The Last Days of New Paris

The Last Days of New Paris

A Novella

Book - 2016
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A thriller of war that never was--of survival in an impossible city--of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris , China Mieville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.
"Beauty will be convulsive. . . ."
1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer--and occult disciple--Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist Andre Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.
1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts--and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.
But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties--to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

Praise for The Last Days of New Paris

"Beautiful, stunningly realized . . . [ The Last Days of New Paris ] is a brief vacation in alien latitudes, a midnight layover in an imaginary place." --NPR
"A thoughtful, highbrow novella . . . Mieville's self-assured style offers up a strong sense of humanity, while the strange Surrealist monsters give  Last Days  a fun and complementary mad-science component." -- USA Today
"[A] testament to the necessary, progressive power of art . . . Both moving and disturbingly timely." -- Newsday
"A novel both unhinged and utterly compelling, a kind of guerrilla warfare waged by art itself, combining both meticulous historical research and Mieville's unparalleled inventiveness." -- Chicago Tribune
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2016]
ISBN: 9780345543998
Branch Call Number: MIEV
Characteristics: 205 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Sep 05, 2017

Quirky and compelling, surrealism and the art world will jump out of the pages and a few exquisite corpses will be seen along the way. Amazing summer beach or pool as well as a thriller that will make that hot chocolate and blanket by the fire a safe place, as this book goes where no one will tread in an alternative universe.
Hint, to fully enjoy, print out a map of Paris with the arrondissements and popular landmarks clearly identified. Then read the Notes section in the back with definitions of characters and "beings". Then dive in. I did not want it to end....

Aug 05, 2017

Wonderfully it was not what I was expecting. If you enjoy alternative history books, a la Harry Turtledove, you will almost certainly hate this book with a passion. It is beautiful, wonderful, strange and most of all surreal. Less a story than a work of art. Whether you like it or hate it you will come away with a vastly different viewpoint than anyone else will, even if they agree with you it won't be the same impression they had.

May 29, 2017

It's Mieville, it's Surrealism, it's anti-fascism. Yup, it's like someone took all of the good things in the world and stirred them together. The conceit is a bit faded, but the story rips along and will have you pawing for Wikipedia or your Art History textbook to fill in the gaps. In the best way. A story of urban guerrillas that never happened, utilizing the gun-toting avante-garde to fight Nazis and demons. It's as great as it sounds.

Phil_R Sep 02, 2016

Great book if you don't mind re-re-rereading over and over to find a bit of ground to stand on. With the short, 140 page length though it's no bother and well worth it.

Aug 31, 2016

A story put together as if (real) surrealist art illustrated a story. For those familiar with the genre, probably amazingly creative: for the rest of us maybe (anyway for me) seems self-indulgent. Nothing wrong with that, of course but personally I skipped to the Notes section.

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