There’s so much absurd beauty among the fauna in this story of surrealist art come to life in Nazi-occupied France ... The book’s wonderful strangeness is heightened by Miéville’s revelation of his weirdest weirdnesses second- and third-hand ... The finale of The Last Days of New Paris is both moving and disturbingly timely.
...really a short novel with two distinct plot lines, and, paradoxically, it's both a fine introduction to his unique imagination and a marked departure from his earlier work ... Miéville is less concerned with the mechanics of alternate history than with the opportunity it provides to explore his knowledgeable fascination with the Surrealist movement ... The result is a novel both unhinged and utterly compelling, a kind of guerrilla warfare waged by art itself, combining both meticulous historical research and Miéville's unparalleled inventiveness.
This is a fun scenario, and Miéville grounds his story in an intricate web of real world references, which are explained at length in endnotes. But as a work of fiction the novel remains flat...The narrative proceeds artificially from crisis to crisis, without an impression of cause and effect. It often seems that things happen just so Miéville can show off another bit of art historical lore ... The biggest problem with The Last Days of New Paris is that for a book about surrealism, it fails to feel surreal ... [It] comes across as an elaborate thought experiment, rather than a compelling fiction.