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Perdido Street Station [Kindle Edition]

China Mieville
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rivers are sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the parliament and its brutal militia have ruled over a vast array of workers and artists, spies, magicians, junkies and whores. Now a stranger has come, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand, and inadvertently something unthinkable is released. Soon the city is gripped by an alien terror - and the fate of millions depends on a clutch of outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crime-lords alike. The urban nightscape becomes a hunting ground as battles rage in the shadows of bizarre buildings. And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, in the vast edifice of Perdido Street Station. It is too late to escape.

'A work of exhaustive inventiveness . . . superlative fantasy' Time Out

'A well-written, authentically engrossing adventure story, exuberantly full of hocus-pocus . . . Miéville does not disappoint' Daily Telegraph


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    Product Description

    Amazon Review

    Like the author's 1998 debut book King Rat, this is an urban-gothic novel full of rich city squalor--but this time the setting isn't London but the grimy fantasy metropolis of New Crobuzon. The city sprawls like a mutant Gormenghast, contains strange ethnic minorities such as the khepris (women with huge scarab-beetles for heads), and seethes with seedy technology and thaumaturgy. There are Babbage engines, coke-powered robot "constructs", and an underclass of biomagically "Remade" victims of cruel justice who may be part-machine, part-animal or wholly nightmarish. A visiting garuda--a winged being now stripped of his wings--approaches the overweight, eccentric amateur scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin in hope of buying back the power of flight, and the resulting research programme has accidental but monstrous consequences. Something appalling is loosed, a horror whose deadliness is underlined when New Crobuzon's corrupt government begs help from the Ambassador of Hell ... who refuses, because even the demons are frightened. Dealing with the flying terror becomes a job for Grimnebulin and a much-harried group of cronies--including his khepri lover, the garuda, a reporter for a brutally suppressed subversive newspaper, the group mind of New Crobuzon's constructs, a secret traitor, and one of the strangest giant spiders in fiction. A big, powerful, inventive, mesmerising and memorably horrid novel. --David Langford

    Review

    'China Miéville, poster boy for the so-called "new weird", is one of the most interesting and promising writers to appear in the last few years in any genre. Perdido Street Station is a fantastic yarn that follows the roads set by M John Harrison in his Viriconium world and brings an enormous energy and creativity to the table. A reinvention of modern fantasy with guts, brains and plenty of glory. Plunge in.'
    --Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Guardian Books Blog

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 2000 KB
    • Print Length: 722 pages
    • Publisher: Tor; New Edit/Cover edition (28 Aug. 2008)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003GK21A8
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,411 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    China Miéville lives and works in London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award (Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The City & The City) and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice (Perdido Street Station and The Scar). The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published in 2009 to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell (The Times) and Philip K. Dick (Guardian).

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic... 19 Nov. 2008
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    I purchased this book on the recommendation of a friend who had read it. I'd not heard of China Mieville and to be quite honest, had no real interest in the 'weird-fiction' genre. But, alas, I needed a change from the seemingly never ending work of Dean Koontz.

    I ordered Perdido Street Station and, like the deep and impressionable person I am, immediately noticed the thickness of the thing...880 pages long. What in the he...? How could anyone, possibly keep me interested for nigh on 1000 pages? Never. Nah. Surely not?

    Oh, how I was proven wrong.

    This is by far one of the most unique and imaginative books I've read for a long time. The character development and imagery throughout is simply awesome, and you can only squirm at some of the 'pictureseque' portraits painted by Mieville of the city, New Crobuzon. It starts off a little slow, but as soon as you meet Isaac, you simply don't want to put the thing down...even when your eyes are feeling heavy at 1am in the morning.

    I can't recommend this book enough. Even if you aren't a big of fan of science fiction/weird fiction, you simply have to taste this because it is simply, brilliant.

    5 stars from me.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Sprawling Steampunk Odyssey 9 July 2010
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Ah, China Mieville. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

    After having read Mieville's collection of short stories my interest was sufficiently piqued to investigate his novels. Having read the synopses for all his books I decided this would be my best entry point for exploring China Mieville proper.

    I was both right and wrong. This, the first of the Bas-Lag series is not an easy read, in the same way that Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy is not an easy read. However, like Peake's idiosyncratic trilogy, Perdido Street Station is an instant classic and I can see why it has earned Mieville so many admirers in the world of fantasy fandom.

    Good fantasy writers are able to create a believable alternate world. Excellent fantasy writers are able to create a believable and engaging fantasy world alive with cultures and politics. Mieville's world is populated by so many fascinating, bizarre and endlessly endearing peoples that it would be impossible to keep track of them were they not so beautifully realised. As the novel progresses we are intoduced to the insectile / humanoid Khepri, the Cacatae (human cactuses, the amphibious Vodyanoi, the cybernetic Construct Council and the avian Garuda as well as their religions, hisories, cultures, subcultures, countercultures (and yes, even drug cultures) in a way that is never dry or dull but always a dynamic part of the narrative.

    For those who demand more than a diverse racial cast of players from their fantasy Perdido street station doesn't disappoint in the plot department either. Told from the point of view of Isaac, a good hearted but rough around the edges academic the story follows Isaac on an epic adventure precipitated by an unexpected visit from a mysterious stranger.
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Moments of brilliance but weak on character 18 July 2011
    By Joanne Sheppard TOP 1000 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback
    This is the second novel by China Miéville I've read. The first was Kraken... which I loathed.

    Why, then, did I read Perdido Street Station? Partly, I think, because a friend recommended it and assured me it wasn't awful. And partly because I actually want to like China Miéville. I didn't hate Kraken with glee. I hated it with immense disappointment.

    Fortunately, Perdido Street Station is a hundred times better than Kraken. It has more heart, more warmth, more energy. I certainly don't think (unlike Miéville himself, apparently) that it bears any favourable comparison to the rich, languorous work of Mervyn Peake in all its shadowy beauty, but then I don't think anything does. Peake's prose seems effortless, as if Gormenghast and its inhabitants simply spilled themselves slowly on to the page like dark, bittersweet treacle, but there are many moments in Perdido Street Station where Miéville's words are contrived and self-conscious. While I could certainly lose myself for long periods in this engaging, original fantasy, I was regularly brought back down to earth by the overwhelming sensation that Miéville was jumping up and down in front of me shouting "Look at me! Look at my imagination! Look at my writing! LOOK!"

    Broadly speaking, Perdido Street Station tells the story of maverick scientist Isaac, his artist lover Lin, who has a scarab beetle instead of a head, and Isaac's attempts to restore the power of flight to Yagharek, a sort of bird-man from a far-off desert whose wings have been sawn off as punishment for some terrible, unspecified crime. During the course of his experiments on various flying creatures, Isaac acquires through nefarious means a strange caterpillar.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Perdido Street Station 3 May 2009
    Format:Paperback
    China Miéville's most famous novel, "Perdido Street Station" is a book so different from any other I've read that I find it hard to classify as science fiction or fantasy.

    This fairly hefty paperback is almost as thick as it is wide, clocking in at over 850 pages of dense descriptive powerhouse writing. Miéville's strength is definitely in his descriptive prowess, something that he is guilty of overusing in this book, but easily the most charming and attractive aspect of the story.

    To summarise the story, we are surrounded by a fairly complex weave of plots that all interlink at some point along the way. Most central to the story is that of Isaac dan der Grimnebulin, a scientist who is commissioned to return the power of flight to a paying customer, one Yagharek, who has had his wings removed for the crime of choice-theft of another. While researching various flying creatures, an unknown danger finds its way into his care and gradually develops into a city-wide threat. And from there, all other plots get dragged together into what can only be described as a continual surprise.

    The world Miéville has created here is quite bizarre. The races of people in this world are incredibly unusual, ranging from the khepri, a race of women with insect bodies for heads, to the cactacae, a humanoid cactus species, and beyond. The visuals derived from Miéville's writing are often unclear, perhaps designed to confuse the mind, and are occassionally vile and even sickening to imagine.

    The great strenghts of this book lie in its depth, it's characterisation and its ultimate end. To reach the end of this book unmoved would be a remarkable feat. It is absolutely worth the effort, though some may find it difficult to complete.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Muck and entropy
    This man is a genius. A flawed genius, inevitably, but a fine writer, too.
    The novel mixes two genres: fantasy and science fiction, and comes down far too heavily on the side... Read more
    Published 8 days ago by FuturePsychologist
    4.0 out of 5 stars A world of murky iridescence that lays it on thick
    This book carries you rolling through seemingly endless layers of filthy city underbelly and dark grotesqueries. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by Samuel Critchlow
    3.0 out of 5 stars It never rains but it pukes
    This book is packed with deliriously imaginative, bizarre vignettes that I will remember and wonder at for along time. Read more
    Published 25 days ago by Golgo
    5.0 out of 5 stars when i read it il leave a review.
    Great book, although I haven't read it yet but it looks good on my shelf haha.
    Published 3 months ago by Tunde owoseni
    5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed a book a lot
    I enjoyed a book a lot. Isaak is really harsh on Yagharek. I feel sorry for the latter who lost any hope of flight for good. New Crobuzon is an exciting city. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Natalia McGinness
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    It was a present and was well received
    Published 5 months ago by Prentice
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Possibly one of the top five most depressing books i have ever read. Incredible
    Published 5 months ago by S. P. Lovejoy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Be patient with the scene setting. It's well worth it
    It's been quite a few years since I read this book so forgive me if this review is light on detail.

    This is a long book running to over 700 pages and the author takes... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Adam Bradbury
    5.0 out of 5 stars Overflowing with characters and ideas. Brilliant!
    A wonderful book loaded with strange characters and scenes. This book has restarted my love for sci Fi and fantasy.
    Published 6 months ago by Ian D
    5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning read
    China has produced an exotic fantasy story that is enthralling and engaging in equal measure, a must read.
    Published 6 months ago by UltraGonk
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