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Perdido Street Station (2000)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bas-Lag (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,383279702 (4.06)658
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none -- not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger -- and more consuming -- by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon -- and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes ...… (more)
  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: A Novel by Katherine Dunn (fyrefly98)
  6. 21
    The Etched City by K. J. Bishop (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar dark, steampunk-ish urban environments that sometime veer into the horrific and fantastical.
  7. 10
    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the world building, for the heft of the plot.
  8. 32
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another dystopian dream-city to get lost in with weird sex and fantastic writing.
  9. 00
    Viriconium: "The Pastel City", "A Storm of Wings", "In Viriconium", "Viriconium Nights" by M. John Harrison (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: "Weird cities" staples.
  10. 00
    The Last City by Nina D'Aleo (GuyMontag)
  11. 00
    City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Macon)
  12. 00
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (majkia)
    majkia: no idea why exactly, but the two seem similar to me.
  13. 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.
  14. 00
    Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell (iftyzaidi)
  15. 13
    Earth by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  16. 02
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An interesting world filled with unexpected people.
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» See also 658 mentions

English (276)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (280)
Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
Having just finished the book, I find it hard to make up my mind about it. I picked it up because I had read Miéville's short story collection [b:Looking for Jake|499415|Looking for Jake|China Miéville|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320525557s/499415.jpg|895195] and absolutely loved it.

Perdido Street Station is a very different beast though. I expected it to be gritty and gory (and was looking forward to it) but the amount of grit and gore far exceeded my expectations. As another reviewer put it: The grittiness of New Crobuzon permeates every single sentence of the book. At some point, it got a bit too much for my taste. I was longing for some light, something beautiful, some comic relief, but it wouldn't come. (To be sincere, I expected an even worse ending than we get.)

Maybe it only got hard to handle because I developed a nasty flu about halfway through the book and the book's themes lend themselves far too well to fever dreams... I should've known better to continue reading the story through that but that just shows that the book was really hard to put away.

Anyway, I loved the setup of the city as well as some of the more unusual characters. Some of the developments felt a little forced or unconvincing (The Construct Council is all the Weaver isn't? And Isaac can somehow use that to overload the slake-moths? And he'll need a crisis engine for that which he had just developed for something completely different? What luck!) but all in all it's an enthralling plot and I'm happy to have ventured into Bas-Lag for the first time. ( )
  SpookyFM | Jan 18, 2021 |
China Mieville is weiiiiiiiiiiiird.

While his writing style and use of descriptors is not necessarily something I would seek out, once I started this novel, I felt like I was drunkenly sloshing through it for the next week. There is so much happening in the city of New Crobuzon -- things or events or social constructs that Mieville just barely brushes over -- that it is quite overwhelming. He is a master at manipulating the surreal and the urban into seeming perfectly acceptable, until you back out of the book and suddenly realize you've just read fifty pages about a bunch of humanoid cacti.

Yup. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
A fantastic book about a fantastical city with its fantastical inhabitants. If you are into some strange fantasy style then this is a book for you. I do recommend it. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
so I'm a bit torn on this book. it's a solid 4 for the world building and detail of the makeup and relationship between everything. but this guy needs an editor. there are whole characters that could have been cut and great sections devoted to throw away moments. does the reader really need 2 pages on each step and handoff in the life of a message up the chain of command? does the reader need great detail in how people lay a wire and all the things that wire lays upon? I don't believe so, without the I think the book could have been an enjoyable and succinct 400 or so pages instead of the overly verbose and overworked 700 ( )
  morgan.goose | Dec 14, 2020 |
This book is the definition of good hurt. I need to go lie down and cry now. Jesus Christ, what an ending. ( )
  kaitlynn_g | Dec 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 276 (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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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none -- not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger -- and more consuming -- by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon -- and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes ...

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