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Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
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Perdido Street Station (2000)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bas-Lag (1), New Crobuzon (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,165235496 (4.07)614
Recently added byKanyonKris, tokyoadam, Jon_Hansen, private library
  1. 80
    Embassytown by China Miéville (mclewe)
    mclewe: For Miéville's ability to create a complete world, incomprehensible, fascinating, intelligent.
  2. 70
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (bertilak)
  3. 30
    Iron Council by China Miéville (kaipakartik)
    kaipakartik: Same universe, a lot of the same creatures. Brilliantly done as well
  4. 53
    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (fyrefly98)
  5. 86
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although The Windup Girl is more science fiction than steampunk/fantasy, I felt there were similarities in the exoticness of the world-building and readers who enjoyed Perdido Street Station may also enjoy The Windup Girl.
  6. 21
    The Etched City by K. J. Bishop (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar dark, steampunk-ish urban environments that sometime veer into the horrific and fantastical.
  7. 10
    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the world building, for the heft of the plot.
  8. 32
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another dystopian dream-city to get lost in with weird sex and fantastic writing.
  9. 00
    The Last City by Nina D'Aleo (GuyMontag)
  10. 00
    Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell (iftyzaidi)
  11. 11
    God's War by Kameron Hurley (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two excellent examples of twisted, dark and brutal stories with unexpected sci-fi/fantasy elements and engrossing worlds.
  12. 00
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (majkia)
    majkia: no idea why exactly, but the two seem similar to me.
  13. 13
    Earth by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  14. 02
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.
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» See also 614 mentions

English (232)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All (235)
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
4.5

What an ugly and extraordinary world. The book too.

Perdido Street Station is an excellent first book in a series where horror meets science fiction and steampunk with some other genres thrown into the mix. The book has a great plot and well written characters, but what stands out and steals the limelight is the city itself. I can't think of any place worse than that hell hole. What else to say about a place that allows people to be remade as legal punishment; sometimes not even for the crime they committed as in the case of one particularly disgusting brothel. Of course, there is an inevitable militia with its spies everywhere, close-knit communities of other races (the cactus people, the vodyanoi, the khepri), sentient machines, corrupted government and so on.

Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, an unconventional scientist, accepts a fascinating commission from Yagharek, a wingless garuda, to restore his flying ability. Only in the end of the book you are told the truth about Yagharek's crime.
Neither expected that the job would cause a domino effect and that they would almost doom the whole city. After reading about New Crobuzon seen through the eyes of various characters, I am not so sure it would be a bad thing.

Isaac is neither a hero not an anti-hero. I almost despise him. He is a genius who is forced to find courage to face more than his enemies. That still hasn't made me like him though. You see, everyone who crosses Isaac's path gets hurt one way or another. Still, whether you like the characters or not you can easily follow their steady development and changes in this book. There are no noble deeds here. Everyone uses whatever is at hand.
I just wish certain other characters got the ending they deserved. ( )
  Aneris | Feb 19, 2017 |
This is a tough one to review. I really like Mieville's work, and I loved The City and The City. I did not love PSS. His New Crobuzon is awesome and I look forward to reading The Scar. His characters are fascinating. However, I believe this book would have benefited from quite a bit more editing. It was much longer than it needed to be; some scene descriptions dragged out far too long. There needs to be a solid reason for a book to be 700 pages and this book doesn't have one.

Also, and this is definitely just a pet peeve of mine, so much word repetition!!! "Hissed" seems to be Mieville's word of choice to replace "said." It's just very distracting and annoying.

All that said, I would absolutely recommend this book because Mieville is a unique, original voice. ( )
  AlaMich | Feb 8, 2017 |
Looks like I'm very hot and cold with Miéville. I loved Kraken. Was so-so on Embassytown. And I hated Perdido Street Station. I did not enjoy this so I'm just going to write a laundry list of THINGS I DID NOT ENJOY ABOUT PERDIDO STREET STATION:

• The main character was overall a complete asshole.
• I hated the main character's voice, this sort of macho too-casual style of talking to everyone like you'd call them "sport" or "champ."
• The voice of two of the characters (the giant spider and the condemned bird man) were supposed to be kind of "poetic," but they came across as ridiculous in the former case and maudlin in the latter.
• I did not believe for one second the love story between the main character and his insectoid girlfriend. Felt forced.
• Much evolution in the storyline was deus ex machina...Miéville just kept inventing weird new racial powers/abilities/magic spells that would come out of nowhere and trigger the next plot line.
• The monsters of this story were just not very creepy. I think Miéville intended for them to be bizarrely disturbing, but they were not.
• The basic plot of the entire second half of the novel was a bug-hunt (for the monsters). And it was extremely mechanical. It was all about catching the bugs. All action. I just did not care. Had no emotional attachment to the characters so I only finished out of mild curiosity. Way too much granular detail in the "how-to" of catching the bugs.
• The "city as a character" motif did not do much for me. New Crobuzon just felt like a dumping ground of weird stuff. It did not have the coherence of Jeff VanderMeer's Ambergris.
• Oh last thing? I hated that the publisher put a giant picture covering half the back cover of Miéville. Comes across as way too self-indulgent, look how cool I am.

'nuf said. ( )
  David_David_Katzman | Jan 29, 2017 |
A very interesting book, which I would recommend to Sci-Fi fans. Although it is usually described as a Steam-Punk novel, it has a pretty heavy dose of Fantasy as well. The author is immensely creative and has an exceptional grasp of the language. The book will especially appeal to those who like world building. It may be less appealing to people like me who like strong plotting and pay less attention to detail. ( )
  nngrey | Jan 13, 2017 |
Mieville's sprawling, doorstep of a novel is a towering work of imaginative fiction.

Set in the fantastical city of New Crobuzon, this follows a ragged band of unlikely heroes, as they try to save the city, and themselves from a nightmarish threat. There are echoes here both of Calvino's Invisible Cities and the Viriconium stories of M John Harrison, but New Crobuzon is a fully realised creation in its own right.

The detail Mieville puts into every part of the city is staggering. He never lets the plot sag, so that despite its length, this novel is eminently readable. There is a real emotional undertow as well as the fate of our heroes is revealed. Some survive, some don't. Others are changed forever.

There is a political dimension to the novel as well, as the city's government also tries to tackle the threat, using whatever means it can. Dissent is ruthlessly put down. The Militia hide in every shadow.

The are elements of Steampunk in the fantastical nature of the machines described in the novel, but to define Perdido Street Station as part of that rather contrived genre would be to do it a disservice. It is simply one of the best fantasy novels of recent years.

Recommended. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
Perdido Street Station is a well written and absorbing story aimed at breaking the rules for a number of different fantasy concepts.
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliver, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'I even gave up, for a while, stopping by the window of the room to look out at the lights and deep, illuminated streets. That's a form of dying, that losing contact with the city like that.'

Philip K. Dick , We Can Build You
Dedication
to Emma
First words
Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with either Die Falter or Der Weber. Perdido Street Station was split into two volumes for publication in Germany.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345459407, Mass Market Paperback)

When Mae West said, "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful," she could have been talking about China Miéville's Perdido Street Station. The novel's publication met with a burst of extravagant praise from Big Name Authors and was almost instantly a multiaward finalist. You expect hyperbole in blurbs; and sometimes unworthy books win awards, so nominations don't necessarily mean much. But Perdido Street Station deserves the acclaim. It's ambitious and brilliant and--rarity of rarities--sui generis. Its clearest influences are Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy and M. John Harrison's Viriconium books, but it isn't much like them. It's Dickensian in scope, but fast-paced and modern. It's a love song for cities, and it packs a world into its strange, sprawling, steam-punky city of New Crobuzon. It can be read with equal validity as fantasy, science fiction, horror, or slipstream. It's got love, loss, crime, sex, riots, mad scientists, drugs, art, corruption, demons, dreams, obsession, magic, aliens, subversion, torture, dirigibles, romantic outlaws, artificial intelligence, and dangerous cults.

Generous, gaudy, grand, grotesque, gigantic, grim, grimy, and glorious, Perdito Street Station is a bloody fascinating book. It's also so massive that you may begin to feel you're getting too much of a good thing; just slow down and enjoy.

Yes, but what is Perdido Street Station about? To oversimplify: the eccentric scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is hired to restore the power of flight to a cruelly de-winged birdman. Isaac's secret lover is Lin, an artist of the khepri, a humano-insectoid race; theirs is a forbidden relationship. Lin is hired (rather against her will) by a mysterious crime boss to capture his horrifying likeness in the unique khepri art form. Isaac's quest for flying things to study leads to verification of his controversial unified theory of the strange sciences of his world. It also brings him an odd, unknown grub stolen from a secret government experiment so perilous it is sold to a ruthless drug lord--the same crime boss who hired Lin. The grub emerges from its cocoon, becomes an extraordinarily dangerous monster, and escapes Isaac's lab to ravage New Crobuzon, even as his discovery becomes known to a hidden, powerful, and sinister intelligence. Lin disappears and Isaac finds himself pursued by the monster, the drug lord, the government and armies of New Crobuzon, and other, more bizarre factions, not all confined to his world. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the squalid, gothic city of New Crobuzon, a mysterious half-human, half-bird stranger comes to Isaac, a gifted but eccentric scientist, with a request to help him fly, but Isaac's obsessive experiments and attempts to grant the request unleash a terrifying dark force on the entire city.… (more)

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