The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville – new description, first review, and free sample!

I am an Amateur of Velocipedes 1941 by Leonora Carrington 1917-2011The US release of The Last Days of New Paris is coming up in August, although the UK release is strangely not until early 2017. I asked the publisher why this was, and got this answer: “We are indeed publishing at the beginning of 2017. While the UK often publishes alongside American editions, we sometimes work to different schedules. I hope that makes sense.”

Oh well. China Miéville’s dedicated fans will just order it from the US, so it’s Pan Macmillan’s loss. Anyway, there’s been a blitz of information about the book lately! Read ahead to whet your appetite for the new book.

Firstly, a new description of the novel (well, it’s closer to a novella in length) from Subterranean Press:

“In Paris you had to be ready to fight art and the Hellish—not to mention Nazis…”

Multiple-award-winning China Mieville’s extraordinary novel The Last Days of New Paris is a door into the heart of a twentieth century that never was, that always was. The hinges it turns on are surrealism and anti-Fascism and occultism, oiled by vivid prose that startlingly mines art and poetry for its images. The story it opens to reveal combines mystery and adventure, philosophy and revolution.

Here is the American Jack Parsons in 1941 Marseilles, navigating a tangle of competing wartime powers incapable of containing the chaos of wartime Europe. A student of the occult, he encounters fleeing surrealist thinkers, and something extraordinary is born in the cauldron of his imagination.

Here is the resistance fighter Thibaut in 1950 Paris, struggling to survive and fight on in a city haunted by manifs, manifestations from the dreams and nightmares of the century’s most fertile imaginations. These manifs are in conflict with hellspawn called up by Nazi officer-priests.

By turns heartbreaking and breathtaking, this book conjures a world that demands attention, and tests loyalties to concepts as fundamental as reality itself. Here is a tour de force of imagination, here is a crescendo of thought, here, at last, is the exquisite corpse. Here is The Last Days of New Paris, an unmissable new novel by a modern master of the fantasic.

Secondly, the first review of the book is online, from Publishers Weekly as usual. Follow the link for the whole thing. I’m intrigued by the focus on surreal art from the era. It’s bringing up memories of the first university degree I did, in fine arts & media. (If you’re wondering, the artwork accompanying this blog post is the one mentioned in the review, An Amateur of Velocipedes, by the way.)

Thirdly, the US publisher Del Rey is offering a free ebook sampler of its upcoming titles, which includes an excerpt from The Last Days of New Paris. Unfortunately it’s only available to US readers. I’ve tried to download it myself with no luck. If anyone downloads it, let me know what the sample was like, and how long it is.

That’s all for now. I’m sure you’re as excited for the book as I am. Make sure you study up on your art history for August 9th!

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8 comments

  1. I’m absolutely loving this. Having been more ambivalent on much of three moments of an explosion and This Census Taker this feels like a return to form.

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