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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review
If I had to place stupendously imaginative novel Perdido Street Station in a genre, I'd say it was fantasy steampunk. Exotic and nightmarish creatures abound in New Crobuzon, a bustling, chaotic city milieu in a world featuring both magic and primitive technology. There is also a political dimension to the story, which highlights the abuse of power and also reflects the...
Published on March 7 2006 by A. J. Cull

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3.0 out of 5 stars didn't hold my attention
my feelings about this book ended up mixed. while i was reading it, i kept thinking how wonderful the imagery was, how complex and differentiated the characters were, and how innventive was the world of perdido street station. that being said (and probably true), i didn't find it holding my attention for long periods. it took me quite a long time to read this book. i...
Published on March 14 2004 by J. Blattman


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review, March 7 2006
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
If I had to place stupendously imaginative novel Perdido Street Station in a genre, I'd say it was fantasy steampunk. Exotic and nightmarish creatures abound in New Crobuzon, a bustling, chaotic city milieu in a world featuring both magic and primitive technology. There is also a political dimension to the story, which highlights the abuse of power and also reflects the author's left-wing convictions. Be warned that there is a scarcity of happy outcomes for the characters, who are complex and never two-dimensional. If you have read and loved Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, you will immediately warm to China Mieville.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone. . ., May 29 2003
By 
Ben Cooper (Jacksonville Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Paperback)
Perdido is not a casual read. The language is dense, and if you're vocabulary isn't up to snuff, you'll probably struggle with this. Mieville also dedicates an incredible amount of time to imagery and atmosphere. On top of all that, the book takes a while to warm up, and at times the plotting feels loose and disjointed.
So, you may be asking, why did I give this five stars? Because once the story got going, I couldn't put it down, flaws and all. Mieville's imagination is nearly boundless and it's a book, love it or hate it, that's unlike anything else. And in the Weaver, a spider-like god that walks the web of reality, Mieville has created one of the most interesting and wonderfully bizarre characters I've ever come across. The minute he/she/it stepped on the page, I was enthralled. Always. I'd reccomend checking this one out for the Weaver alone.
And even though Perdido felt aimless at times (a tighter plot would have done wonders), certain scenes were so amazing that I doubt I'll ever forget them. The chapter involving the Ambassador of Hell was simply brilliant, and it's just one amongst the many.
Though Perdido is not without its faults, its pros far out-weigh the cons, especially in the latter half. For the patient and open-minded, this is not a book to pass up, for it will definitely make an impression and probably a lasting one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sybaritic comes to mind, Jan. 24 2006
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
I finished this a while ago, but it’s one of those books I need a certain distance from before I am ready for any sort of evaluation.
Miéville is not Peake, and I think one does him a disservice by a comparison which can only disappoint. “Perdido Street Station” has a richly detailed setting, painted with all the stops pulled out and a loving eye for the small particulars that create the big picture. But where Peake populated his stories with well-rounded, memorable, idiosyncratic, living, breathing beings, Miéville ‘builds’ his characters like he builds his city, creating props for his fantastic stage rather than personalities. I caught myself wondering, in fact, if it’s not New Crobuzon, who is the true protagonist of the story.
The story ...
Whose story? Isaac’s? Yagharek’s? New Crobuzon’s?
Yagharek with his lyrical, introverted voice came more alive for me than Isaac did, but he was not really given enough room to be the protagonist; he’s more of a catalyst and the frame that tries to hold this sprawling behemoth (pardon the pun) together. Which again leaves the city. The characters don’t really drive the plot, the city does -- this steaming, moving, writhing conglomeration of streets, buildings, machines and populace. And it does not merely drive the main plot, but throws out a multitude of independent little polyp arms, plot lines that lead back to themselves or nowhere in particular. A baroque monster, ugly, frustrating, barely comprehensible at times and utterly fascinating.
What’s it about? Responsibility? Consequences? Guilt? Who we are and what makes us who we are? Maybe.
Why read it?
Because it’s beautiful in the sense that wrought iron is beautiful: Twisted, sooty, pockmarked, it retains the opulence of a bygone era, and yet, or maybe thus, compels with its lush seduction.
It starts laboriously, like the steam engines it portrays so well. But it’s worth staying with, picks up steam after the first third and sweeps the reader along with the inescapable force of a runaway train. A grotesque nightmare ride, the sweaty, haunted feeling of which lingers long after you closed the book.
For all the suction it develops, however, it doesn’t get you anywhere fast: It lingers over style and architecture, takes you on philosophical detours, develops extra themes, supernumerary characters, subplots and a teeming imagery with an abandon that overwhelms at times. It evokes the dizzy sense of wonder the unspoiled visitors of a medieval fair might have felt, their impressions not blurred by speed, but by sheer multitude and alienness.
“Perdido Street Station” doesn’t lend itself to ten-minute-sittings, but will rather reward readers who are ready to stop and take the plunge, who will immerse themselves in the bizarre richesse of this magnificent steampunk epic. Let the rivers Tar and Canker carry you along, sit back and enjoy the ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Serious Fantasy Literature Fans, July 30 2013
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read Perdido Street Station a number of years ago and was blown away by Mieville's fertile imagination. Now that I've read a considerable number of his other works--including the two later volumes in the trllogy, The Scar and Iron Council--I've come to recognize Mieville as a very important literary figure. I've taught his The City & The City in a mystery/detective fiction course and am very pleased to report that students are much taken with Mieville's genre-bending volume, and his successful invocation of political/cultural divisions into an original imaginative form. I would also highly recommend Kraken.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good or even better than what you've heard!, Jan. 18 2013
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
Welcome to New Crobuzon! A disgusting and wretched city...where lots of fascinating people live. This is my fourth book by Miéville and none of them have ever disappointed me. His way of describing characters is his main strength. In an environment where people can be remade and different species of non-human coexist, you can read the full measure of his talent.
The two main metaphors of the book are pollution (the whole city) and unstoppable man-made plagues (deadly moth creatures). His best creation of the book is The Weaver, a free-verse mad demi-God in the form of a giant spider...who happens to write messages to the main characters of the book in a newspaper's readers column. Priceless. One of those books I really wanted not to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Make yourself a favour and buy this book, Oct. 16 2012
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Mr. S. Garcia Camargo "Sergio Garcia" (Montreal, QC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
China Mieville is a Role Playing Game nerd, socialist punk and a damn fine author. If you are a fan of science fiction/fantasy, you *need* to read Perdido Street Station, one of the most original sci-fi/fantasy novels of the latest years. An extremly original setting, amazing creatures, very well crafted plot and very, very fine prose (which is hard to find in sci-fi). This is not standard science fiction/fantasy, tho. Mieville calls it "weird fiction". Read this book and find why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humungous Meisterwork of the New New Sci-Fi, Feb. 3 2003
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Paperback)
While accolades like "Dickensian" are a bit over the top, there hasn't been a new novelist in years that deserved as much excitement as China Mieville. Here we have a very impressive tour-de-force of modern science fiction mixed in with cyberpunk, subversive politics, and other heavy aspects of the Gen-X mindset. This novel takes place in a wasted city that is surely inspired by London, on a devastated planet that is probably Earth in the very distant future. Humans have mixed with many races of aliens into a dysfunctional society that has degenerated into a dark age of chaos and repression. Mieville does show some tendencies of the rampaging young writer with a few too many ideas, as this book tends to ramble in places. Sometimes we are lost in lengthy technical descriptions of machinery and architecture (an example is an overly long write-up of the workings of a mailroom in chapter 9), there are too many place names with no impact on the story, and a few too many bizarre alien races.
On the other hand, Mieville has a real gift for political intrigue and power plays in his writing, and bizarrely creative concepts and settings. My favorite is a garbage dump that evolves a collective artificial intelligence due to a computer virus. The most mind-blowing aspect of this novel is the villains - a tribe of mutants who feed on one's thoughts and dreams, and excrete dark psychic pain in amounts that drive entire populations insane. So while Mieville needs a little practice reining in his many ideas into a leaner-and-meaner focus, this book still has the power to blow your mind in ways that sci-fi hasn't been capable of in ages. Here's a hot new writer that deserves to be hot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on imagination, light on story, July 17 2004
This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
It's not very often that i'm moved to buy a book by the oversimplified, standard-issue blurb on the back cover , but this one actually did the job. The setting alone sounded too good to be true. I bought the book, went home, sat down and started reading.
I had a hard time really getting into the novel, but that didn't scare me away. I've read a lot of books that i didn't find gripping until page one hundred or so. Then i found i didn't really care for any of the characters. Don't get me wrong, i didn't particularly dislike any of them, but i also didn't find myself growing attached to any of them either. It's not that they were boring or two-dimensional, they just didn't breath for me. Still, i read on, and i'll tell you why.
All the positive reviews i've read of this book, and many of the negative ones, at least mention the staggering number of ideas present in this book. I wholeheartedly agree. The level of orginality is, in my opinion, unsurpassed by any other book i've read in ten years. Additionally, while the characters themselves did little for me individually, the setting as a whole did indeed come alive in my mind as i read. That part of the book was not, in fact, too good to be true.
With more appealing characters and a more interesting story, i wouldn't have hesitated to give this book five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, gritty, captivating and very unusual, July 6 2011
By 
G. Larouche (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first picked up this book, I found the first third of it long and weird. Where were we getting at with all this stuff? But as the story evolves and comes together, it all makes brilliant sense, and it is well worth the effort!

Without too much details and spoilers, it is basically the story of a rogue scientist who is commissioned to build wings to be attached to a formerly-winged creature. But the experiments he does to find a solution end up going wrong, with grave and extremely dangerous consequences, not only for himself but for the entire city-state of New Crobuson.

The style of writing is great, and yet unusual. But trust China, he is going somewhere and he knows exactly how to take you there, in the small, dirty streets of his gritty, twisted steampunk reality.

If you like Neil Gaiman, you will LOVE China Mieville's work, as he goes down similarly dark alleys, albeit in his own unique way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written Steampunk, very engrossing., Feb. 20 2011
This review is from: Perdido Street Station (Mass Market Paperback)
An impressive dedication to worldbuilding and well written prose make for a very engrossing storyline that has kept me interested. My first read of China's, but I see myself reading more in the future.
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Perdido Street Station
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (Mass Market Paperback - July 29 2003)
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