The sadest thing I believe for such great writers as Vandermeer, Mieville, Roberts etc. is that they rarely get the recognition they deserve in the wider literary world because they are sci-fi/fantasy writers. Mr Vandermeer's words are a joy to read and tell a fantastic story, ever since I was wee I hated mushrooms but now I am also more than a little scared of them! This is a fantastic book! Set in the same city as 'Veniss Underground' (5-stars too!) Shriek explores a much younger city of rambling steam machines, hard-core publishing houses and only-half believed in creepy fungi-guys quietly waiting underground to take back their city!
This is one of the most exciting novels I have ever read, not because of it's content (although this is seriously interesting) but instead is down to the authors ingenuity in terms of delivery. Has to be read to be believed.
It's very, very rarely that I give up on a book but I have to admit that I only made it a third of the way through. Despite enjoying his other books I found this one to be going nowhere and uninteresting. I can only guess at the rest of the quoted review that said "ultimately rewarding". I did lend it to a friend who struggled through to the end but found the experience unrewarding.