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Perdido Street Station

Perdido Street Station

Book - 2001
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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 gifted and eccentric 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 encountered. 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 becomes more and more consumed with his experiments, one of his lab specimens demands special attention; a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger - and more voracious - 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 ...
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Pub. Group, 2001
ISBN: 9781435295407
Characteristics: 710 p. ; 24 cm


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Dec 26, 2019

The author uses tremendous amounts of charterer development. Necessary, as the makeup this world contains is many different types of sentient creatures. Insect, bird, mammal. The author sent me to my dictionary several times which is very good. Could this be a SiFi classic .... I have to read it again -

Jul 08, 2019

A weird and awesome story in a world unlike anything else. The story itself is a bit of a slow burn at first, but it moves quickly once it gets going. Strong recommendation for people who like "location as character" writing in which a place—real, or, in this case, imagined—is portrayed in deep detail. In an odd way, it reminds me of Steinbeck as he profiled Monterrey or the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. One truly gets a sense of New Crobuzon as a city and nation after reading this novel (the good, the bad, the strange, the mundane). The characters themselves are little less compelling than the setting, to be frank, but the weirdness kept the book fresh until it got page-turny at the end.

Jul 30, 2018

An early novel by China Mieville. His writing in this book is frequently over-the-top, a tendency that he managed to reign in with later works. The story however is breath-taking, set in a squalid steam-punk city, and featuring the most imaginative and interesting characters involved in stupendous undertakings. While Hollywood still creates creaky and portentous movies reminding us that blacks and whites can get along, Mieville features an intense and totally convincing inter-species love affair. I was shocked by the bleak ending of the book - perhaps I am still too much in thrall to Hollywood traditions. But this is a story that will stay with me a long time.

WCLSNorthForkLibrary Dec 31, 2016

This one started slowly for me, but after pushing through the first portion I was utterly absorbed. Not a title for the squeamish, but if you appreciate political intrigue, speculative science, word craft and moral conundrums, this might be for you.


This author has an amazing, intelligent and challenging writing style. You may need to keep a dictionary handy (although this isn't a bad thing). This is the first in the BasLag series.

Feb 25, 2015

Author Recommendation

Feb 02, 2012

This book totally mesmerized me. He has created a world that is thoroughly complex and satisfying without being hard to follow, and the depth of both the individual characters and the sociological milieu is impressive. And the writing! He writes like a dream. I loved this book.

Jul 18, 2011

Trying to stuff this book in a genre would be a hopeless task, so i can only recommend it to all those who love to read something new and different, something that isn't a easily defined, but draws you in completely.

The story is complex with a variety of flavors and ideas hitting you, and a conclusion i could not have seen when diving into the first pages. At times i found myself frustrated with all that was going on with what seemed to be a complete lack of progression or explanation - but when i threw this book to the side, i always found myself picking it back up again, hungry to know what it was all leading to.

Jun 22, 2011

First of his fantasy series, showing up most fantasy books as the pale derivative things they are.

If I could give this book more stars I would. I'm not a big fantasy fan as my tastes run more towards Hard Scifi and I have a difficult time suspending my disbelief long enough to take the time to understand worlds and species based entirely on imagination. But Mievill'e's writing is so evocative that it carried me past my initial misgivings and before I knew it I was lost in a great story.

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