Skip to main content

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville : A rambunctious novel that defies description


Perdido Street Station is a truly exceptional book. Perdido Street Station is packed with so many ideas and concepts that other authors could have made a whole series out of just one of them. Thinking about this novel still gives me the chills. I had not heard of China Mieville till Samit Basu(author of the Gameworld trilogy happened to mention him) and what a recommendation this turned out be.
I couldn't help but form images of what was happening and they still creep me out. The monsters in this book are scary to say the least.
The novel begins with a Garuda(a bird like creature) who comes to Isaac, a scientist to get his wings(they have been removed by his folk as punishment for his crimes). Isaac then begins his foray into winged creatures and the tale metamorphoses into something else entirely.
The world of New Crobuzon that Mieville creates is on an entirely different scale from what is typical. It is rich, detailed, nuanced, utterly fantastic and populated with a dense cast of characters whose motivations I could not help but wonder at.
There are monsters who feed off your dreams. There are machines who obtain sentience. There are water beings, insect like folk and huge cactus like ones as well all of who live together in New Crobuzon with all the strife that this entails. There is the weaver, whose only motivation to do things is to make things look better in the grander scheme of things and its amazing how all of it fits.
Mieville writes like a dream with deftness and subtlety. Here he possesses the ability to get into the skin of every character etching them out with great intimacy and thought. He writes with a flair and verve that he seems to have abandoned in his later works(with the exception of Kraken).
Highly recommended and a must read. This is without a shadow of doubt one of the finest books that I have ever read.

You can buy Perdido Street Station here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An ode to Hall 1

This goes out to Hall 1, the hostel where all the 4th year students of IIT Kanpur live. Indeed this hostel serves as a meeting ground between familiar foes some of who go on to become friends. A lot of factors make Hall 1 what it is. It acquires a mythic quality right from the first year when juniors are often threatened with “Aaj raat hall 1 main chal”. The seniors who live in Hall 1 seem to have a totally different existence as compared to the rest of the campus. On a visit to the hostel in the first year all one hears is the constant swearing, and sees everyone in shorts or in suits. Legends surround Hall 1 and in our first year the stories we hear are of Hall 1 and none other. Indeed Hall 1 residents perpetuate this myth as well acting as if they are the scariest beings on the campus. Indeed the fear is such that if a fresher goes to Hall 1 they are not expected to come back. There is something about Hall 1 that separates it from the rest of the Halls. For starters, Hall 1 has

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

The best of Paul Graham

Paul Graham is a startup incubator. He also happens to write essays which are really really good. In general I wish I had them read them a lot earlier. I have been reading his essays for a while now. Here are some extracts which I liked and so it begins. Addictive things have to be treated as if they were sentient adversaries—as if there were a little man in your head always cooking up the most plausible arguments for doing whatever you're trying to stop doing. If you leave a path to it, he'll find it. And my main computer is now freed for work. If you try this trick, you'll probably be struck by how different it feels when your computer is disconnected from the Internet. It was alarming to me how foreign it felt to sit in front of a computer that could only be used for work, because that showed how much time I must have been wasting. From Disconnecting Distraction How do you avoid copying the wrong things? Copy only what you genuinely like. That would have sav