The City in the Middle of the Night

Charlie Jane Anders
The City in the Middle of the Night Cover

The City in the Middle of the Night


The worldbuilding and the aliens in this book are really interesting. Unfortunately, they merely serve as a background for the interminable soap opera of the characters' stupidity and self-destructiveness.

People who enjoy reading about other people engaging in deeply stupid and self-destructive behaviors -- especially in the context of romantic relationships -- because it makes them feel much better about themselves by comparison, will find much to appreciate in this book. This book doesn't just feature a cast of characters who persistently behave in incredibly stupid and self-destructive ways, it actually wallows in stupidity and self-destructiveness. Perhaps the author finds this cathartic. I find it deeply unpleasant, and more than a bit masochistic.

The author repeatedly misrepresents "immature infatuation with an imaginary person who bears very little resemblance to the actual person" as "love". This by itself is a great annoyance to me, but when coupled with a cast of characters for whom egregious stupidity and self-destructiveness are just standard operating procedure -- throughout the entire book -- it turned The Eight Deadly Words "I Don't Care What Happens To These People" into "I Am Ready To Shoot These People Myself".

I'm sad for what this book might have been.