Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Cecile McLorin Salvant $5 Off Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day
Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Perdido Street Station Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2003

522 customer reviews

See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$8.37 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Mae West said, "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful," she could have been talking about China Miéville's Perdido Street Station. The novel's publication met with a burst of extravagant praise from Big Name Authors and was almost instantly a multiaward finalist. You expect hyperbole in blurbs; and sometimes unworthy books win awards, so nominations don't necessarily mean much. But Perdido Street Station deserves the acclaim. It's ambitious and brilliant and--rarity of rarities--sui generis. Its clearest influences are Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy and M. John Harrison's Viriconium books, but it isn't much like them. It's Dickensian in scope, but fast-paced and modern. It's a love song for cities, and it packs a world into its strange, sprawling, steam-punky city of New Crobuzon. It can be read with equal validity as fantasy, science fiction, horror, or slipstream. It's got love, loss, crime, sex, riots, mad scientists, drugs, art, corruption, demons, dreams, obsession, magic, aliens, subversion, torture, dirigibles, romantic outlaws, artificial intelligence, and dangerous cults.

Generous, gaudy, grand, grotesque, gigantic, grim, grimy, and glorious, Perdito Street Station is a bloody fascinating book. It's also so massive that you may begin to feel you're getting too much of a good thing; just slow down and enjoy.

Yes, but what is Perdido Street Station about? To oversimplify: 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. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

King Rat (1999), Mi‚ville's much-praised first novel of urban fantasy/horror, was just a palate-teaser for this appetizing, if extravagant, stew of genre themes. Its setting, New Crobuzon, is an audaciously imagined milieu: a city with the dimensions of a world, home to a polyglot civilization of wildly varied species and overlapping and interpenetrating cultures. Seeking to prove his unified energy theory as it relates to organic and mechanical forms, rogue scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin tries to restore the power of flight to Yagharek, a member of the garuda race cruelly shorn of its wings. Isaac's lover, Lin, unconsciously mimics his scientific pursuits when she takes on the seemingly impossible commission of sculpting a patron whose body is a riot of grotesquely mutated and spliced appendages. Their social life is one huge, postgraduate bull session with friends and associates--until a nightmare-inducing grub escapes from Isaac's lab and transforms into a flying monster that imperils the city. This accident precipitates a political crisis, initiates an action-packed manhunt for Isaac and introduces hordes of vividly imagined beings who inhabit the twilight zone between science and sorcery. Mi‚ville's canvas is so breathtakingly broad that the details of individual subplots and characters sometime lose their definition. But it is also generous enough to accommodate large dollops of aesthetics, scientific discussion and quest fantasy in an impressive and ultimately pleasing epic.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345459407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345459404
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (522 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

China Miéville is the author of King Rat; Perdido Street Station, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award; The Scar, winner of the Locus Award and the British Fantasy Award; Iron Council, winner of the Locus Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Looking for Jake, a collection of short stories; and Un Lun Dun, his New York Times bestselling book for younger readers. He lives and works in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. China Mieville spends endless thousands of words painting pictures in this novel. Detailed and elaborate descriptive prose is weaved throughout the book, describing in great detail every aspect of New Crobuzon, the city in which the story takes place. And while I admire the great effort Mieville goes to in order to bring the city to vivid life, in the end I felt that Perdido Street Station suffered for it.
Momentum built in the story is repeatedly lost when a long descriptive passage is encountered. The focus on the characters and events is often lost, and I found myself feeling as if the prose was an intermission to the story, rather than a part of it. Ultimately, the story and the prose compete with each other so much that I couldn't really gauge whether the story was very good at all.
Would I recommend Perdido Street Station? Well, that depends on what kind of writing you like. If you enjoy lots of adjective-laden phrases painting verbal pictures, you'll probably like the way Mieville portrays the environs of his gritty, surreal, bizarre city. If you're looking for a good, entertaining story, you might be disappointed as I was. Perdido Street Station isn't bad - it's just not for everyone.
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
138 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for the unusual, the bizarre, for unforgettable images, this is the book to get. Mieville's city of New Crobuzon is a phantasmagorical tapestry of weirdly modified humans, from cactus to bird to frog to ant-men, a technology that is an equally crazy quilt of steam power, magic, electric-powered clockwork for heightened psi-powers, a political structure that could come straight from Stalin's Russia complete with deals with an all-too-real Satan and a world-thread artist spider known simply as the Weaver, a trash-heap conscious computer, and intimations of a history and wider world that is even more fantastic.

Beyond the incredible scenery is an almost Victorian moralistic plot, where the protagonist is forced to deal with the consequences of his innocent-seeming research into methods of restoring flight to a criminal garuda bird-man. His fight against the slake-moths that were inadvertently freed as a result of one of his investigations forms the main story line, and slowly builds to an (almost) exciting story line. However...

Mieville's style is very densely descriptive. In the beginning of the book, this is excellent, as it paints a very dark, depressive, intimate picture of the city and its inhabitants. As the plot unfolds and becomes more pressing, though, this same style and repeated images become an obstacle to getting the story told. At the very moments when tension has been raised to high levels, we step out for two to three pages at a time for more descriptions, effectively destroying the pacing of the story. I think this book could have been considerably improved by some heavy cutting of this material in the latter stages of the book.

There are places where the plot could have been tightened.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
150 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Ilana Teitelbaum on September 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Fantasy can to be said to examine human nature by way of myth and archetype, while science fiction does the same with technological possibilities; and horror explores human nature by route of our deepest fears. Perhaps what is most unique about "Perdido Street Station" is that it does all three, being at once of all those genres and at the same time refusing to be so neatly pigeonholed. For the fantastic elements blur into science, and the horror is present throughout.
The palpable atmosphere of the bloated and decadent New Crobuzon is one of the book's major strengths; and it reflects an irony that soon becomes apparent in Mieville's writing. Using the most beautifully wrought language, he creates a vision of hell to curdle the imagination. One is tempted to look away, but is inevitably sucked in by the seductive melody of his prose--melody that is paradoxically used to create dissonance.
The characters are introduced by degrees, so that they have time to sink into the reader's awareness before disaster strikes. This is a rare accomplishment, given that Mieville chose to make his main characters so potentially incomprehensible to us. Isaac is in love with a woman whose head is an insect--an idea that could have backfired terribly had Lin been any less vivid a personality than she was. As it is, that concept in itself is difficult to accept, as it defies reproductive logic that a race of women with insectile heads should exist; nevertheless, Lin is someone the reader comes to care about, and Isaac is a colorful and wholly original spin on the mad scientist stereotype.
It is difficult to tell if Isaac is in fact the main character, or if it is Yagharek's story after all.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
63 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Steve Graham on January 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
China Mieville's style here is impressive, invoking Dickens, Lovecraft and the 19th century in general. That and the brilliant creation that is New Crobuzon must've been what wowed the critics.
That said, I can't believe the fatal flaws in storytelling and characterization generally slipped under their radar.
I felt there were too many characters in play. One significant figure doesn't arrive until the last 20 pages! And I lost track of the villains; Vermishank, Motley, the slake moths, the mayor, etc. Some players meet abrupt ends, and some disappear for literally dozens of pages. My favorite character is given a major subplot early on, only to vanish for half the book!
The basic mechanics of the story suffer a similar fate. As Mieville bounces from character to character, plot threads are introduced, dropped, and mostly resolved (if at all) in a very unsatisfying way, especially after 710 pages of waiting to see how things turn out. In the end (spoiler alert), the remaining villains vanish from the stage, Isaac's apparent main goal is suddenly abandoned, and the heroes limp off into the sunset after horrible losses. I wasn't expecting "happily ever after," but the ending seemed half-baked indeed.
A final note: Mieville is fond of the words "stink," "stench," "greasy," "filth," and scatalogical terms I won't type here. Halfway through the book, I found myself thinking, "Okay, New Crobuzon stinks. I get it."
Overall, there's a lot of potential here, and genre crossover appeal, but I prefer tidier storytelling.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: the imagination station books series, new england crime places