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)
What an imagination. I'd like to listen to it again in order to relive this weird urban fantasy. There's a lot that happens, so I may have missed some minor details the first time around. Mieville creates a unique cast of characters (including a giant spider who travels through different dimensions and speaks in poetry...and kills people for complex reasons). Then a series of dangerous events is set off which unfolds in the strangest of worlds.
No kitschy wish fulfillment, no cliche story, no hackneyed premise or generic characters. Mieville is marvelous throughout, and the narration is brilliant.
A select few might enjoy reading it, but in general, no. It took me about 10 chapters before getting engaged with the story. Even after that, there were times where I felt like I was slogging through the narrative waiting for the next plot point to develop (such as nearly a chapter spent on describing the process of laying a cable). Pros: it's a unique setting that does a good job of blending disparate elements such as strange alien races/biologies and both real and pseudo-sciences (including magic). Cons: the setting is gruesome and decay is everywhere. This wouldn't be so bad but the author seems to revel in describing it many times over. I don't expect a perfect, spic and span world but this really felt over the top.
I felt left hanging at the end, that some plot points weren't sufficiently closed. Maybe there's a sequel but I don't feel compelled to seek it out. I did, however, find the author's perspective on justice to be intriguing.
Not at all.
This was an extremely well written and articulated book! Mievelle paints a beautiful and grime filled world, and John Lee articulates this perfectly. The ending left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but it was well worth the ride.
This isn't an easy listen, but it's worth the slog. The narrator gives a stellar performance and the world created by the author is very complex so if you're looking for something different, you've found it.
Mieville paints a brutally descriptive image of a fantastic world of interlocking species and technology. Amazing, for example, how an entire chapter about laying cables in a city can continue to capture one's attention... Sometimes the description goes on so long that one is left begging for some action, but he usually finds a balance. The reader is excellent, capturing the tension, the pace, and the varied characters.
The book was...well...interesting. I admire the authors originality as the fantasy genre has become rather unoriginal and hidebound of late. But the characters were just so surreal, I had a hard time immersing myself in the story.
I would say yes, but I am not sure if I will listen to anymore of this authors books.
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