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Perdido Street Station Audiobook

Perdido Street Station

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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

4.1 (1107 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (885 )
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Story
4.4 (889 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Melissa PA 03-16-17
    Melissa PA 03-16-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark and Grusome"
    What did you love best about Perdido Street Station?

    The characters were a product of their environment.


    What other book might you compare Perdido Street Station to and why?

    This book was unlike anything I have read before. Box Trolls. I could see a clay-mation version of this story. It would take a century to make, and it would have the same feel as Box Trolls.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    I found myself sitting in my driveway, finishing a chapter, a few times. That is uncommon for me.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book, read by an eloquent man. What more could you ask for while commuting?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perschon Edmonton, AB, Canada 10-27-16
    Perschon Edmonton, AB, Canada 10-27-16 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    158
    6
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Love the narrator, Hate this Book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elif Kaya 10-25-16
    Elif Kaya 10-25-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    28
    27
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    0
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    "A Good Novel But Not For Me"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Gray Tokyo 09-25-16
    Robert Gray Tokyo 09-25-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Mieville"
    Would you listen to Perdido Street Station again? Why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    woody phoenix, az 08-26-16
    woody phoenix, az 08-26-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "refund please"

    Narrator was phenomenal. I passionately dislike the storyline. The author is good, but not of my genre preference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andres 07-12-16
    andres 07-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    REVIEWS
    7
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece. My new favorite author."

    No kitschy wish fulfillment, no cliche story, no hackneyed premise or generic characters. Mieville is marvelous throughout, and the narration is brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James C. Poland 05-20-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    30
    22
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    "Very unique setting but..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    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.


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

    Not at all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Bowman 05-11-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    60
    14
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    "Mieville and John Lee unstoppable"

    Fantastic book. China Mieville has such a command of the English language! Be prepared to have you mind blown. John Lee stellar as always.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Bernath 04-24-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
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    Story
    "Great imagery "

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shidobu 04-18-16
    Shidobu 04-18-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dense, complicated, and unapologetic."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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