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Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 150 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Perdido Street Station

Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is a scientist that lives on the fringes of society. He is known for his research in things that aren't quite accepted by the rest of the scientific community. His most recent project is for a garuda, a bird-like creature, that has lost his win...
Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is a scientist that lives on the fringes of society. He is known for his research in things that aren't quite accepted by the rest of the scientific community. His most recent project is for a garuda, a bird-like creature, that has lost his wings. His job is to find a way for him to fly again. Isaac's girlfriend, Lin, is a bug person that has been recently hired by a notorious underworld drug lord to create a sculpture. Now, these two incidents have in common. Well, not too much as first, but as we read further into the story strange and unrelated events turn into a nightmare. Nearly invincible creatures are released into the city and are killing in ways no one can quite figure out and Isaac, Lin, and their friends find themselves the center of it all.

I really enjoyed reading this. There was sooooooo much going on that I was a bit overwhelmed when I first finished, but after sitting on my thoughts for a few days I realized how detailed the whole story was. Everything that was mentioned had a purpose. That purpose may not come into play for hundreds of pages, but the set up was perfect. The characters bothered me at first because they were very extreme in their personalities. But, again, as the story went along their quirks and extreme behavior all played a part. They also grew into completely new people as the events around them forced them to change their opinions and beliefs.

This is a great book for any fan of SteamPunk, science fiction, or fantasy. I wish I could remember how it got on my wishlist so I could thank the person who recommended it.

5/5

posted by Jasmyn9 on October 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

well-written, but uninteresting plot

I've heard about China Mieville for a long time, so I picked this book as a starting point and dove into it. I finished it wholly unsatisfied, but still interested in him as an author.

The prose is spectacular and vivid. I have seen many complaints that you need a di...
I've heard about China Mieville for a long time, so I picked this book as a starting point and dove into it. I finished it wholly unsatisfied, but still interested in him as an author.

The prose is spectacular and vivid. I have seen many complaints that you need a dictionary to get through some of his descriptive pieces, but to that I say "read more; expand your vocabulary." These pieces are his strong suit and the most pleasurable part of reading this book. He has constructed a vivid world, though I was a bit disappointed that I didn't learn more about it. There was some wasted potential there. If there is a flaw in the writing, it's that he really beat to death the descriptions of New Crobuzon as a polluted industrial city - grime, filth, slime, etc etc.

Anyway, the real disappointment is the story. I never cared. The protagonists were caricatures of people, and the monsters, while fascinating, failed to be good antagonists. The plot itself meandered aimlessly through a series of mostly related events that did not cohere into a fully realized plot. The tragedy, again, is that some of the scenes were superb (really!), but they felt like small scenes from a diorama or things that Mieville imagined and thought "Oh yeah, that has GOT to go in my next book," but without the necessary hooks to the rest of the book. The handlingers vs slake moths scene is perhaps the best example of this.

TL;DR: I'll probably read King Rat, because it's supposed to be great, but you can safely skip this one.

posted by Lelang on July 25, 2011

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    well-written, but uninteresting plot

    I've heard about China Mieville for a long time, so I picked this book as a starting point and dove into it. I finished it wholly unsatisfied, but still interested in him as an author.

    The prose is spectacular and vivid. I have seen many complaints that you need a dictionary to get through some of his descriptive pieces, but to that I say "read more; expand your vocabulary." These pieces are his strong suit and the most pleasurable part of reading this book. He has constructed a vivid world, though I was a bit disappointed that I didn't learn more about it. There was some wasted potential there. If there is a flaw in the writing, it's that he really beat to death the descriptions of New Crobuzon as a polluted industrial city - grime, filth, slime, etc etc.

    Anyway, the real disappointment is the story. I never cared. The protagonists were caricatures of people, and the monsters, while fascinating, failed to be good antagonists. The plot itself meandered aimlessly through a series of mostly related events that did not cohere into a fully realized plot. The tragedy, again, is that some of the scenes were superb (really!), but they felt like small scenes from a diorama or things that Mieville imagined and thought "Oh yeah, that has GOT to go in my next book," but without the necessary hooks to the rest of the book. The handlingers vs slake moths scene is perhaps the best example of this.

    TL;DR: I'll probably read King Rat, because it's supposed to be great, but you can safely skip this one.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Not really for me

    Interesting setting but the characters don't seem very likeable. After the 3rd bought of pointless animal cruelty, I had to put it down. Wish I could get my money back.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2003

    Mediocre fiction with brilliant media coverage

    While it is certain that the truly great days of sci-fi and fantasy may yet be ahead of us, it seems unlikely to me that China Mieville will mark the forefront of those days. Perdido Street Station is overflowing with fantastic ideas, though most of the ideas are only brought halfway to completion. The book rests heavily on the hope that the reader will be terrified by a toothy monster that eats dreams (as the other characters are terrified), which is an unfortunate over-assumption. The main character Isaac and his strange bug-girl love Lin seem like intelligent, strong people, and yet like the victims of so many poorly written horror stories, they somehow repeatedly succumb to unlikely lapses in judgement. The book, while not the landmark acheivement even I was expecting (based on the hype the preceeded it), is good for a rainy afternoon read. You can be certain to enjoy the ending that you easily figure out will happen about halfway through the novel.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 26, 2011

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