China Mieville

Posted: March 22, 2011 in Media Gleanings, Reviews

This is the third time I’ve made an effort to read Perdido Street Station.  The first two times, I only lasted about 20 pages or so.  The last time, I  was determined to take it on my Costa Rica trip, but abandon it because the prose was just to dense for airplane or bus.  That was probably a wise move.

The third attempt is the result of John Scalzi stating that he felt Perdido Street Station was the best SciFi novel of the past decade.  Since Scalzi is one of my favorite authors and blogsters, I felt that it deserved another, intense go of it.

…With pleasant results.  Now, about 150 pages into the book, I’m hooked.  What makes reading Mieville difficult is his dense, almost poetic prose.  His metaphoric description and visual images are very much like early Neil Stephenson, William Gibson or like The Road by Cormick McCarthy.  Visual images like

Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth.  It has been night for a long time.  The hovels that encrust the river’s edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark.

It`s challenging reading at times, but once inside Mieville`s prose you are transported to his original, ominous world.  I guess I`ve been spoiled by the easy reading of some of the more YA oriented books I`ve been reading lately.  It took the story in Perdido Street Station more than 50 pages to ramp up, but the book is over 600 pages, so there`s still lots of opportunity for plot development.  The plot is proving to be very intricate and follows several threads, -interesting, if a little bizarre.

I guess some good books just need a little determination.

  1. David says:

    Highly recommend Perdido Street Station, but some of his other stuff leaves a great deal to be desired. It is a very weird read, though. The Scar is also great, as is The City and The City. I didn’t love Iron Council. King Rat was good fun until the very end when something was introduced that took away from the whole feel of the novel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s