Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Railsea by China Mieville

I am comfortable admitting that I haven't read Moby Dick (there are too many great books out there to be embarrassed over missing a few). And I'm glad I didn't know Railsea is something of a re-do of Moby Dick before I started because I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I would have missed a great book.
This story takes place far into the future when the oceans are gone and the seabeds are lined with railroad tracks. Hunters make their livelihoods by riding trains in search of giant moles that live below the surface of the soil. Yes, there is a mammoth white mole that eludes the captain of the train our hero, Sham ap Soorap, rides, but this is Sham's story, not the captain's. Sham embarks on adventure to solve some of the greatest mysteries of the railsea - where do the tracks end? who made them? what are the great machines (called angels) that tend to them? and what does the obsessive pursuit of one white mole do to a person's soul?
I love Mieville's writing and the strange (sometimes very, very strange) worlds that he creates. I highly recommend this book (appropriate for roughly 13 and up due to complicated language and some violence). At the end of reading this I had two requests to make of the media universe: please, China, write a sequel and please, please Miyazaki make this into a movie.

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Thanks for commenting. I read all comments before they post. I don't mind if you disagree with my review as long as you're nice about it.