Tuesday, 14 February 2012
China Mieville's Embassytown follows the story of a deep space pilot who becomes enmeshed in political and social upheaval in her home city, a community of ambassadors on a nexus world with a linguistically unique indigenous population. Mieville creates a vivid, rich milieu for his characters to play in and, though it takes a while to get going, it snowballs into a thrilling and surprisingly emotive read. Mieville continues his golden streak.
The Psychopath Test sees Jon Ronson investigate, in his usual idiosyncratic fashion, the business of diagnosing and treating psychopaths. With a cast including Broadmoor prisoners, proselytising practitioners, activist Scientologists and borderline CEO's Ronson packs in the giggles as he uncovers the murky world of the DSM and the challenges inherent in assessing someone else's sanity. Due to Ronson's scattergun approach this is closer to Them than Stare at Goats but it's a effective, charming primer about the business of noggin doctoring.