Monday, February 18, 2013
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Back to the challenge! I was going to start this again with Abraham Merrit's The Ship of Ishtar, but I really didn't get very far into that book. Just because something is old does not necessarily make it a Must-Read. It was so poorly written that I gave up.
Now with that experience fresh in my mind and the fact that the last time I tried to read China Mieville it was Embassytown and I couldn't finish that either, because I just couldn't connect with the characters. Probably another piece of evidence that in general science fiction and I don't seem to get along, I approached Perdido Street Station cautiously.
This was a great book! I can see why Mieville has the reputation he does in the field. People tend to regard China Mieville as the high priest of New Weird and his work gets classified that way. I'm not sure what New Weird is and while what Mieville writes about is weird, it crosses genres and defies classification. There are all sorts of elements from various types of fiction clashing in Perdido Street Station and they all come together in a highly pleasing mix.
It's hard not to be drawn into Mieville's vision, from the expansive and intricate world building, his new and unusual races, also exceptionally well thought out and realised, to the strong multi layered very real characters he describes. There's suspense, action, adventure, philosophy and so much more in Perdido Street Station.
It's a true masterpiece of the fantasy genre and should be read by all lovers of fantasy and become a classic for many years to come.