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Perdido Street Station

(New Crobuzon #1)

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  54,455 ratings  ·  4,526 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 2000)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  54,455 ratings  ·  4,526 reviews


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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
...more
unknown
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 stripped down and
...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 a few mythological creatures and creatures/tropes from p
...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 th
...more
Ken-ichi
Jul 30, 2007 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
Lyn
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A brilliant page turner.

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 chic, blending
...more
mark monday
Jun 11, 2011 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 s
...more
Brad
Mar 25, 2008 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 out. You k/>Me
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
While China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station sometimes takes wide detours around the plot, the atmosphere he conjures, with its dark and sinister underpinnings, is interesting and compelling. There are parts of the book that make you smell what’s happening in this world. Let me say this off the bat: it’s not a good smell! Even the way Mieville demonstrates the artistic method (in the form of MC’s insect girlfriend) is rather unique. And while it doesn’t advance the plot, it had me thinking abou ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)


DNF at 11%. Go me and stuff.

Yet another overhyped book with a cult following bites the dust! Yay! I obviously read this one wrong! Or maybe I read it right but didn't enjoy it because I'd mistakenly purchased the Swahili version and read it back to front and upside down. This is the most plausible explanation, since I don't belong to the People of Despicable Book Taste Horde (PoDBTH™) and always read books right.

Had I bought the English version, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have noticed how excruciatingly boring the story is. Or thought that reading the book was astuff.
Yet
...more
Stephan
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finished. I am stunned. 5-star stunned. After having read The City & the City I new I was in for something special, but I had no idea is was going to be anything like this. Perdido Street Station is a rich steampunk fantasy novel. The world is unique and filled to the brim with creative ideas and details. Every sense is involved when wandering through it.

If you want to read this, don't be faint of heart. The visuals are sometimes shocking and early on there are animal experiments, then - no spoiling - things
...more
Cecily
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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,/>
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
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 re
...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
Bradley
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 o
...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Amazon Daily Deal 18Jul18 1.99

I finished this about a week ag0 and I still can’t seem to decide if I love it or hate it.

description

I think it is kind of a little of both. The writing is wonderful and the world is fantastic. That easily made me like so many things about this book. BUT this isn’t an “and they all lived Happily Ever After” kind of book and so at the end I was left with this sad empty feeling that I didn’t like.

ツ On the Plus Side ツ

The world is fascinating and super complex. There are so many diffe1.99
I
...more
Ryan
Mar 29, 2008 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.
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
...more
Brendan
Sep 24, 2007 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 i
...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.
Forrest
Oct 05, 2012 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
Markus
The winds of this city are a more melancholy breed. They explore like lost souls, looking in at dusty gaslit windows. We are brethren, the city-winds and I. We wander together.
We have found sleeping beggars that clutch each other and congeal for warmth like lower creatures, forced back down evolutionary strata by their poverty.
We have seen the city’s night-porters fish the dead from the rivers. Dark-suited militia tugging with hooks and poles at bloated bodies with eyes ripped from their heads, the blood set and gel
...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
...more
Conrad
Mar 24, 2007 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
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aubrey
Sep 15, 2011 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
...more
Apatt
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
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 li
...more
Catie
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
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 that it won(he ...more
Gabrielle
This book was recommended to me by a friend when I told her I hadn’t read anything that was really outside the box in a long time, and that I missed that feeling of finishing a book, and really feeling like I had just come back home from travelling to a strange alien world – you know, the book hangover feeling when it seems like your brains were just thoroughly fucked with?

“Perdido Street Station” was exactly the book that I needed, and it made me fall hopelessly in love with China M
...more
Chris
Feb 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: My Worst Enemy
Well then. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that weak, unfulfilling ending. Why, the entire book was pretty weak and unfulfilling, so why did I hope for otherwise? Simple. I needed hope. Hope that there was a purpose behind all the awards and praise heaping I’ve seen given to this book. Surely there would be a payoff for enduring 600 pages of pretentious nonsense. But alas, I was wrong.

Story wasn’t the goal here, I suppose. More like trying to impress the literary establishment. Well, it did
...more
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11,375 followers
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

Other books in the series

New Crobuzon (3 books)
  • The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2)
  • Iron Council (New Crobuzon, #3)
“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.” 53 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.” 44 likes
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