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Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon 1) [Paperback]

China Mieville
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Publisher's comment
Early reactions to PERDIDO STREET STATION

When Macmillan published China Miéville’s first novel KING RAT in 1998, we knew we had found a rare new talent – to quote The Times, "an author to be watched". When his second novel, Perdido Street Station, arrived earlier this year, I was interested to note it was very much longer. Six hundred and nineteen pages later, I was gasping for breath – I just could not believe the scale and ingenuity of what I had been reading. The intricacy of the imagination, the sheer power of the action scenes.

Imagine elements of Mervyn Peake, Charles Dickens, Alice in Wonderland, Gene Wolfe, Philip K. Dick and Iain Banks all drawn together, yet in a completely individual way. Perdido Street Station is epic urban fantasy on a dazzling scale. It centres on the huge chaotic metropolis of New Crobuzon. To quote one reader: "He has created a real city with districts, areas, arteries, character, a frightening ‘city of dreadful night’ in places, peopled by weird and wonderful creatures." Creatures that (apart from human beings) include aliens, hybrids, mythical beings, constructs and chilling ‘Remades’. Unknown to most of them, a terrifying and growing force has been innocently unleashed, and it falls to a small group of social misfits and rejects to rescue their countless unwitting fellow citizens from a fate of nightmarish horror.

Another reader adds: "Devising a metropolis as magnificent in its rich corruption as the London of Great Expectations or the Los Angeles of Blade Runner , there can be no doubt that Perdido Street Station offers an entirely new perspective on fantasy fiction." I second that wholeheartedly, for Perdido Street Station marks the arrival of a sublime imagination, and it will indubitably take its place as one of the definitive works of fantasy literature.

All I can say to you now is enjoy it!

Peter Lavery, Editor

Here some early reactions to Perdido Street Station:

‘I salivate when I tell other people about this book. I can barely find words for it now. Perdido Street Station is a huge, crusty otherworld fantasy, all corroded clockwork and mutant scabbed organics, putrid cityside rivers and ungainly anti-heroes, rooftop cloak-and-dagger and sewer romance. Oh, my, oh, my. Miéville's debut novel, 1998's King Rat, was excellent, but this one is just astonishing. You want darkness with your fantasy? Get it here. Yes, I'm biased, because I've always wanted to read about a world like this. Miéville has created a world that feels and moves like the criminal best of cyberpunk, but which is blasted and crumbling, crawling with oddnesses like a berserk and insectile Oz. The descriptions of the world, the city, and the inhabitant races are rich and varied: Miéville never cheats and uses a race as a shortcut to characterization via stereotyping, though his characters might. His plot is tricky and excellently crafted: every problem besetting the characters is the result of their own actions, be they noble or inadvertent. Though the novel comes close to eight hundred pages, this isn't your normal tome padded with extraneous fat to give it that classic contemporary doorstop appeal. Believe it or not, every word counts. (Rumor is that the book will include a map, which means that it really is a fantasy. Miéville's descriptions, however, were enough to enable me to easily visualize the layout of the city without a map.) I could go on forever about this novel, and I probably will, but I can boil it down for you: this book is stunning.’ MEHITOBEL WILSON (Carpe Noctem)

‘Perdido Street Station is a phantasmagoric masterpiece whose grotesquerie is unmatched by any other work of contemporary imaginative fiction. Its surreal imagery recalls the work of Hieronymus Bosch, and only a writer of the very highest quality could bind such a hectic torrent of exotica into a plot as taut and compelling as this one. The city of New Crobuzon is an archetypal decadent metropolis populated by magnificent monsters and Isaac Dan de Grimnebulin, Yagharek and the Weaver are the perfect heroes to meet its hour of desperate need. The book left me breathless with admiration.’ BRIAN STABLEFORD

‘Energetic, thuggish, constantly inventive, China Miéville continues his project of rebuilding fantasy from the sub-cellar up. New Crobuzon, city of clockwork engine and subterranean punishment factory, has the architectonics of a living thing. It is a site of elation, dispute, danger and change: a city raucous with dreams. You catch the train to Perdido Street Station at your own risk: but leave a corner unexplored and you’ll always regret it.’ M. JOHN HARRISON --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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). His most recent novel, Kraken, was published in 2010.
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