Embassytown

Embassytown

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
16
4
1
Rate this:
Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist on a distant planet populated by the Ariekei, sentient beings famed for their unique language, returns to Embassytown after many years of deep space exploration to find she has become a living simile in the Ariekei language even though she cannot speak it, and she is torn by competing loyalties when hostilities erupt between humans and aliens.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2011
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780345524508
9780345524492
0345524497
Branch Call Number: SF MIEVILLE 2011
Characteristics: 345 p. ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Might an alien language affect not only thought patterns but ways of life? When through contact with other species, one of the Hosts of Embassytown learns to lie, the results are almost physically damaging to their society. A dense but heady read.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

e
eileenlufkin
Jun 11, 2017

rushthatspeaks says "This book works for me on every single level. The worldbuilding is unique and subtle, the characters are three-dimensional, the political motivations and machinations are complex without being incomprehensible, the aliens are alien, and the density of cool ideas is impressive. I was not expecting a novel from Miéville that reads like Ted Chiang in a blender with Rosemary Kirstein."

k
kinghorse
Feb 09, 2017

Well-paced, hugely entertaining book exploring ideas that are not only creative but scientifically thought-provoking. Pushes the boundaries on every page. Mieville's expansive vocabulary has me looking up words I think are made up only to find they exist! I love this author. If you can make it past his description of space travel... keep going, you'll be rewarded for it!

VaughanPLKasey Nov 15, 2016

Though Mieville is best known for his world-building in the Bas-Lag/New Crobuzon books, Embassytown in really his most impressive work yet as far as I'm concerned.

Mieville plays with the ideas of language, metaphor, and truth in this one, and it is very worth a read.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

Impressive. Miéville is quite the world builder. Wonderful characterization, insight, and breathtaking scenery. Those looking for something different in a book will likely appreciate Miéville.

j
JLMason
Jan 05, 2016

A book about language, (mis)communication, diplomacy, and truth, it plunges you into the vernacular of a human and alien inhabited universe far in the future, forcing you to learn "the language" with little explanation or guidance. I think this was deliberate as it forces the reader, an "alien" in the culture, to learn by immersion. The author has created an extraordinary world where a tenuous relationship between species with different concepts of language somehow manage to communicate in a rudimentary fashion through altered "diplomats". But the lack of true understanding causes the communication to break down with disastrous results. This was a fascinating book for its sheer creativity and its exploration of what it means to communicate.

f
FerndaleAdultSRC
Jul 28, 2015

A dystopian adventure for adults! This novel explores the foundations and limits of language in a science fiction context. Set in a world is filled with compelling characters and challenges.

f
Filipelima
Jan 20, 2015

Check Location
Kitsilano Branch Library

j
jacks_
Dec 05, 2014

While I was not as intrigued by the plot or characters of this novel as I would've liked, the way in which Mieville explored the concepts of language and truth through it was absolutely fascinating, and it was well worth the read for that alone.

k
kariharrison
Jul 08, 2013

Slow and boring. Come on, the battle scenes only last a paragraph and are delivered in matter of fact prose. The rest of the book is an unfolding drama. While, I applaud the author's creativity, surreal imagery and possibly groundbreaking ideas, I want to smack him for his overuse of suspense tactics. I almost did not finish the book. It could have been 100 pages shorter and delivered the same impact.

Vivian Unger Feb 23, 2012

I found the third of the book riveting, while the first third was confusing and the last third pushed the envelope of credulity a little too much for my taste. What an imagination though.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

a
andreareads
Jul 18, 2013

Its locomotion was between a scamper and a convulsion.

a
andreareads
Jul 18, 2013

The sun still rose, and the shops sold things, and people went to work. It was a slow catastrophe.

a
andreareads
Jul 18, 2013

it was impossible to concentrate as we approached the forest. Some of the trees moved weakly out of our way, hauled by roots, but most were too slow. I braced. The carriage’s jutting legs scythed through rope trunks. In our passing trees soared straight up, dangling their broken tethers. We left a line of them accelerating skyward as we cut into the woodland.

a
andreareads
Jul 18, 2013

We’re insane, to them: we tell the truth with lies.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MCL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top