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Extended Audio Sample Embassytown, by China Miéville Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,774 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: China Miéville Narrator: Susan Duerden Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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China Miéville doesn’t follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer—and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field—with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war.

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fully achieved work of art.”

    Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning author

  • “The most engrossing book I’ve read this year, and the latest evidence that brilliant, challenging, rewarding writing of the highest order is just as likely to be found in the section labeled Science Fiction as the one marked Literature.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “Miéville’s swing-for-the-fences gusto thrills. This is Big Idea Sci-Fi at its most propulsively readable.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Miéville [is] one of today’s most exciting fabulist writers.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Original, sophisticated, bristling with subversive ideas, and filled with unforgettably alien images…An amazing, sometimes brutal rhapsody on the uses of language.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Richly conceived…Embassytown has the feel of a word-puzzle, and much of the pleasure of figuring out the logic of the world and the story comes from gradually catching the full resonance of its invented and imported words.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A 2012 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalist
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011
  • Winner of the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
  • A 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award Finalist
  • A 2012 Hugo Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nonsomniac | 2/19/2014

    " Interesting ideas, but unnecessarily long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Phillip | 2/16/2014

    " A beautiful, almost poetic use and study of language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer Wilson-niskanen | 2/15/2014

    " At first it was very hard to get into. There is a lot are jargon, way more than enhances the story. It tries over hard to be something smart but despite flaws the story and characters grew on me. There was some intelligent philosophy under all that noise and the plot and aliens were intriguing. It was well worth reading even if it wasn't fun at first. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dytannia | 2/12/2014

    " I adore Mieville & he did not disappoint in Embassytown. In fact, I think this moves in to my top three favorites of his books. The story was, yet again, filled with amazingly unique world building. Despite that the main thrust of the story is about an incredibly alien race, Mieville gives us an "in" through the main character that allows us to sympathize with the Host without overtly anthropomorphizing them. Or perhaps it is better to say he pushes the anthropomorphizing onto the main character, where it belongs as a natural part of their human nature, instead of fumbling it as a third person narrator. "

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