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Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Perdido Street Station (2000)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,220236494 (4.07)619
  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. 96
    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.
  4. 30
    Iron Council by China Miéville (kaipakartik)
    kaipakartik: Same universe, a lot of the same creatures. Brilliantly done as well
  5. 53
    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (fyrefly98)
  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. 21
    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
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (majkia)
    majkia: no idea why exactly, but the two seem similar to me.
  10. 00
    The Last City by Nina D'Aleo (GuyMontag)
  11. 00
    City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Macon)
  12. 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.
  13. 00
    Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell (iftyzaidi)
  14. 13
    Earth by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  15. 02
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.

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» See also 619 mentions

English (234)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All (237)
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)
I just do not give a shit about these people. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
Not my favorite Miéville, but still good. Started slow, but got better and threw me a couple of curve balls at the end. ( )
  pan0ramix | May 26, 2017 |
Perdido Street Station is a wonderful melting pot of genres. There's fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, and even horror elements that all combine into a cohesive, gripping story.

Isaac van der Grimnebulin is a scientist and inventor living in the city of New Crobuzon. One day, a garuda, an avian-type humanoid, visits his workshop with one request: make him fly again. This garuda, Yagharek, has committed some type of crime in his society, and the punishment was the removal of his wings. Isaac's research into flight makes up the main crux of the first third of the novel, until a caterpillar he has been keeping eventually pupates into something frightening - this is where the shit hits the fan, so to speak.

One thing that immediately stood out to me about this novel was Miéville's phenomenal writing style and worldbuilding ability. His writing is evocative and, at times, visceral as he vividly describes the world around Isaac. The city of New Crobuzon feels dingy yet alive, full of various people and creatures. Miéville goes about worldbuilding in a very natural way: he sneaks in information about the world and creatures within it in such a way that it never feels out of place, and there is no info-dumping to be found.

The characters in this novel are also well-crafted and wonderfully realized, from Isaac and Yagharek to Lin, Isaac's chitinous lover, and Motley, a crime kingpin, and many more. As the novel goes on, I started to feel for Isaac, Yagharek, and Lin, and by the end I was emotionally invested in their story, making the ending all the more effective. This is a stunning novel from front to back, and I cannot wait to read more of Miéville's work. ( )
1 vote jameschatham | Apr 16, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 234 (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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bauche-Eppers, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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'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
to Emma
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Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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