( Read Book ) Ö Perdido Street Station à eBook or Kindle ePUB free

( Read Book ) ⚝ Perdido Street Station õ The iconic first Bas Lag novel from an award winning authorThe metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rivers are sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night For than a thousand years, the parliament and its brutal militia have ruled over a vast array of workers and artists, spies, magicians, junkies and whores Now a stranger has come, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand, and inadvertently something unthinkable is released As the city becomes gripped by an alien terror, the fate of millions depends on a clutch of outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crimelords alike The urban nightscape becomes a hunting ground Battles rage in the shadows of bizarre buildings And a reckoning is due at the city s heart, under the vast chaotic vaults of Perdido Street Station 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 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 about the creative process The prose is quite different from The City The City however, there s something about the way Mieveille creates worlds which connects the books and I think challenges readers to become immersed in strange and alien worlds The novel is dense crammed full of ideas and concepts , but it is still accessible I plan to readof this series, but I ll probably reread Perdido Street Station at least onetime first 4.5 stars 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 wayA stunning image of New Crobuzon from 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 love and betrayal but it is neither the strength nor the focus of Perd 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 wayA stunning image of New Crobuzon from 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 love and betrayal but it is neither the strength nor the focus of Perdido Street Station What the book is really about is the city of New Crobuzon itself, and Mieville s amazing boundless imagination knows no limits when it comes to creating a living breathing creature of this surreal, phantasmagorical placeI turn away from him and step into the vastness of New Crobuzon, this towering edifice of architecture and history, this complexitude of money and slum, this profane steam powered godNew Crobuzon isthe sunless city of mundane betrayal and danger , a sprawling metropolis in the Industrial Revolution era like setting It is the melting pot of Mieville s world, with many races happily living grudgingly coexisting within it Ruthless militia patrols the streets while crime bosses prosper and the courts sentence the criminals to the horrendous Remaking The macabre city is diseased, gangrenous, festering, filthy, covered in grime and stench, with all the vices of a huge metropolis violence, crime, drugs, corruption, poverty, and politics Dominated by the eponymous bulk of Perdido Street Station, with the enormous ribcage of a long dead ancient giant jutting out in the middle of it, built on the banks of rivers from which you d better not take a drink, it appears to be made of the stuff of nightmares That is, until the events set in motion by the unwitting characters of this story unleash the true sickeningly awful meaning of nightmares ontothis old city that snores and farts and rumbles and scratches and swells and grows warty and pugnacious with ageThe ultimate existential horror the loss of the integrity of one s mind, the fear of helplessness The nightmares were splitting the membrane of sleep They were spilling into the everyday, haunting the sunlit realm, drying conversations in the throat and stealing friends awayMieville takes the strange and innately repulsive concepts and unflinchingly uses them to carve out the setting and the characters of his story His amazing imagination and brilliant descriptive skills make this loud, boisterous, filthy, and terrifying place so incredibly vivid that it seemed to me that I actually spent some time there, lived and breathed it, actually felt it which, in turn, makes me want a an immediate shower, b a full body CT scan, and c immediate treatments for parasites and contagious diseases that any visitor to it would undoubtedly get I was warned about the linguistic complexity of this story It is true Mieville s prose can be dense and complicated and at times deliciously pompously pretentious, studded with adverbs and adjectives Usually I would contemptuously and exasperatedly shrug my shoulders and walk away from that However, Mieville does something amazing with his fascinating language and melodic flow of narration especially Yagharek s interludes , making me love it in a perversely masochistic way while reaching for the dictionary What did you expect after all, in this book, there is a mention of Palgolak, god of knowledge With a libraryHow cool is that China Mieville, making sophisticated words cool since 1972 I bet he was born clutching a dictionary Dear Mr Mieville, thank you forprestidigitation , salubrious , avaricious , penury , susurrus , and of course,palimpsestThese words will forever stay with me Bring on the SATs As for the characters Well, they are definitely flawed, careless, and not too likeable yes, Isaac, I m looking at you , and therefore feel quite real despite their intended alienness Lin, oh Lin, you poor thing Construct Council I wonder if we shall meet again, you terrifying artificial machine god intelligence But the tormented and mysterious choice stealing Yagharek was my favorite throughout and my heart was aching for him in the last few pages the unexpected but in retrospect inevitable way to end this amazing gut punches delivering book EDIT AFTER THE REREAD WITH SPOILERS November 2012 TheI think about it, theI find Yagharek to be the heart of this book The earthbound garuda, punished for a crime that for different reasons is despicable both for his tribe and for us, readers and Isaac, too Yagharek, who in his desperate quest to fly again and ashamed of himself for even trying makes a journey not just from Cymek to New Crobuzon but also a mental one, from a quiet subdued creature obsessed only with its own plight to a fighter, a hero, a friend and, ultimately, someone new view spoiler No, Yagharek does not get what he wants Instead, he gains something else something new, somethingor so I would like to think The choice thief is forced by the choices of others, no less to let go of his half existence, of clutching to what he used to be, of seeing himself as a failed half creature The choice stealer is forced to make a choice and the one he makes, unexpected and difficult, is what makes me hopeful, makes me think that he has made his journey of bravery and friendship and selflessness not in vain It makes me feelrespect for this Disrespected and Abstract Individual Because he made himself whole maybe not in the way we were hoping for but whole nevertheless I will not do this anyI will not be this cripple, this earth bound bird, any longer This half life ends now, with my hope And speaking now from the experience of having readMi ville now, I think of a brief instance of meeting Yagharek in one of the sequels, and feeling real surge of pride at his future action and I realize that this former half creature, the redeemed criminal, the earthbound garuda whatever Yagharek is or was, he has made a secure place in my heart, and he is the glimpse of hope, perseverance, and the crazy stubborn vitality, tenacity and resilience that despite all odds permeates the filth of New Crobuzon Yagharek s story is the heart of this otherwise brutal book I am not the earthbound garuda anyThat one is dead This is a new life I am not a half thing, a failed neither nor hide spoiler 4.5 solid stars Why not 5 stars then, since I am clearly in love with this book Because I am awful, that s why I hate insects, and all the insect filled storyline made me feel like bugs were crawling under my skin Brrrrrr Which, I suspect, may have been the intended effect Also, intentionally or not, it feels that a few storylines were dealt with too quickly and incompletely But overall, a great book that I loved very much and highly recommendI turn and walk into my home, the city, a manBy the way, my review of the second Bas Lag book, The Scar , is over this way.And my review of Iron Council , the third book set in Bas Lag universe, is over here Lots of people like to accuse China Mi ville 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 Lots of people like to accuse China Mi ville 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 spare, because he is riffing on detective novel tropes Kraken is littered with pop culture references as he turns modern urban fantasy upside down And Perdido Street Station is dripping with ichor grotesquely ornate nouveau Victorian prose because that s the kind of book this is dude clearly read a lot of H.P Lovecraft speaking of which, if you think this is hard to read, just try a few paragraphs of that If you don t want to read something over the top, generally safe to say don t read something by China Mi ville As Roger Ebert likes to say, this one goes so far over the top, it circumnavigates the top and doubles back on itself.Shit I don t mean to swear, but if you are going to read this one, you better be ready for some shit, and some shitting, and things that have recently shat I swear, the only book withshat than this book isbook this book 6426609, how else would you have him describe New Crobuzon A wasted, diseased, dark nightmare metropolis, where an entire neighborhood huddles in the shadows of the skinless ribcage of some ancient felled beast, where a gruff race of living cactus people inhabits a massive, filthy greenhouse, where the polluted waters run thick with eyeless corpses and surgically altered criminals and wingless bird men wander the streets Oh these words are too big What is going on Ok, here you goThe dirty city was brown The brown water ran brownly past the dirty brown banks A brown skinned man in a dirty brown trenchcoat walked brownly through the dirty, brown light I m not saying you are dumb if you don t like this I am saying I like this The world of Bas Lag is like no place I ve been before, so I don t want to hear it described with a bunch of words I hear all the time You don t even have to know what they all mean Think about the word susurrus How does that make you feel I could have said a whispering sound, but things don t make whispering sounds in New Crobuzon, they make susurrus ones Trust me, this is some salubriously ossified vocabulary.Should I talk about, you know, the plot I don t think so I didn t know anything about this going in except that it was set in a big, gross city and probably it was going to be hard to read it wasn t In broad strokes, though it s nuts, which you know to expect if you have read one of this guy s books before If you haven t had any good ideas lately, possibly it is because China Mi ville has been slinking into your bedroom, wraith like, to feast on your dreams conceptual spoiler alert Seriously, I have read four of his books now, and three of them are densely packed with enough cool concepts to fill at least twice that many normal books There is a reason this dude coined a new genre.For all the muchness on display, for all of this book s wandering threads and oh, this would be cool pit stops, it s immensely readable and, you know, quite thoughtful I mean, for a book with a sadistic, eight legged, scissor happy deus ex machinarachnid who talks in poetry and all caps If you can find another book that manages to cram a genuinely well developed sociological argument for Maxrism into the basic plot of Aliens on mushrooms, well let me know I ll read that too Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 11 Book from your favorite author. 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 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 popular culture as a template for creatures that he made his own, which he gave his own unique twist to.One of the things that bothered me a bit was how illogical the physiology of some of Mieville s sentient creatures are The biggest culprit, for me, was the cactus people I suspect that these creatures are a nod to videogaming culture, but I felt that their inclusion detracted from the credibility of the mechanics of Mieville s world.I could almost still live with the idea of having humanoids running around who look like cactus plants it s actually pretty cool in a comic book way, but really cactus plants with human organs who reproduce the way humans do, with males and females, and the females even have breasts Oh, come onnn that detracts a lot from the credence one might still have tried to give the other sentient creatures, most of whom are plucked from the pages of mythology.It might work as Bizarro, but this work isn t entirely Bizarro and for the amount of trouble that Mieville put into his world building, one would expect all the nuts and bolts to fit together better into creating a world that works according to believable rules, but sadly, that is one aspect in which I found the novel lacking.Still the creatures are quite fun and pretty cool Mieville might have taken them out of the pages of world culture, but he made them fun, and he made them his own, and as such they lend a particular imaginative allure to the world of Bas lag.First, there s the scarab headed Kephri from ancient Egypt An Egyptian god who was patron of the sun, creation, life and resurrection In Mieville s world, only the females are sentient, which I found quite a hilarious twist.Then, the Vodyanoi from Eastern Europe These are mischievous water creatures in Eastern European folklore, also called Rusalkas In Mieville s world, they need to remain wet, and have devised various techniques for keeping their skins moist while hob knobbing with the land creatures.Also, the half bird, half human Garuda, one of which is a main character in PSS I simply couldn t resist slipping this awesome artwork,King of Garuda by Jessada Art on deviantART into my review it reminded me so much of the idea that I formed of the Garudas in Mieville s world According to Wikipedia In Hindu religion, Garuda is a lesser Hindu divinity, usually the mount of the God Vishnu Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle s beak and with a crown on his head.Throughout the Mahabharata, Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess Powerful warriors advancing rapidly on doomed foes are likened to Garuda swooping down on a serpent.In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization.Personally, I think Mieville could have tappedout of the mythology surrounding these majestic creatures for instance their antipathy with serpents, shape changing abilities and so on On the other hand, he attached such an interesting sociology to Garudas that I can completely forgive him for leaving out some features of the creatures from myth.As already mentioned, to me most of the tropes worked quite well, because in spite of the nonsensical physiology of, for instance, the cactus people, and perhaps that of the Khepri, the pure imaginative fun and originality of the off kilter physiques make the creatures memorable.Besides theobvious borrowings from mythology, there are aspects which feel like nods to common tropes in comic books, TV shows and video games, some of which are quite humorous.For instance, there s a section where a cleaning machine becomes sentient because of a virus in its programming, the process of which, as Mieville describes it, was pretty hilarious I laughed out loud He had a pretty funny depiction as well of sentient computing machines self organizing and wanting to take over the world, which was excellent satire on both the actual internet and on tropes of the oh so prevalent pop theme of sentient robots wanting to take over the world.What made the whole AI theme really interesting and uber fun, is that the book is set in a Steampunk background, so all the computing machines run on steam..and they re that ancient 50 s kind that still worked with punch cards Very funny, and a really enjoyable romp.Themes like this all add to the fun, but I think I prefer a subtle homogeneous canvas which comes across as an organic whole, rather than a jarring, comic book collage where the elements make up a mismatching pastiche, and sometimes this book feels a bit like the latter.It s almost as if Mieville was trying to scrunch too many loose ideas into one world, as if he didn t use enough self restraint.Now to move on to some of thepolitical aspects of the work.There is so much conflict here not just as reflected in the book, but in myself over the book and over Mieville Mieville himself seems a complex creature, every bit as complex as his work.Personally, I find the Anarchist Marxist view a bit naive As far as I am concerned, people are just never going to be philanthropic and astutely mature enough not to need any kind of government to regulate the cogs and wheels of human society So in my view, thinking that we can dispense with all forms of government and live happily ever after in some kind of anarchic hippie commune, just won t work Not unless everyone is put on drugs from an early age, anyway Mieville, a rather radical Marxist, shows us a negative depiction of government New Cruzobon is on the surface a democracy, but in reality a police state The government is corrupt and makes use of secret police to control the populace Ironically, rather similar to certain now defunct Communist governments from the past.But perhaps Mieville isn t quite as naive as one might think People in power do, after all, tend to become corrupted by the sweet headiness of power, the narcotic lure of power and we all know about the kinds of things politicians will stoop to, to come in power or to remain in power and then there s also Capitalism and moral corruption all too real, unfortunately.so I have to admit that the depiction of New Cruzobon government and its machinations to remain in power is not quite so far fetched, and one needn t even be aware of Mieville s personal ideology to identify with his cynical depiction of a conservative type of government in which secret police play a sinister role, and which, although a supposedly democratic government with a parliament, seems to sit just just on the edge of totalitarianism.As for the rest of the novel it is a melting pot of intertextuality, originality, and nods to and riffing on tropes, but winding through it all, like rivulets that eventually meet up with their mother river, run plot threads that eventually meet up into one cataclysmic stream of events which touches the lives of the characters in the novel nay, not just touches heaves them up and carries them in a nightmarish torrent of events which changes them forever.In spite of my criticisms, this is a great book The way in which Mieville spun a web across the lives of several characters and have them all irrevocably touched by and changed by fate, is pretty amazing it reminded me of the web George Eliot spun through her novel Middlemarch.Also, like everybody else says in their reviews, the world he builds is rich and imaginative, if at times rather excessive in its detail.Probably, the hardest aspect for me with this work was interpreting when the author is being serious and when he is putting tongue in cheek.The last chapter of the book is serious That much I can tell you I cried My heart ached The ending of the book affected me so deeply that my insides ached for quite a while after finishing the book So kudos to Mr Mieville for managing to do that.It is one of the most intimately personal parts of the book, where Mieville bathes his characters in pathos He writes with amazing self control at the end I personally would have preferred a revenge ending but this literature climbs above that It takes no sides, it just shows It shows each of the human and non human yet so human characters in their acute, frail humanity And these characters have grown.Isaac, the once callous and arrogant, now broken in his shattered world, has become softer, is seeing the world from a different angle Yagharek finally comes to acceptance, and but wait, let me not spoil the plot.Just read it I will add a small warning though you ll only see the plot threads drawn together at the end of the book, so don t get too impatient if you don t see the entire painting, the whole picture of the story before you re about 3 quarters through the book.Mieville examines many ethical issues throughout the novel, for instance, among others How much are we allowed to sacrifice in the name of science How should punishment for heinous crimes be administered Is it acceptable to sacrifice a few to save many His answers regarding an ideal approach to these problems do not tend to be pat or preachy, and although the reader might not always agree with the choices of the characters regarding ethics and morality, at least Mieville is putting the issues on the table to be aired I do feel Mieville missed a few opportunities, for instance, with how callously Isaac treats creatures during his experiments I feel that Mieville could have had a character comment on this for example, to highlight the issue, and Isaac could have replied with an argument from the scientist s point of view As it is, it simply serves to add to the dislike one already feels towards the character regarding his hypocrisy in the way he conducts his interracial relationship with a Kephri woman.As a postscript, I d like to tack on a reference to a short story, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin, in which she introduces one of the moral conundrums that one bumps your head against when looking at things from a utilitarian point of view, namely when does it become acceptable to sacrifice the one to save the many In the novel reviewed above, Mieville simply takes it as a given that it is quite acceptable from an ethical point of view for one person to be sacrificed for the many I don t necessarily agree with this assumption However, if you think carefully about it, it is an assumption that Christianity is steeped with and in fact many religions including the ancient meso American religions have strong themes of it being good and justifiable to sacrifice few for the benefit of many.I m not arguing with Mieville s stance on the matter, since it is not a problem that lends itself to easy solutions I would have appreciated a bitsoul searching on Mieville s characters part regarding this question though, since it is a pertinent problem that is relevant to the citizens of the world today.Bottom line is that although this novel has some flaws, I thought the positives outweighed the negatives enough for me to give it four and a half stars, rounded up to five.Highly recommended to anybody who would enjoy a rich tapestry of gritty fantasy and who likes fiction that explores moral issues and new ideas Not for those who prefer their fiction prim, proper, staid and conforming to 19th century standards of writing