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Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station (original 2000; edition 2003)

by China Mieville

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,672255701 (4.06)646
Title:Perdido Street Station
Authors:China Mieville
Info:Del Rey (2003), Edition: 1st Published, Mass Market Paperback, 640 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

Work details

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville (2000)

  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.
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  14. 13
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  15. 02
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    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.

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» See also 646 mentions

English (252)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (256)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
This book reminds me of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. Both books are urban fantasy, though Perdido Street Station takes place in a belching pit of urban squalor while Locke Lamora's city is more Venician-Victorian fantastic. Both came highly recommended by numerous people. Both take a long time to get going; Locke Lamora doesn't take off until the second half, and Perdido Street Station is fairly unexciting for the first few hundred pages until Ye Olde Monstrosity gets loose. Both books feature protagonists that are hard to draw a bead on. Isaac is a scientist, and he's foul-mouthed, and is obsessive, and passionate, and...? It's a nice change of pace to have an overweight middle-aged guy as the hero, but Isaac isn't exactly charismatic. He makes ridiculous mistakes and slows the party down on multiple occasions, sometimes with fatal results for others. After my favorite character died as a direct result of Isaac's poor life choices, it was hard not to hate him.
Still, it's a great book. It's incredibly inventive. In the first few chapters, we meet human cactuses, a woman with a beetle for a head, a deranged talking eagle-man-creature, and a chimeric nightmare. The city is very London-esque and is easily more of a protagonist than Isaac. The world building is marvelous.
But seriously, Isaac. I hate you. ( )
1 vote miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
I'd like to finish this, but there's more cruelty in it than I can handle - especially toward animals. Hopefully the books that aren't in the 'New Crobuzon' series are less gruesome, because I do like his writing and admire his imagination.
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Mieville's sinister departure contains and sustains some remarkable iamges and ideas. the prose is transportive. Unfortunately the business of plot assumes command around the three-quarters mark. What results relies upon action . . .tediously defined violent action. Despite that, I loved all the characters, Issac, Motley and especially the Slake Moths. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Perdido Street Station is the hub of rail traffic in New Crobuzon and home to foreign embassies. It is a monstrous building, immense in scale that is astounding even in a city as ancient and crowded and industrial as New Crobuzon. The novel establishes the civilization: a melting pot of species and cultures that is similar to our industrial 19th century, but far stranger and horrifying. The government is corrupt and the laws are cruel. The politics of the novel and a society as heterogeneous as this one are as engrossing as the more fantastic elements of the plot, including the Slake Moths.

Isaac, a rogue scientist and researcher, is commissioned by a bird man, a daruda, to give him back the gift of flight, his wings having been torn from his body as punishment for an unknown crime. He has hunted out Isaac as one uniquely able to help him in his quest. Isaac's research brings him into contact with a strange grub that soon becomes a monster. At that point, the whole city is in jeopardy and Isaac has to figure out how to stop it. There is a romance angle, too, that pushes the boundaries of the genre and is no less affecting for it. Isaac's lover, Lin, is an outsider artist and broke away from her people to pursue creating art that was more than celebrating a religious line. She is commissioned by a shadowy mob figure and must keep it a secret even when strange events start paralyzing the city. Derkhan is a friend of Isaac and Lin's, one of the few in on their secret and as a journalist of an illegal seditious newspaper has important connections in the city.

Mieville has written a sprawling, fantastic world with Perdido Street Station, I'm a bit disgusted with myself for not reading more of Mieville's work earlier, or that of his peers. Somehow, I'll remedy that. ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I have been trying to finish this book for a long time, but in the end I had to give up.
The premise is good, quite original for the genre and the author has indeed a way with words: his descriptions are powerful and vivid, making New Crobuzon jump up from the pages in all its glory - or decay, as you will have it.
But in the long run, I felt that something important (at least to me) was missing: I could not "link" with the characters, any of them, or with what happens to them. I could not establish that empathy that seems so vital when reading a book.
We often use the word 'engrossing' when describing a tale - this one is not, at least to me.
Of course it's kaleidoscopic, rich and imaginative - this is what kept me reading for so long - but it's…soulless.
While Mievile has indeed a way with words, the end result seems more like a practical exercise rather than the sharing of a story - which, in my humble opinion, is the point in writing. Reading this book feels like listening to Chopin played by an automaton: flawless technique, but no passion.
It's ultimately sad, because it had all the elements to be an absorbing tale: unlike what happened with other books I left unfinished, this time I regret having to do so. But it's not enough to give me the strength to go through with it.
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 252 (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 (15 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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