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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,378191608 (4.07)512
  1. 70
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (bertilak)
  2. 30
    Embassytown by China Miéville (mclewe)
    mclewe: For Miéville's ability to create a complete world, incomprehensible, fascinating, intelligent.
  3. 20
    Iron Council by China Miéville (kaipakartik)
    kaipakartik: Same universe, a lot of the same creatures. Brilliantly done as well
  4. 42
    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. 10
    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the world building, for the heft of the plot.
  7. 32
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another dystopian dream-city to get lost in with weird sex and fantastic writing.
  8. 11
    The Etched City by K. J. Bishop (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar dark, steampunk-ish urban environments that sometime veer into the horrific and fantastical.
  9. 00
    Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell (iftyzaidi)
  10. 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.
  11. 02
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.
  12. 13
    Earth by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
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» See also 512 mentions

English (189)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
The book reads like an exquisite corpse written by James Joyce, Philip K. Dick, Philip José Farmer and Lovecraft. At 880 pages, it takes its time to unfurl the story, block by grimey block.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the book but it's taking a long time to read. Regardless of where I am in the book, I will mail it a week from tomorrow. Apologies for keeping it so long. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 25, 2014 |
Horrifying but compelling, very dark, strongly recommended. ( )
  Matt_B | Aug 17, 2014 |
I really do not know what rating to give Perdido Street Station. It started out oh, so well. The descriptions were lovely, the setting vibrant, the characters intriguing, but the farther I read, the more the cracks started to show.

However, first I should describe what this book is actually about. I would roughly place it in urban fantasy, but it’s not the normal sort. The entire story takes place in an other world, fantasy city named New Crobuzon. The city is fantastic and so breathtakingly imaginative, if dark. I love how non-human races were woven into the city. Really, the setting is the strength of this book.

The plot described on the back cover is misleading. Yes, the story starts with Yagharek, who’s part bird part man, coming to Isaac, a renegade scientist and the main character (who’s black – yay, diversity!), and asking him to give him back flight.

This sounds like a really lyrical and meaningful story line, but don’t be fooled. That’s not the plot. The plot’s actually something more like the movie Alien – because of Isaac’s research, a group of vicious and practically indestructible monsters are released upon the city. Isaac and his friends must hunt them down to save the city.

Problem? The first monster doesn’t show up until over two hundred pages in. Until then, you’re left twiddling your thumbs, reading pages upon pages of setting description, and wondering when the plot’s going to arrive. Also, when the monsters are finally unleashed upon the city, the lengthy descriptions don’t stop. Instead, you’ll have a page and a half describing the scene before anything can happen. Yes, they were well written pages, but at that point it was a bit much and through off the pacing.

In addition the ending was really unsatisfying, and I was really angered by the treatment of Lin, who at the beginning of the book is presumably the female lead. Lin’s an artist and Isaac’s lover. I’d assumed that she’d take on some plot significance. She didn’t. In fact, she disappeared for roughly two-thirds of the book. The Damsel in Distress trope gets old quick. With Lin out of the picture, Derkhan was the female lead. Only, Derkhan was never as well fleshed out and rarely was a noticeable presence.

The rest of the review will be full of spoilers regarding the last hundred pages, so be warned. Also, I’m getting into some trigger warning stuff here. I really loved Lin in the beginning of the book, which makes her fate that much more terrible. She’s kidnapped, tortured, raped, and brain damaged. In the end, she couldn’t string together a sentence or eat on her own. In the end, I’m left wondering why she or the terrible things that happened to her were included at all. She played no part in the plot, which sadly leads me to believe that all the terrible things that happened to her existed just to provide misery to the male protagonist.

This leads me to my next point. One of the things I was happy with in the beginning of the book was that while it had sort of a “grimdark” feel, there wasn’t any rape. At least, not until the last sixth of the book came around. At the very end (in addition to what happened to Lin), Yagharek is revealed to be a rapist, which is why he got his wings cut off in the first place.

Oh, and if this weren’t all enough, the sympathetic characters are all left homeless, damaged, or dead with their lives completely destroyed, where as the villains live happily ever after.
( )
  pwaites | Jul 11, 2014 |
A must read for all fantasy, steampunk and new weird genre fans. ( )
  Me-chan | Jun 19, 2014 |
Fantastically creative mix of steampunk with different physics and great world-building. More fresh ideas per page than most whole novels. Sequel "The Scar" is equally good (and in some ways better), and final volume of the trilogy "Iron Council" returns to the setting of Perdido.
  Clevermonkey | May 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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 (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
lee, johnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary 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
Last words
(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.
Publisher's editors
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:48 -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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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