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)
Genres: Fantasy, Steam Punk, Adventure
Character Development: 4/5
Storytelling Skill: 5/5
This was my first true 'steam punk' novel, and I greatly enjoyed it. The world is an imaginative layering of ideas, cultures, forces, and powers. It was very representative of the steam punk imagery I have seen. The characters are realistic and human (or non-human, as the case may be). Both the author and the narrator did a wonderful job of keeping the characters distinct and interesting. It was difficult to pick out the overall plot-line until towards the end of the story because there were so many seemingly unrelated events happening all over the city, bet each was so enthralling that I just wanted more. The only reason that this book didn't get a 5/5 overall is that I prefer stories which touch on what it means to be human in some way, and moves me deeply. This story did not even attempt to touch me on that level, only to entertain, but it entertained VERY well.
An imaginitive, creative, fantastically new world. A contrived, middling plot. Grotesqueries out the wazoo. If youre int he mood for something brutally imaginitive, dark, grimy and vulgar, go for it. Mieville paints a great picture but bites off a little more than he can chew when it comes to plot.
China Meiville has created an urban nightmare that feels hopelessly real and peopled it with corruption, compassion and humanity. Gorgeous writing. The city is the vastest character in the book, and that's saying something in this book with people who still haunt me years after I read it. Since the novel I love is so drippingly rich in description I wondered if it could work as an audiobook. Thank you, John Lee! There are few novels I read twice, but I have both read and listened to Perdido Street Station twice. That's four swampy excursions into the fetid, amazing neighborhoods of New Crobuzon.
This book was an enjoyable listen once I allowed myself to relax into its nonlinear mentality, however, the pacing of the novel needs work. The book is too long, and feels like it should have ended when the killer moth is killed, but instead, three new (and presumably disposable) characters are introduced and the hunt drags on. Lynn, the lover introduced early in the book, with much care and description, languishes the whole book and only appears briefly (and unsatisfyingly) in the end. Another character, wingless and morose throughout, starts to narrate and describe his own sudden inner change into an active and expressive person and it feels as if this is a tacked-on explanation because otherwise the story would become totally unclear. I enjoyed "The City and The City" better.
I stopped listening after about 12 hours. The writing is good and describes a psudo-steampunk environment well, the trouble is after hours and hours of listening there just isn't an interesting stroy and no real prospects that one will develope. It may be a great story and i've bailed just before it started, however nothing interesting after 12 hours is way past my limit.
Of course you have to suffer a somewhat slow beginning, but once the action starts it never ends, until it's over. This read/listen made a srong impression on me, far more than a typical fantasy, as Mieville develops analogy and metaphor useful in noting how our own culture compares. Evident in both "Perdido St Station" as well as in "City and the City". If you are willing to imagine the unbelievable as a thesis for people coexisting(or not) with each other, experience this authors work.
Putting books on the back burner.
I'm not sure what I just read, but I'm looking forward to reading a lot more titles from China Mieville. "Perdido Street Station" is just brilliant. It's like you are reading some kind of horror, sci fi, monsters, and fantasy world with cyberpunks. I could not get enough with the flying moths and the re-mades.
This book has it all and even dirty sex with whores. The moth creatures are the best part. I never really get freak out on what I listen to but those creatures are just terrifying, but yet I kept listening.
I'm a fan of Neal Stephenson, but I have to read more from China Mieville because it seems like they are brothers from different mothers. Very similar in their writing styles.
I have no problems with aliens, even a giant slew of highly improbable ones inhabiting the same city. I do have problems with a story that makes little sense, relies heavily on absurd coincidence, and seems to go on and on and on.
John Lee is superb as always. Unfortunately, he has little to work with here.
I'm only 45 minutes into hearing this book, however, it has become an absolute chore for listening.
Thus far, the book is for me like a face that someone attempted to apply makeup to, but they went far overboard ending in clutter and mess and mascaraey chaos. Metaphors and clever descriptions are good, don't get me wrong (e.g., Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors). But the tangle of adjectives and metaphors in this book so far is a sheer clutteration to the senses.
It sounds like incomprehensible poetry versus like a good, solid story.
I'm going to give it a little longer, fingers crossed that something changes and finds me returning to this review to upgrade this rating.
Try a little less.
Couldn't finish this one. The author seems more intent on describing in great detail the physiology of the characters including crude body functions that seemed to be intserted randomly for no reason that I could figure out.Despite the great descpriptive detail it was hard to tell what character was what through the story that never seemed to develop into anything.
A for imagination, F for a book.
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