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The Scar by China Miéville
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The Scar (2002)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bas-Lag (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,642901,450 (4.11)193
  1. 10
    City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (davisfamily)
    davisfamily: A mystery within a unique setting. Interesting mix of Religion and Politics.
  2. 12
    The Book on Fire by Keith Miller (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the depiction of the city.
  3. 03
    Scar Lover by Harry Crews (bertilak)
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» See also 193 mentions

English (88)  French (2)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
A really interesting book and pushed beyond Perdido Station and drew me into the world of Bas-Lag. The imagery and characterization was very good and totally drew me in.
China is a great writer who created a world beyond any I have read before.
Sometimes hard to read but always satisfying. Enjoyed it very much.
  Ben_Harnwell | Apr 26, 2015 |
I was up until 2:30am last night to push through and finish this story. I couldn't leave it so close and unfinished.

This is the second China Mieville novel I've read, the first being the earlier Bas-Lag novel, Perdido Street Station. Mieville has amazing vision and imagination that gives extraordinary depth to his world-building. He also likes bugs!
On top of this, he is a highly skilled writer who has an incredible ear for language which makes his descriptions and action all the more evocative than your average author; it really jumps of the page and demands your attention - sometimes alluring and poetic, sometimes coarse and debased. It is language which really resonated with me. There is so much to appreciate about the way Mieville tells a story (i think I had to look up 3 words in a dictionary just a couple of pages in!)

All that said, it really did take me a long time to get into the story. Around 40% in I was wondering if I'd have the stamina to see this one through to the end. It meandered quite a bit and though not a direct sequel to Perdido Street Station, laboured too much in setting the world. Looking back after the story I wonder how much of the earlier content was really required? I did also find at times the characters of Uther Doul and the Brucolac to be drawn too close, at times coming across as almost the same character - perhaps the authors intention - I am not intellectual enough to break the story down too much.
The story picks up pace and gets really good int he second half, though I think there was almost too much packed in for my tastes - it was like a double-shot of[a:Brandon Sanderson|38550|Brandon Sanderson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1394044556p2/38550.jpg]. The confluence of events at the end of the novel left me somewhat unfulfilled - I can handle a novel being left a little open ended and with questions, but I felt a little cheated by the climax and denouement.

I only finished the book last night and in updating my Goodreads profile felt compelled to add my thoughts, but I really believe this is a novel that is best savored and pondered after completion. i think it's a story that will stay with me for some time.

China Meiville's The Scar - a complex Scotch before a roaring open fire in an ancient and isolated manor house. ( )
  StaticBlaq | Apr 26, 2015 |
I tried sticking with it, but I just couldn't get interested in the characters. Even though Bellis is, refreshingly, a female main character, she doesn't really seem to do anything, and I could not "get" her character sufficiently to really enjoy the plot, and the admittedly very lyrical descriptions did not so much endear the world to me as pause the alFinishedy very slow plot. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
Oh. My. God.

EDIT: no, seriously. OH. MY. GOD. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
I liked this quite a lot. I believe the author calls this weird fiction, and I can see where he's coming from. To me, it is fantasy, but admittedly, it is one of a kind fantasy. The many different races unlike any other make this world unique (try imagining a centaur, but instead of a horse, the animal part is a lobster...). The pirate city is unlike anything I've ever read about as well, and I love how the author has worked out what it is like to live in it. And I love how despite of all the strangeness going on, the major motivations at least are nothing strange: money and power. A strange thing to love, perhaps, but it completely fits in this world that isn't pulling any punches. It is intriguing and amazing, but it is definitely not a fairytale. There is some definite ugliness going on, and even the main character is hardly lovable. In a way, I almost wonder why I liked this so much, but the truth is, I did. Bellis may have been prickly and difficult at times, but I could sympathize with her. She does the best she can with what she has. I can't say I fully understand the motivations of some of the others: Uther Doul and the female Lover. They are intriguing, though. That's probably the main attraction of the book, it's intriguing. The city, the characters, the races, the world.

I haven't read Perdido Street Station, but this book is enough of a standalone that it wasn't a problem. Some friends of mine found that book depressing, but since I like this book so much, I will definitely give it a go in the future... ( )
  zjakkelien | Oct 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mège, NathalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, AshleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Yet the memory would not set into the setting sun, that green and frozen glance to the wide blue sea where broken hearts are wrecked out of their wounds. A blind sky bleached white the intellect of human bone, skinning the emotions from the fracture to reveal the grief underneath. And the mirror reveals me, a naked and vulnerable fact. --Dambudzo Marechera, Black Sunlight
Dedication
To Claudia, my mother.
First words
A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins.
Quotations
I am the Brucolac, and your sword won't save you. You think you can face me?
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
New Weird pirate yarn:
Floating collectivist state/
Sea-beast chariot!
(Longshanks)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345460014, Mass Market Paperback)

In the third book in an astounding, genre-breaking run, China Miéville expands the horizon beyond the boundaries of New Crobuzon, setting sail on the high seas of his ever-growing world of Bas Lag.

The Scar begins with Miéville's frantic heroine, Bellis Coldwine, fleeing her beloved New Crobuzon in the peripheral wake of events relayed in Perdidio Street Station. But her voyage to the colony of Nova Esperium is cut short when she is shanghaied and stranded on Armada, a legendary floating pirate city. Bellis becomes the reader's unbelieving eyes as she reluctantly learns to live on the gargantuan flotilla of stolen ships populated by a rabble of pirates, mercenaries, and press-ganged refugees. Meanwhile, Armada and Bellis's future is skippered by the "Lovers," an enigmatic couple whose mirror-image scarring belies the twisted depth of their passion. To give up any more of Miéville’s masterful plot here would only ruin the voyage through dangerous straits, political uprisings, watery nightmares, mutinous revenge, monstrous power plays, and grand aspirations.

Miéville's skill in articulating brilliantly macabre and involving descriptions is paralleled only by his ability to set up world-moving plot twists that continually blow away the reader's expectations. Man-made mutations, amphibious aliens, transdimensional beings, human mosquitoes, and even vampires are merely neighbors, coworkers, friends, and enemies coexisting in the dizzying tapestry of diversity that is Armada. The Scar proves Miéville has the muscle and talent to become a defining force as he effortlessly transcends the usual clichés of the genre. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A group of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, find themselves on the Armada, a floating city whose bizarre leaders harbor a sinister agenda.

» see all 4 descriptions

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