Customer Reviews for

Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 150 )
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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

6 out of 9 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 June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing read, disappointing finale

    I have to admit that I was 100% engrossed with this book and really had a hard time putting it down. Character development and plot were absolutely amazing. My only caveat (and the reason for 4 stars rather than 5) is that the ending of the book felt very rushed. I'll try to leave this vague (as not to be a spoiler): there are 2 characters added super late to the story, and it really felt like loose ties of our other main characters were not successfully tied up. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone else who is looking for a new dark fantasy -ish book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My personal introduction to Steampunk Fiction

    Perdido Street Station was my introduction to Steampunk Fiction. It was suggested to me by a BN bookseller who I had established a friendship with after numerous encounters in which we shared our passion for science fiction and graphic novels by Alan Moore. This book takes place on a city which is made of connected shipwrecks, the style and technology found within it is elegant, magical, tragic, and bold. Take the time to read a chapter or two and know that this book packs some major action, fresh fantasy, and great writing.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    Great, but certainly not for everyone

    The dystopian city that is the setting of this book is a character of it's own and the dark story is engrossing and detailed. Recommended for a sci-fi fan who is looking for a deeper, darker story than the traditional heroic tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2001

    Robust Speculative Fantasy Novel

    A phantasmagoric speculative novel set in a squalid, semi industrial city that follows a scientist and the deadly creatures he unwittingly looses on the city. <i>Perdido Street Station</i> crosses genres frequently and makes effective combined use of traditional fantasy, SF, and horror elements. The novel is well written and proceeds at a steady pace. Definitely recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    My first China novel, I thought and liked that it was very uniqu

    My first China novel, I thought and liked that it was very uniquely imagined.
     It just has a little too much town/world description for my taste, it felt repetitive and I'm almost scared to
    Begin #2  because I'm still not sure if the ending was brutal in a good way or bad, well good I guess because 
    I definitely do have to read the sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Good read

    I'm going to enjoy the rest of his works

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Bought it for my brother as a gift. He is enjoying reading it.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    A very entertaining book

    I had read about this book before I ordered it. It had all the blessings there are in the SF area. I found it very entertaining, creative, and for the most part, well put together. None of the lines of action opened in the book actually ends and the whole book really tells us a story that is totally transparent to the world in which it happens except for a couple of individuals that live it first hand. Thus, nothing new is brought to that world and we just end up contemplating the changes in the lives, in the reality of a couple of individuals. Maybe it's by design, exploring certain aspects of the being in a different environment yet making them so human as the humans of this universe. But I'd have loved some more courage in developing the products in the hands of these characters as to actually change their world ... maybe a 4th book in Bas - Lag .

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