Perdido Street Station

Perdido Street Station

Book - 2001 | 1st American ed.
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The eccentric scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is hired to restore the power of flight to a cruelly de-winged birdman. Isaac's secret lover is Lin, an artist of the khepri, a humano-insectoid race; theirs is a forbidden relationship. Lin is hired (rather against her will) by a mysterious crime boss to capture his horrifying likeness in the unique khepri art form. Isaac's quest for flying things to study leads to verification of his controversial unified theory of the strange sciences of his world. It also brings him an odd, unknown grub stolen from a secret government experiment so perilous it is sold to a ruthless drug lord--the same crime boss who hired Lin. The grub emerges from its cocoon, becomes an extraordinarily dangerous monster, and escapes Isaac's lab to ravage New Crobuzon, even as his discovery becomes known to a hidden, powerful, and sinister intelligence. Lin disappears and Isaac finds himself pursued by the monster, the drug lord, the government and armies of New Crobuzon, and other, more bizarre factions, not all confined to his world.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, 2001.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780345443021
Characteristics: 710 p. : 1 map ; 24 cm.


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Jul 08, 2019

A weird and awesome story in a world unlike anything else. The story itself is a bit of a slow burn at first, but it moves quickly once it gets going. Strong recommendation for people who like "location as character" writing in which a place—real, or, in this case, imagined—is portrayed in deep detail. In an odd way, it reminds me of Steinbeck as he profiled Monterrey or the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. One truly gets a sense of New Crobuzon as a city and nation after reading this novel (the good, the bad, the strange, the mundane). The characters themselves are little less compelling than the setting, to be frank, but the weirdness kept the book fresh until it got page-turny at the end.

Jul 30, 2018

An early novel by China Mieville. His writing in this book is frequently over-the-top, a tendency that he managed to reign in with later works. The story however is breath-taking, set in a squalid steam-punk city, and featuring the most imaginative and interesting characters involved in stupendous undertakings. While Hollywood still creates creaky and portentous movies reminding us that blacks and whites can get along, Mieville features an intense and totally convincing inter-species love affair. I was shocked by the bleak ending of the book - perhaps I am still too much in thrall to Hollywood traditions. But this is a story that will stay with me a long time.

This one started slowly for me, but after pushing through the first portion I was utterly absorbed. Not a title for the squeamish, but if you appreciate political intrigue, speculative science, word craft and moral conundrums, this might be for you.


This author has an amazing, intelligent and challenging writing style. You may need to keep a dictionary handy (although this isn't a bad thing). This is the first in the BasLag series.

Feb 25, 2015

Author Recommendation

Feb 02, 2012

This book totally mesmerized me. He has created a world that is thoroughly complex and satisfying without being hard to follow, and the depth of both the individual characters and the sociological milieu is impressive. And the writing! He writes like a dream. I loved this book.

Jul 18, 2011

Trying to stuff this book in a genre would be a hopeless task, so i can only recommend it to all those who love to read something new and different, something that isn't a easily defined, but draws you in completely.

The story is complex with a variety of flavors and ideas hitting you, and a conclusion i could not have seen when diving into the first pages. At times i found myself frustrated with all that was going on with what seemed to be a complete lack of progression or explanation - but when i threw this book to the side, i always found myself picking it back up again, hungry to know what it was all leading to.

Jun 22, 2011

First of his fantasy series, showing up most fantasy books as the pale derivative things they are.

If I could give this book more stars I would. I'm not a big fantasy fan as my tastes run more towards Hard Scifi and I have a difficult time suspending my disbelief long enough to take the time to understand worlds and species based entirely on imagination. But Mievill'e's writing is so evocative that it carried me past my initial misgivings and before I knew it I was lost in a great story.

Sep 08, 2010

There I was looking for something new and outlandish... brother, did I find it! This thing nailed me to the back wall and kept me there until I finished reading "the Scar". As luck would have it China was busy at work on "The Iron Council" so I did not have long to wait for another dose.

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