experience, more than read.
China Miéville’s ur-story is a story about journeys, literal and figurative, and about something that’s less a quest of personal discovery and more a groping-toward of personal realization. By ur-story I mean the story that’s at the center of every one of his novels without fail; the novels are facets of the ur-story, which he turns like a jewel in the light. Sometimes it’s more successful than others - sometimes it’s more accessible than others - but it is always astonishing.
So yeah. Railsea. It does not hit the high water mark of Embassytown or The City and the City, but those books were bottled lightning - and while this was not, it’s a pure joy to watch him mature as a writer and do what he loves.