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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
7,857257706 (4.06)651
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 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 651 mentions

English (253)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (257)
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
4.5 Stars. I will confess that this book dragged at times, and there were points (though few), where I felt the plot lost naturalism. But what an adventure! This is fiction of the mundane and the fantastical. Admirable zeal produces monstrous results, which are only remedied by the most unlikely and contrary of alliances. The characters demonstrate admirable conduct and cruel rapacity, often within pages of each other, while still remaining internally cohesive. In so many other books, everything falls back into place after the defeat of the "Big Bad". Not so here. There are no easy answers or quick fixes, no plaudits or adoring crowds when the story ends. The protagonists, if this is the right word for them, played at desperate stakes, and they finish the book scarred mentally, emotionally, and physically. It made the book better, and empowered the story with real consequence. I finished this book feeling rewarded for investing my time into it, and awed by the author's vision. ( )
  TomPfeifer | Dec 12, 2019 |
Mieville's talent for the creation and description of monsters/beasts/living things is unparallelled. I think he's every bit as good as Lovecraft, though of course he has the benefit of writing after Lovecraft.

Nate's review keeps me from writing my own.

One question (spoiler?): after the kind of silly, action-y climax, what's the deal with the birdman being revealed as a rapist? I'm guessing it's setup for another book in the series, but man oh man shit is dumb. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
Perdido Street Station is about a bunch of characters on the fringes or outcast from society that come together to correct a mistake that threatens the city. This was a dense book that was not easy to read. The world Mieville creates is so different from our world that it took a lot of brain power just to imagine it in my head (despite the copious descriptions given). The vocabulary Mieville used kept me on my toes and gave my Kindle's dictionary a good work out. The first half of the book consisted of a lot of world and character building. I kept waiting for something to happen, something to start tying all of the stories together. That something happened at around the half way point and it became a different story, a lot of the stuff from the beginning of the book went on the back burner. I am glad I read the book, Mieville created an original, imaginative world unlike any other I have read. I feel like a lot of the stuff that happened in the book went over my head and I kept thinking that I must have missed something among all the descriptions and big words. ( )
  Cora-R | Jul 27, 2019 |
My first China Miéville.
This was a crazy, emersive world that Perdido Street Station takes the reader into. Complete world building like I have not read before, at least that I can think of while I write this review. I would be impressed if there ever was a movie, but this story has a better life in any readers imagination.
China Miéville is a fantastic storyteller and Ilook forward to other works by him.
  untitled841 | Jul 24, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 253 (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
First words
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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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