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Perdido Street Station | [China Mieville]

Perdido Street Station

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores.
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Publisher's Summary

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores.

In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none - not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger - and more consuming - by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon, and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes.

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.

©2003 China Mieville; (P)2009 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The author of King Rat delivers a powerful tale about the power of love and the will to survive in a dystopian universe that combines Victorian elements with a fantasy version of cyberpunk. Mieville's visceral prose evokes an immediacy that commands attention and demands a wide readership. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (672 )
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4.3 (478 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kaotaja ViennaAustria 07-26-10
    Kaotaja ViennaAustria 07-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Fantastic listen!"

    China Mieville creates an incredibly rich world populated with interesting characters and creatures. Very decadent and character driven (at least for the first half). John Lee's narration and character voices are also great.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    neoanachronism 01-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best written book I've read in quite a while"
    Would you listen to Perdido Street Station again? Why?

    Reminiscent of "You Bright and Risen Angels", but far more detailed, and tightly structured. Narration was brilliant, and perfectly fitting.
    Plenty of monsters (including some all-to-common human personality types), and very complex anti-heroes.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Loved it


    Any additional comments?

    Exceptional.
    Goes beyond horror

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SH in Tampa Tampa FL 05-06-13
    SH in Tampa Tampa FL 05-06-13 Member Since 2009

    SPH

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    "My favorite book with a great narrator"

    China Mieville is an extremely talented author whom has created a rich world, full of interesting characters. Having read the book prior to listening to it, I found that the listening experience was amazing as the slower pace gives my mind more time to visualize. I think first time listeners may need to stick with the book for a bit as a lot of the backdrop unfolds as the story progresses. The wait is well worth it as the setting of the story is as interesting as the plot. The characters are engaging and the plot is complex and engrossing.

    I hope that the two sequels are released on audio as well.

    With regards to the narration, John Lee is one of my favorites.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aerindel 02-06-11
    Aerindel 02-06-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "At little too far..."

    Someone once said that in sci-fi or fantasy your audience can accept one or two completely unbelievable things in any scene as long as everything else is done as realistically as possible.

    Peridod's problem is that ever scene has about sixteen unbelievable things it. If they where the same things from chapter to chapter you could eventually get used to them but nearly every chapter introduces a brand new bizarre concept that you have to learn and remember.

    All are well done and interesting on there own but they are never on their own, they are always just one piece of a wild picture.

    After a while I just got overloaded with strangeness and mostly disengaged from the characters and plot. I think perhaps if 3/4 of the characters hadn't been animal human hybrids or even if they had just been the same kind of hybrid I would have been okay but their are literally thirteen different races in this story all with major parts.

    I am a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy and have no problem with outlandish worlds filled with alien races and magical machines but in most books they stop through new things at you at some point and let you settle down and enjoy the story. Peridido never does that, right up until the end you are being introduced to new races and technologies at a pace that I found to be always just a little to far ahead of what I could relate to.

    Not a bad book by any means but I was never able to fully connect with it and by the end I was forcing myself to go on listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Dame Scottsdale, Az 10-31-09
    Jeffrey Dame Scottsdale, Az 10-31-09 Member Since 2014
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    "fabulous, highly recommended"

    Total immersion in a world rich in believable and and ever so unique characters. Wonderful plot lines, pacing is good narration is fabulous. 24 hours long doesn't matter to me a few minutes repeat here and there, I have to say I didn't even notice. Come to this book from China Mieville The City and The City, also with John Lee; also fabulous. If you're a fan of Asimov's Foundation series or Hobbits on general dive right in.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark J. Carroll USA 06-20-09
    Mark J. Carroll USA 06-20-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great writer - awesome story - super narrator"

    This is the first book by China Mieville that I have listened to. The man can paint a story with words like no other! 5 Stars John Lee (this narrator is one of the best). The story is very engaging and imaginative. It is more fantasy then sci-fi but I didn't mind that too much (not a huge fantasy fan). This book does not have a fairytale ending and there are a few areas that are a little loose. The author seems to have a problem ending the story effectively as some things were not wrapped up neatly enough - similar to the way that Neal Stephenson ends his stories - on and on a little... I will still listen to more of his audiobooks as he has a superb way with words.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 09-06-10
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 09-06-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Morose"

    I don't know if it is the speaker or the story; probably a combination of both, but for me the story was AGONIZINGLY boring and morose despite the plethora of bizarre imaginations. -Mieville has many unique phantasies and ideas - but I could not fiinish this book. It was hard to understand the reader's theatrical pronunciation and the world of Perdido Station is stuffed full of violence, ugliness and pointlessness.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Story 09-30-09
    Karl Story 09-30-09 Member Since 2004
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    "The New Weird"

    An excellent book and excellent narration. One of the freshest novels I have read in a long time, chock full of imagination and intricate world building.
    While I agree that Audible's files are flawed, this is not a forum for tech support. Contact Audible directly.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brie San Jose, CA USA 08-27-15
    Brie San Jose, CA USA 08-27-15 Member Since 2014

    A lover of all types of fiction that are gothic, cyberpunk, sci-fi, space and/or weird

    ratings
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    "Excruciating detail and deep imersion"
    Would you listen to Perdido Street Station again? Why?

    Maybe not for sometime. It is a quite lengthy book and I have two more to go through. But it is good enough that I'm considering buying all three books in paper. Miéville goes through an exhaustive effort to describe the world and does a fantastic job. Additionally, he also applies this verbosity to the character development as well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Perdido Street Station?

    Without giving the story away, there were so many times in the story that entirely new races were introduced or strong twists occurred that weren't foreseeable. This, is somewhat shocking after having listened to and read so many books where you know what is going to happen but have to wait for it to occur.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    At first it was jarring because it was so different than many of the books I'd listened to lately, but very quickly his cadence, voice acting and inflection grew on me strongly. Now, I'm hooked.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    In an alternate world, where steam power was developed in lieu of gasoline. In a world where magic exists and humans aren't the only intelligence. One small group of interconnected folks embarks on a fantastic journey of self discovery and revelation.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to read The Scar

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 08-23-15
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 08-23-15 Member Since 2011

    I like to read books, but sometimes it's more convenient to listen to them. Just don't say you "read" a book when you really listened to it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absurd and outlandish science fiction."

    I thought I'd try reading (listening) to China Mieville to see what the buzz was about. I found this novel to be far fetched, even for sci fi. Rather absurd in that the society does not logically fit their own level of technology. It is an outlandish stroy. This form of sci fi may work for some, my brain just won't allow me to imagine such an asburd reality. Waste of money for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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