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
"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)
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.
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.
Goes beyond horror
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
God, I hate this book.
I know, I gave it four stars. How can I give a book four stars when I hate it? Well, it's the difference between liking something like a Big Mac and knowing its terrible for you, and disliking something even if it is haute cuisine.
I know China Mieville is a gifted world builder and storyteller. I know that Perdido Street Station is a fine example of his skills. I would never say it didn't deserve the awards it's received.
I just didn't like it. And I've read it twice, so I know for certain I don't. The only thing that has gotten me through both readings is that I love to listen to John Lee narrate. He's got an amazing reading voice. And he does a fine job with the broad cast of characters in Perdido. I just can't stand Mieville's writing in this novel.
The first time I read Perdido, I tried to get on the Mieville bandwagon. "Incredible poetic prose...dense worldbuilding...gritty fantasy." Yes, it's all those things. And all those things are what made me find slogging through it a second time nearly unbearable. Both reads were for research. I have no doubt that if I'd just been reading for pleasure, I'd have abandoned it entirely. Because what I mean by "poetic prose" is that Perdido Street Station is filled with unnecessarily ornate prose, to the point of ostentatious pretension. But I like Hemingway and Howard, so you might enjoy reading words like "exudation" instead of "breath" or "exhalation." I do not. When I say "dense worldbuilding" I mean "stalling the action to indulge in Dickensian description of the city of Bas-Lag." And that slams directly into "gritty fantasy," by which I mean that the ornate word choices which are used to describe the city of Bas Lag are unremittingly negative. Everything is filthy or shabby or decrepit or oily. Colours are bruises. Smoke doesn't waft, it retches from chimneys. Bas Lag is like Gustave Dore's London dipped in crud and then riddled with fantasy characters from the dark corners of the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual.
And this book abounds with monsters. From the monstrous Slake Moths, children of other bug hunts like the Alien movies or Del Toro's Mimic, to the monstrous humans and humanoid races who do monstrous things, Mieville reigns as the anti-Tolkien. This is Low Fantasy beneath the subterranean lair of the Drow. It's still not as bleak as Scott Bakker's work, but it's unrelenting in its emotional and moral desaturation. There are few cheerful moments in Perdido Street Station.
But I can see how this could be appealing to certain readers. Hence the four stars. There's no way I could give a book this superbly crafted two or three stars simply because I didn't like it. That's subjective claptrap. Mieville deserves the acclaim his fans have heaped on him. I'm just not one of the faithful, that's all. I'll carry on to read The Scar and Iron Council - I have to, for research! But I'm not recommending Perdido. If I was to tell you to read Mieville, I'd say go check out Railsea.
This is the second novel I read from this author and it is the type of novel you either love or not. I didn't. However it is well written and well read so I decided to honour my commitment and actually read till the end.
Check out the first chapter before purchase.
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