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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
6,882218527 (4.07)600
  1. 70
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (bertilak)
  2. 50
    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. 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.
  5. 21
    The Etched City by K. J. Bishop (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar dark, steampunk-ish urban environments that sometime veer into the horrific and fantastical.
  6. 32
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another dystopian dream-city to get lost in with weird sex and fantastic writing.
  7. 10
    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the world building, for the heft of the plot.
  8. 43
    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (fyrefly98)
  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. 13
    Earth by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  12. 02
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.
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» See also 600 mentions

English (214)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
as far as i can tell, china mieville has a big, big world inside his head.

this book is set in one city. just the one. there’s pretty much no outside involvement, unless you count the place where yagharek comes from, and that’s only really mentioned. but this city is huge. it’s truly massive. there’s the ribs, and the university district, and the place where all the hipster bug-people live, and perdido street station itself, and a thousand other things, plenty of which i probably didn’t even pick up on. the city is dark and dingy and murky and yet has this magical, alluring something about it. imagine a place with cactus people, and humans with bugs for heads, called khepri, and people made out of water, and regular humans, all together, all struggling for something…

i can’t even begin to describe what this book is about without ruining it entirely. i’ve seen some reviews describe the plot as “meandering” and i just can’t agree. i was gripped from the very first moment, first by a sense of apprehension, then foreboding, then outright dread. in its essentials, the book follows a scientist, a man named Isaac dan der Grimnebulin, who conducts his research in a dingy set of rooms in the university district. one day, a garuda - essentially a humanoid bird - comes to him, asking for help. this garuda has been stripped of his wings, and wants to find a way to fly, truly fly. isaac has his own problems: his girlfriend is a khepri, AND an artist, and their relationship is becoming a little strained.

i loved the characters in this book. i loved all of them, even the horrible ones. mieville has this way of humanising characters that you wouldn’t imagine it would be possible to humanise. i find it difficult to connect to a book if there’s nothing i can relate to about any of the characters - whether it be in their characters themselves, or the things they represent (see brideshead revisited for a good example of the latter). where characters lack a human aspect it rarely works. look at spock, or k-pax, or the iron giant. they work because they’re humanised in the very best sense of the word, despite not being human themselves. they’re given an empathetic quality. mieville achieves this in spades, particularly with the garuda and the khepri. again, it’s hard to describe without spoiling the book, but the arcs of lin, isaac, and yagharek were dark, and addictive, and excellent.

the crown of mieville’s achievement with this book, though, are the words themselves. as is probably reasonably obvious, i’m a sucker for beautiful prose. what makes a book really shine for me are the words in themselves, the way they’re put together. it’s a little bit like music and a little bit like alchemy. again, this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but mieville’s extensive vocabulary makes this novel into a creature of beauty. the writing is somewhat lyrical and always magical.

if i’m not coherent, it’s because i’m a little bit in love.

the reason i have tried so hard to avoid spoilers is because i want everyone to read this book. okay, not everyone is going to like it. it isn’t for everyone. but it deserves tried. and i’m pretty sure some of the rest of you will fall in love like i did! ( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
as far as i can tell, china mieville has a big, big world inside his head.

this book is set in one city. just the one. there’s pretty much no outside involvement, unless you count the place where yagharek comes from, and that’s only really mentioned. but this city is huge. it’s truly massive. there’s the ribs, and the university district, and the place where all the hipster bug-people live, and perdido street station itself, and a thousand other things, plenty of which i probably didn’t even pick up on. the city is dark and dingy and murky and yet has this magical, alluring something about it. imagine a place with cactus people, and humans with bugs for heads, called khepri, and people made out of water, and regular humans, all together, all struggling for something…

i can’t even begin to describe what this book is about without ruining it entirely. i’ve seen some reviews describe the plot as “meandering” and i just can’t agree. i was gripped from the very first moment, first by a sense of apprehension, then foreboding, then outright dread. in its essentials, the book follows a scientist, a man named Isaac dan der Grimnebulin, who conducts his research in a dingy set of rooms in the university district. one day, a garuda - essentially a humanoid bird - comes to him, asking for help. this garuda has been stripped of his wings, and wants to find a way to fly, truly fly. isaac has his own problems: his girlfriend is a khepri, AND an artist, and their relationship is becoming a little strained.

i loved the characters in this book. i loved all of them, even the horrible ones. mieville has this way of humanising characters that you wouldn’t imagine it would be possible to humanise. i find it difficult to connect to a book if there’s nothing i can relate to about any of the characters - whether it be in their characters themselves, or the things they represent (see brideshead revisited for a good example of the latter). where characters lack a human aspect it rarely works. look at spock, or k-pax, or the iron giant. they work because they’re humanised in the very best sense of the word, despite not being human themselves. they’re given an empathetic quality. mieville achieves this in spades, particularly with the garuda and the khepri. again, it’s hard to describe without spoiling the book, but the arcs of lin, isaac, and yagharek were dark, and addictive, and excellent.

the crown of mieville’s achievement with this book, though, are the words themselves. as is probably reasonably obvious, i’m a sucker for beautiful prose. what makes a book really shine for me are the words in themselves, the way they’re put together. it’s a little bit like music and a little bit like alchemy. again, this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but mieville’s extensive vocabulary makes this novel into a creature of beauty. the writing is somewhat lyrical and always magical.

if i’m not coherent, it’s because i’m a little bit in love.

the reason i have tried so hard to avoid spoilers is because i want everyone to read this book. okay, not everyone is going to like it. it isn’t for everyone. but it deserves tried. and i’m pretty sure some of the rest of you will fall in love like i did! ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
as far as i can tell, china mieville has a big, big world inside his head.

this book is set in one city. just the one. there’s pretty much no outside involvement, unless you count the place where yagharek comes from, and that’s only really mentioned. but this city is huge. it’s truly massive. there’s the ribs, and the university district, and the place where all the hipster bug-people live, and perdido street station itself, and a thousand other things, plenty of which i probably didn’t even pick up on. the city is dark and dingy and murky and yet has this magical, alluring something about it. imagine a place with cactus people, and humans with bugs for heads, called khepri, and people made out of water, and regular humans, all together, all struggling for something…

i can’t even begin to describe what this book is about without ruining it entirely. i’ve seen some reviews describe the plot as “meandering” and i just can’t agree. i was gripped from the very first moment, first by a sense of apprehension, then foreboding, then outright dread. in its essentials, the book follows a scientist, a man named Isaac dan der Grimnebulin, who conducts his research in a dingy set of rooms in the university district. one day, a garuda - essentially a humanoid bird - comes to him, asking for help. this garuda has been stripped of his wings, and wants to find a way to fly, truly fly. isaac has his own problems: his girlfriend is a khepri, AND an artist, and their relationship is becoming a little strained.

i loved the characters in this book. i loved all of them, even the horrible ones. mieville has this way of humanising characters that you wouldn’t imagine it would be possible to humanise. i find it difficult to connect to a book if there’s nothing i can relate to about any of the characters - whether it be in their characters themselves, or the things they represent (see brideshead revisited for a good example of the latter). where characters lack a human aspect it rarely works. look at spock, or k-pax, or the iron giant. they work because they’re humanised in the very best sense of the word, despite not being human themselves. they’re given an empathetic quality. mieville achieves this in spades, particularly with the garuda and the khepri. again, it’s hard to describe without spoiling the book, but the arcs of lin, isaac, and yagharek were dark, and addictive, and excellent.

the crown of mieville’s achievement with this book, though, are the words themselves. as is probably reasonably obvious, i’m a sucker for beautiful prose. what makes a book really shine for me are the words in themselves, the way they’re put together. it’s a little bit like music and a little bit like alchemy. again, this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but mieville’s extensive vocabulary makes this novel into a creature of beauty. the writing is somewhat lyrical and always magical.

if i’m not coherent, it’s because i’m a little bit in love.

the reason i have tried so hard to avoid spoilers is because i want everyone to read this book. okay, not everyone is going to like it. it isn’t for everyone. but it deserves tried. and i’m pretty sure some of the rest of you will fall in love like i did! ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
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. ( )
  Irena. | Jan 28, 2016 |
Picking up this book was an impulse guided by a quarterly reading challenge (read a steampunk novel); the genre didn't really have a showing in my TBR pile until this challenge. After surreptitiously googling "steampunk novels" to outfit my lacking store of related knowledge, I came across really good reviews for Miéville's Perdido and figured it was worth a shot. I didn't have much luck with it when I began.

I was reading quite a lot of Victorian-era books and even though I felt like it would be a natural next once I'd read some Wells, I couldn't slip into it. Miéville takes you into a quick dive, leaving you ashore in a completely new world. That's definitely not a criticism, it's wonderful. However, a whole new world being considered, I probably would have stuck with three stars. Simply because there were a lot of parts that felt muddled to me. From sentences to whole plot developments, honestly. There was immense talent in the writing, that was easy to see and feel but the world just grew spotty in patches for me and it made the book drag a bit. However, upon finishing, I decided it would be a four-star for me because I was so impressed with the undertaking and how well Miéville was able to take it on.

I can sit back, as a reader, and say, "I wish there was a little editing here," or, "what, okay, need to go back to understand that." However, also as a reader, I can see the effort and imagination needed to put this book in front of me and I can respect it completely. That being said, I look forward to reading more by the author. ( )
  lemotamant898 | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (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 (11 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
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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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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