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Poorly Written,
Gloomy,
Dark

2 reviews

This Census-Taker
by China Miéville

Published: 2017-01-03
Paperback : 272 pages
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For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Karen Russell, This Census-Taker is a stunning, uncanny, and profoundly moving novella from multiple-award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

In a remote house on a ...
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Introduction

For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Karen Russell, This Census-Taker is a stunning, uncanny, and profoundly moving novella from multiple-award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries—and fails—to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.

When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.

But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?

Filled with beauty, terror, and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

Praise for This Census-Taker

“China Miéville is a magician . . . who can both blow your mind with ideas as big as the universe and break your heart with language so precise and polished, it’s like he’s writing with diamonds.”—NPR

“The book haunts the reader; what actually happened seems always just out of reach, glimpsed in shadow as it rounds a corner ahead of our vision.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Mieville’s] been compared to Karen Russell and George Saunders, and rightfully so.”—The Huffington Post

“Marvellous.”—The Guardian

“Lingers in the mind like an unsettling dream.”Financial Times

“A thought-provoking fairy tale for adults . . . [This Census-Taker] resembles the narrative style, quirkiness, and plotting found in the works of Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, or Steven Millhauser.”Booklist

“Brief and dreamlike . . . a deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul.”Kirkus Reviews

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "This Census-Taker"by lblreader (see profile) 01/05/18

No one in our group liked this book and we do not plan to read any of his other titles. The writing style left a lot to be desired. It was dark and weird and there was no joy in reading it.

 
  "Don't Pick it Up!"by margharg (see profile) 01/04/18

I have no clue how this author has won awards for his writing. This book was very poorly written and had no point. At the end of the book, the only thing I could think to say about it was "Why?"

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