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Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon #1)

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3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  40,803 Ratings  ·  3,401 Reviews
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies the city of New Crobuzon, where the unsavory deal is stranger to no one--not even to Isaac, a gifted and eccentric scientist who has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges h ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 623 pages
Published August 2003 by Ballantine Del Rey (first published March 10th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya
To paraphrase Pratchett, "There's a saying that all roads lead to Ankh-Morpork New Crobuzon. And it's wrong. All roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork New Crobuzon, but sometimes people walk along them the wrong way."


(A stunning image of New Crobuzon from http://www.curufea.com)

A word of warning: if you read only for the story and plot, this book is not for you. Yes, there is an interesting storyline with mystery and danger and love and betrayal - but it is neither the strength nor the focus of Perd
...more
Traveller
This Steampunk meets New Weird meets Cyberpunk meets Fantasy novel has so many themes, that I'm not even going to try to give it full credit with some sort of synopsis. I'm rather just going to talk about various aspects of the book as I go along with my review.

The way I felt when I finished the novel, I wanted to give it 7 stars. For a few reasons, I'm having second thoughts.

Let me start off the bat with some aspects that niggled me.

Firstly, certain aspects of the world-building:
Mieville used
...more
j
Lots of people like to accuse China Miéville of writing with a thesaurus open next to his laptop. How else to explain the frequent appearance of "ossified," "salubrious," "susurrus" and "inveigled" within the 623 pages of Perdido Street Station? Ok, so you can maybe argue that if you write a 250,000 word book, probably less than six of those words should be "palimpsest," but really, I just think he's a smart guy who carefully controls his prose.

So the language in The City & The City is strip
...more
J.G. Keely
My friends call me Senex ('The Old Man') because of my taste in fantasy, or they would, if I had any. It's often been noted that I'll give at least four stars to any fantasy from the Italian Renaissance, and yet rarely give more than two for anything written since the nineteen-sixties. Some have accused me of a staunch prejudice in period, but lo! it is not so.

I really love the fantasy genre, but the corollary of this is that I hate most fantasy books, because of how they mistreat that which I l
...more
mark monday
Jan 26, 2016 mark monday rated it it was ok
my dear Perdido Street Station,

perhaps it is fated not to be. or perhaps i need to grow a bit more, until i am able to understand and appreciate your unique charms. but for now, i am just not ready. please don't take this personally - i promise that i shall try you out again sometime, perhaps soon. too many people love you, and they love you too, too much for me to give up on you altogether.

i will admit that my first impression was off-putting - the way you talked and gestured and sought attent
...more
Brad
Jan 05, 2012 Brad rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brad by: Ethan
WARNING: This review probably contains some (but not many) spoilers, so you may not want to read this if you haven’t read Perdido Street Station yet. This review also contains plenty of vulgarity. Please don't read this if you do not want to see the "f" and other words. Thanks.

Me reading my review: I decided to read this on SoundCloud, since BirdBrian has turned me into a recorded voice madman. You can listen right here if you'd like.

I fucking hate moths.

Seriously. I hate them. They freak me ou
...more
Ken-ichi
Jul 30, 2007 Ken-ichi rated it did not like it
Shelves: escape, fantasy
I feel like I've been reading this book forever. It's long, largely unstructured, and I never became particularly invested in any of the characters, so it just dragged on. The best thing I could say about it is that it's diverting. One of the quotes on the back describes it as "phantasmagoric," which seems accurate. All sorts of crazy random things, soul-devouring moth creatures, interdimensional homicidal spiders, creative reconstructive surgery as state punishment. That's all amusing to a degr ...more
Jenn(ifer)
I'm not feeling overly inspired to review this book. I was. At first. At around the 300 page mark, still riveted by the world that Miéville created, I started feverishly composing what would have been... what could have been...

I researched Miéville's background and was prepared to tell you all about his growing up in a lower-class household with just his mum and his sister, but that he was super smart and won scholarships to all the best schools. I was going to tell you about his love for role-
...more
Ian Grayejoy
Nov 22, 2012 Ian Grayejoy rated it it was amazing
I Love You, I Love You, I Love You

For the fortnight it took me to read this novel, I was in another world and I was in love.

Perhaps, now, I’ll retreat from that world and substitute another or others (or perhaps even return to my own world), but I will remain in love.

Is this a fantasy love or is it real? I think it’s real.

After all, is there any love that is not partly a product of your own mind?

How can a writer make this happen? How can a reader experience this? How can a person experience it i
...more
Lyn
Apr 23, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
Brilliant.

First of all, any book that begins with a quote from Philip K. Dick is alright in my book and promises a great story to come. This promise was kept, with interest.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville is to steampunk weird fiction as Neuromancer was to cyberpunk – it is the definitive benchmark. An urbane, nightmarish fantasy, Perdido Street Station is similar to Mieville’s The City and the City; but where the later novel was Monte Python absurd, PSS is Charles Dickens’ steam punk
...more
David Sven
What did I just read?! This book is crazy. Mievelle’s imagination is insane.



What is Perdido Street Station? Is it fantasy, is it sci-fi, or is it just outright weird fiction? It’s a little hard to explain but I’ll give it a shot.





The story is set in a totally made up universe in the city state of New Crobuzon. The setting could loosely be described as steampunk with an early industrial era feel, dirty, dank, corrupt, with a dictatorship for government and an underworld that rules the streets. Tec
...more
Brad
Lesson learned after reading this?

Don't Experiment With Cheese.

Can you imagine how many problems could have been avoided had this novel had access to time-travel? It's practically the only trope not explored, and that's saying a damn lot.

Off and on through the entire reading, I wanted to declare that this is one of the most brilliant novels ever written. The sheer level of creativity and attention to detail, the fantastic explorations of ideas, the explosion of plot items and complications, and
...more
Emma
Dec 19, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, weird

Overall, four stars for the wonderfully weird Perdido Street Station.

I say 'overall’ because the book was a bit of a mixed bag.

three star bits

I didn’t recognise a large percentage of the words in the text. This made me feel edgy and insecure. My reading was repeatedly halted as I reached for the dictionary to look up beauties such as prestidigitation, curmudgeon, bathetic, palimpsest and opprobrious. The book also prompted a huffy sulk. My husband (who is far too smart for his own good) pointe
...more
Ryan
Oct 23, 2009 Ryan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk
Recommended to Ryan by: io9.com
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brendan
Sep 25, 2007 Brendan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply extraordinary.

Let's get this out of the way: yes, Mieville likes to get his vocab on. But I don't think it's out of pretension or apprehension (I've seen both suggested in reviews on this site). Mieville's using the language to draw you in to a world that is like ours, but slightly different— a dark, morbid, fantastical dystopia that's something like the dirty lovechild of Edward Gorey, Jules Verne and Charles Dickens. It's a dirty, lowdown, steam-age-with-magic setting that is immediatel
...more
Sanaa
[5 Stars] What did I just read? I'm too emotionally distraught right now to write a proper review. Don't worry because I will write one in the next few days. Regardless, I loved this. It devastated me. It made me think. it is now a favorite of mine.
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aubrey
Sep 16, 2014 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miéville strikes me as the type of author who has weird and fantastical dreams that all too easily dip into nightmares and back again, undergoing a number of cycles in a single night. Dreams that he can't help writing down to share with the rest of us. If this isn't the case, it makes the force of his imagination all the more impressive.

Streetways, devils, computing devices, insects, all merge and mutate and flesh themselves together in a riotous dance that both encircles and entraps the city of
...more
Scribble Orca

Nope. Sorry.

A few decades ago when Mr Mieville was traipsing around foreign climes for a year I'd have been prostrating myself at the temple of his wizardry had he written this book then. I never had a problem in those heady daze with Robert Heinlein et al, so I hardly think I'd have failed to make room in my literary bed for good ol' China.

Let's just say I've arrived at the party a little too late. He's innovative rather than inventive, he's concocted a christmas cake of the fantasmagorical and
...more
Conrad
Mar 24, 2007 Conrad rated it it was ok
Others seem to have found PSS's world to have been fleshed out well; I thought it was implausible. No one knows what lies beyond certain parts of the world... and someone still found it necessary to invent trains. There's at least one huge city... but how there's enough food to go around is anyone's guess.

Mieville never writes five words when eighty will do, and his editor must have been asleep at the switch: I'd love to see an adjective count of this book. There are some genre-bending tricks a
...more
Forrest
Aug 01, 2014 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit to being a bit inured to the "new weird". In fact, I'd say the new weird . . . is getting old. Strangeness for the sake of strangeness has lost a bit of its luster. I've read, and written, plenty of fiction in this vein. That's not to say that it's atrophied in my mind - I still appreciate the bizarre, but some of it has become so self-referential as to be an inadvertent pastiche of itself. The same can be said of the "steampunk" ouvre. I've argued before that the entirety of the steampu ...more
Catie
Jun 30, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, fantasy
When we’ve turned this world into a dried up husk and have to resort to shutting ourselves in to life sustaining pods and “living” within some sort of virtual environment, I vote we nominate this guy to imagine and design our virtual realities. Sure, we’ll probably end up with some weird shit, like fire breathing iguana flowers and pulsating organic clouds that rain mucus and blood (he won’t be able to help himself) but we’ll get the most detailed, complete, panoramic world, and I can guarantee ...more
Cecily
I've read three other Mievilles before this, and they were 2*, 4*, and 5*.

I'm so pleased this was another 5*. What a wonderful, rich, steampunky, fantastical phantasmagoria this is.

PLOT

It opens with one of several short, first-person impressions: a newcomer arriving by boat at night. He’s wealthy but anguished, and the boatman fears him.

The story then opens in New Crobuzon: an ancient city (some houses nearly 1000 years old) inhabited by many exotic sentient species. We meet Lin, a khepri (inse
...more
Apatt
Apr 01, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Oh Jabber! what a pugnacious book! (Sorry, a little in-joke for those who have already read this book.)

I normally prefer to read books that are around 400 pages long or shorter because I am too impatient to slog through long books. However, I do make the add exceptions for books that really interest me. The thing with long books for me is that they must be *immersive* because once I am immersed in the story the length of the book become irrelevant. Delving back into the book feels like coming ho
...more
Camille Stein
May 01, 2016 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition






El violento proceso de destrucción y creación era un drama metafísico interpretado sin audiencia. Quedaba oculto tras un opaco telón de seda frágil, una cáscara que ocultaba la transformación con una modestia brutal, instintiva.







Obra vasta, enciclopédica, dotada de una mitología abrumadora. Otorgar un cuerpo convincente a un territorio tan complejo como la Ciudad-Estado República de Nueva Crobuzon requiere unas cualidades imaginativas singulares, que desde luego China Miéville posee. Si a esto le
...more
Nancy
Jan 14, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-fantasy, favorites
Perdido Street Station is gritty, urban fantasy with some sci-fi and horror elements. The characters are extremely well-drawn and memorable. The writing is very descriptive and some readers find it starts slow, though I was immediately absorbed into the world Mieville created and had a difficult time putting the book down. It is not a quick and easy read. It is more like a rich dessert meant to be savored.
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Honestly, I don't even know where to start with this review. I really don't even want to write it, because every minute spent doing this is time spent away from the world of Bas-Lag. Mieville's world-building is astonishingly good and very easy to become instantly immersed in.



For once, the comparisons to other writers are spot-on. There are parts of this book that are not only like Mervyn Peake, but could have easily been written by Peake himself. The vivid surreal imagery, and urban decay....si
...more
Stephen
6.0 Stars. This book has newly joined the ranks as one of my all-time favorite novels and China Mieville has instantly become one of my favorite authors. This was my first novel by Mieville and I was absolutely blown away by both the world he created and his supurb descriptions of that amazing world. In really good fantasy and science fiction books it is not uncommon to have one or two really cool concepts or unusual takes on existing standards. This book had more of them then I could count. The ...more
Mosca
Nov 17, 2012 Mosca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is clear that China Miéville is an exceptionally inventive writer. The steam-punk/fantasy world of the city-state New Crobuzon is an extraordinary creation. The world is populated with many sentient species and ethnicities—each with different needs and agendas—all enduring the dominance of a corrupt and incompetent human police state that oppresses and exploits most of even the human population. The varieties of creatures, monsters, and technologies are fascinating. The plot twists and charac ...more
Lee
Jul 11, 2011 Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My first Goodreads review.

Story: 3/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn. Clever, thought provoking

The story is based in a sordid police state world. Where medical advancements have bizarrely evolved yet weaponry remains in the 1700's. It is a dark and dirty setting that reminded me of Neverwhere. Unfortunately Mieville needs you to completely picture this world in your head, to a degree that is utterly frustrating at first. A description of an even
...more
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Science Fiction A...: * December 2013 Themed Read - Perdido Street Station 19 70 May 28, 2016 04:40AM  
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A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist W ...more
More about China Miéville...

Other Books in the Series

New Crobuzon (3 books)
  • The Scar (Bas-Lag, #2)
  • Iron Council (Bas-Lag, #3)

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“Art is something you choose to make... it's a bringing together of... of everything around you into something that makes you more human, more khepri, whatever. More of a person.” 47 likes
“Old stories would tell how Weavers would kill each other over aesthetic disagreements, such as whether it was prettier to destroy an army of a thousand men or to leave it be, or whether a particular dandelion should or should not be plucked. For a Weaver, to think was to think aesthetically. To act--to Weave--was to bring about more pleasing patterns. They did not eat physical food: they seemed to subsist on the appreciation of beauty.” 37 likes
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