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Inhaltsangabe

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.

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.

©2003 China Mieville (P)2009 Random House Audio

Kritikerstimmen

"The author of King Rat delivers a powerful tale about the power of love and the will to survive in a dystopian universe that combines Victorian elements with a fantasy version of cyberpunk. Mieville's visceral prose evokes an immediacy that commands attention and demands a wide readership. Highly recommended." ( Library Journal)
"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." ( The New York Times)

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Gesamt

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    5
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Sprecher

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Geschichte

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful, but almost flawed

What do I mean by that, then? I'll try to be brief.

The world building is phenomenal, though the book would have benefited from a map (even the audiobook) - you can find one by China on the web! The characters are very well fleshed out, and there are new ideas and fantastic monsters here. Also, while there is horror, it's not nearly as gruesome or disgusting as others have claimed. The author doesn't focus on it, as such...it feels more like necessity, because this world is a fairly awful place to live in, than choice.

One thing to bear in mind is that, in my opinion, the true protagonist is this world Isaac and Lin and the others live in. Sometimes the point of view dramatically shifts between characters, between focus on who matters. I'm not sure if this is intentional. It's not jarring, it's more an eyebrow-furrowing "ehm... what happened to X, then?" Also, one of the larger plot twists can be seen coming from literally 70% of the book away.

This is also where the one almost-weakness of the book lies. Characters are so vividly described, are believable, go through growth....but you can't ever really care for them because this grubby world is in the way. Because that's how the book was written, and because life is really cheap in New Crobuzon. I'm not sure if it's masterful or lacking. The book doesn't ever bore, but there comes a point where you realize you aren't going, aren't intended to get attached to the protagonists and it's an acquired taste.

I wholeheartedly recommend the book and the performance by Mr. Lee if you want to dive into a fantastic world and not surface for a while. But be mindful the book isn't entirely "easy" to read nor is it easygoing.

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