This Census-Taker

3.31 based on 3328 ratings & 658 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 25.02.2016
ISBN: 9781509812158
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a traumatic event. He tries - and fails - to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.

When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.

But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?

A novella filled with beauty, terror and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

In the media

Compelling . . . the classic Miéville themes of power, alienation and politics are never far from the surface, and the tale lingers in the memory.
Chicago Tribune
Powerful . . . [China Miéville's] imagination is powerful, his outlook original and he's an amazing teller of stories; yet he never loses his grip on the "reality" of his characters, and he observes the literary rules of his so-called genre only by breaking them.
The Times
A stark and subtle fable that manages to be both lapidary and nebulous at the same time. "Haunting" does not do justice to its exquisitely eerie properties . . . This is the most poetic of Miéville's books so far . . . It can be appreciated just for its complex psychology and emotional impact - it is by far his most plangent book, suffused with a tight-lipped melancholy.
Scotland on Sunday