Perdido Street Station is one wild ride. Part sci-fi, part Victorian-style steam punk, and part horror, it’s a hard novel to characterize. What’s clear, though, is that China Miéville is blessed with an imagination that works overtime and solid writing skills.
Taking place in New Crobuzon, a nightmarish city populated by humans and an endless amount of strange aliens that all try to scratch out a living in a pitiless and corrupt environment, the novel follows a disgraced scientist as he goes through a series of horrific events.
The strengths of the novel are a solid sense of place and structure as well as a plethora of characters in various stages of derangement. Miéville creates vivid, cinematographic scenes that stay with you—sometimes whether you want them to or not.
But it’s far from a perfect work. The plotting is a bit weak, especially once the novel settles on its monster-hunt theme, and Miéville’s baroque writing style which sometimes adds great atmospehere to the novel also sometimes goes overboard and obscures rather than enhances the story.
Perdido Street Station is interesting and highly imaginative.
The best comparison might be if Neil Gaiman had been locked in a room with Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral set on endless repeat as he worked.
Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2007 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.