Summary

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.
Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.
While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger—and more consuming—by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon—and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes.
©2000 China Mieville (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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Critic reviews

"China Miéville's cool style has conjured up a triumphantly macabre technoslip metropolis with a unique atmosphere of horror and fascination." (Peter Hamilton)
"It is the best steampunk novel since Gibson and Sterling's." (John Clute)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Martin on 21-05-13

Slough of pugnaciously ineluctable ululation

...which is insufficiently etiolated. Know what I mean? No, of course you don't, I just wanted to use some of CM's favourite words. He is a bit of a show off with his vocabulary, but this is rendered less impressive by its frequent repetition. Undoubtedly this author has a ferocious imagination, and he is very skilled indeed in painting brilliantly evocative linguistic portraits of the dark cityscape, the characters and events in his epic tale. On the downside, however, this mammoth tome runs to 31 hours of rather ponderous listening, and you end up fervently wishing that he had some rudimentary editing ability. Never use one sentence where 20 will do seems to be his maxim, and you get the sense that the author is having a much better time than the listener/reader. Self-indulgence stuff, a rich and very indigestible meal of a book – if someone is going from point A to point B, you will get every single detail of their journey, everything they saw, everything they thought, everything they ate. If CM was a movie director, a two-hour film would be eight hours long. Things seem to get going about 15 hours in, but then it meanders off again into whimsical musings. There are some splendid sequences, but far too much plodding detail in between. This is the second (and last) of China Mieville's books that I have tried, and failed, to enjoy.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By mark on 07-01-12

Loved it

The City of New Corbuzon is a remarkable creation and the author manages to pack a lot of it into the novel. His journey takes the reader from the cultures highs (of which there are not too many) to its lows with a wealth of well imagined characters and locations.
The story itself starts a little slowly but I felt the author used this time well to develop his world. Once going it is a good story with plenty of alien monsters to keep a run of the mill sci fi geek like me wanting to know how it ends. But for those that want more form a novel there is plenty of stuff going on behind the story to keep you thinking.

Initially, I just couldn’t get used to the narrator, I found him overly dramatic and slightly annoying but after a short while it just worked and he was an excellent choice for the book. His characterisation was excellent and he managed to develop individuality while maintaining their alien persona.

At times I did feel the book strayed a little so the author could introduce yet another alien or location which weren’t really necessary. The book could easily have been several hours shorter without losing too much of the plot.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By David on 13-08-12

Not My Cup Of Tea

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

As a fan of Sci Fi and Fantasy fiction I have been interested in reading a China Mieville book for some time, I read the young Adult oriented Unlondon and found it too young for me so thought I'd give this one a go which has been well reviewed. I just found it to have no real dramatic thrust and the characters were quite unclear and unengaging to me, the author spends most of the time describing the detail and minutae of the world which I'm sure appeals to some readers but I wanted more attention on the story and characters and ultimately found it disappointing.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jack on 30-08-16

Perdido Street brilliant

I enjoyed this book and the performance of the narrator. inventive, funny, subversive hugely enjoyable.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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