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Iron Council by China Mieville
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Iron Council (original 2004; edition 2005)

by China Mieville

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2,717612,171 (3.63)129
Member:tewhalen
Title:Iron Council
Authors:China Mieville
Info:Del Rey (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, sf

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Iron Council by China Miéville (2004)

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» See also 129 mentions

English (60)  French (1)  All (61)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Still epic, violent, and wondrous. It was harder to stay focused on reading than the previous two, and I think it's because of the shifts in narrators throughout the story. With the world as complicated as it is, changing viewpoints after several chapters kept shoving me out of the story. Still, keep at it. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 2, 2017 |
I read this when it came out, but didn't review it for some reason. All I have in my notes is "Original, cool ideas, with meaning and depth. All hail Mieville." Anyway, it's about time for a re-read, especially because my wife hasn't read it yet and this time I'll be reading it to her.

So first I read Perdido Street Station and it was perfect and I loved it more than any other book. Then I read the The Scar and liked it, but was disappointed. Then I read Iron Council and thought that if I would have read it before Perdido Street Station I would have loved it the most. THEN I reread PSS with my wife and thought the first 50-75 pages were REALLY slow, we almost gave up. In the end we both loved it, but thought it could have used an editor. NOW we just finished reading Iron Council and felt the same way. It could have been much shorter and that would have been an improvement. I also felt that after rereading both PSS was better than Iron Council.

Mieville is a force of abnature. His crazy-ideas-per-page ratio is some irrational number that exists both within and without our minds. The puissance of his writing pullulates with thaumaturgy and chymical eructations over a landscape of puna, studded with monadnocks and sarsen blocks.

So yea, make sure you have your dictionary handy before you read his books. ( )
  ragwaine | Feb 23, 2017 |
An amazing conclusion (sort of the trilogy inhabits the same space but doesn't need to be read as a trilogy) that achieves not much ultimately. Great world building and imagination. ( )
  kale.dyer | Nov 14, 2016 |
It spends a lot of time with a couple characters who are boring and unsympathetic. There's some really cool stuff in it, but it's a big step below the other Bas-Lag books. ( )
  comfypants | Sep 19, 2016 |
Iron Council by China Miéville is set in New Crobuzon, the city-state on Bas-Lag, the mythical world he created in previous novels (Perdido Street Station, The Scar). Reading Perdido Street Station before Iron Council is highly recommended because it will give you the insight you need into the complex population of Bas-Lag and New Crobuzon. This is considered the third book in his series of novels in this world.

The political atmosphere is exceptionally charged in Iron Council and that is the crux of this novel, although there are certainly other plot elements pulled into the mix. This is, perhaps, the most socialist of Miéville's novels. The Iron Council is a train with crew and passengers that was expelled from the city years ago. Since that time it has stayed hidden from the militia who seek it. But now may be the time to call the Iron Council back.

After the lengthy background of the Iron Council is established, the political/social revolution is underway. But, of course, since this is Miéville it's not quite as simple as that. Prepare yourself for the previous insect and cactus races, along with all manner of golems, Remades, alchemy, magic, interdemensional travel, native races, and much, much more.

Certainly the writing is exceptional and the characterizations well developed and the descriptions are substantial. This time around, however, Miéville throws so much into the mix that it became almost too much - something I never could have imagine typing before this. Am I glad I read it? Certainly! I was looking forward to it. But I could only recommend Iron Council to others who have read Perdido Street Station, The Scar and want to finish Miéville's three New Crobuzon novels.
( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Aside from his high-end prose style, Miéville’s characters, with their conceits and weaknesses abraded as moral choices play themselves out, secure their author’s place among the top-flight novelists of today.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
China Miévilleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giugliano, NelloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynch, DamianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Erect portable moving monuments on the platforms of trains.' Velimir Khlebnikov, Proposals
Dedication
To Jemima, my sister
First words
In years gone, women and men are cutting a line across the dirtland and dragging history with them.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Haiku summary
Croubouzon at war \
talks of rebel paradise \
rumor mill alive
(lisa2)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345458427, Paperback)

China Miéville's novel Iron Council is the tumultuous story of the "Perpetual Train." Born from monopolists' greed and dispatched to tame the western lands beyond New Crobuzon, the train is itself the beginnings of an Iron Council formed in the fire of frontier revolt against the railroad's masters. From the wilderness, the legend of Iron Council becomes the spark uniting the oppressed and brings barricades to the streets of faraway New Crobuzon. The sprawling tale is told through the past-and-present eyes of three characters. The first is Cutter, a heartsick subversive who follows his lover, the messianic Judah Low, on a quest to return to the Iron Council hidden in the western wilds. The second is Judah himself, an erstwhile railroad scout who has become the iconic golem-wielding hero of Iron Council's uprising at the end of the tracks. And the third is Ori, a young revolutionary on the streets of New Crobuzon, whose anger leads him into a militant wing of the underground, plotting anarchy and mayhem.

Miéville (The Scar, Perdido Street Station) weaves his epic out of familiar and heavily political themes--imperialism, fascism, conquest, and Marxism--all seen through a darkly cast funhouse mirror wherein even language is distorted and made beautifully grotesque. Improbably evoking Jack London and Victor Hugo, Iron Council is a twisted frontier fable cleverly combined with a powerful parable of Marxist revolution that continues Miéville's macabre remaking of the fantasy genre. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"It is a time of wars and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. new Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming city to the brink. A mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places." "In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lsot hope." "In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon's most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the Iron Council."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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