Brad's Reviews > The Scar

The Scar by China Miéville
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's review
Mar 31, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: faves, speculative, mieville50, to-read-again

I restarted The Scar last night because I needed a dose of Mieville's prose, and was blown away, as I always am, by Mieville's description of place. This time he is describing Bas-Lag's oceans. He captures flavours and temperatures and underwater sounds and the danger inherent in the waters that have no boundaries in a way that is poetry for me. I have heard from other readers that these disconnected, deep descriptions are difficult beginnings for them, that they make it tough to connect early with Mieville's world, and I suppose I can understand that, but the pure beauty of the prose is the sort of thing I could read just for itself. Pull it out of the story, make it a fragment, and I would savour it like a tasty meal I was eating for the first time.

On the story level, the opening of The Scar is both an important introduction to the story where so much will happen on Bas-Lag's oceans and an instant tug away from New Crobuzon, the steaming Metropolis at the heart of Perdido Street Station. It offers a hint of a vaster, less crowded, but no less dangerous place wherein he-cray hunt with their squid and danger rises from the deep to slaughter hunter-gatherers indiscriminately. It's a reversal of the horror of the Slake Moths from Perdido Street where death fell from the sky, and I imagine it was an intentional reversal.

Just the opening is good enough for me to give The Scar five stars. And I am nowhere near Armada yet.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Brad I'll bring the double chocolate chip cookies and nice cold milk when we meet in Salacus Fields.

Matt I feel the same way about his prose, but really wish that he could sustain the story all the way through the novel for me.

So far, the only one of his books that did that for me was his first one.

Brad I grow fonder of The Scar every time I read it, but I have to admit that none of his stories have carried the initial impact of Perdido.

message 4: by Athens (new) - added it

Athens Man, I just really enjoy your reviews Brad. Thanks for taking the time to do these.

Brad Thanks, Paul. I find I can't finish a book without writing a review anymore (which is at least partially goodreads' fault), so it's an added bonus that the reviews serve some purpose and that friends out there can make use of them or take pleasure in them. So you're welcome.

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