Author Topic: Mieville does it again  (Read 5587 times)

Offline Stephen Palmer

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Mieville does it again
« on: May 08, 2003, 05:33:50 pm »
I read Perdido St. Station and loved it.

Just to say that the new one The Scar is just as good! I don't know how he does it. Go out there folks and buy. You won't regret it.

And, no, I'm not him, and I don't know him...

STEVE...
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Sean Z

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Mieville does it again
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2004, 05:32:12 pm »
A couple or three months ago I read the first three fifths or so of Perdido Street Station, and while it wasn't awful I didn't think it was very good either. I have this theory that when any quote in the blurb of a book praises the author's imagination it's code for him not being a very good writer.

I just found it dull: the main character didn't seem too interesting, a lot of the descriptions were just lists of objects, and the various fantasy elements just seemed to be thrown in willy-nilly (bit o' magic here, bit o' technology there, a generous helping of races, a couple of extra dimensions, a dash of AI...). Also, he seemed to misuse several words and I couldn't figure out whether that was intentional or not.

Is this particular emperor naked, or am I missing the point? I am planning to finish PSS off at some point, but I don't whether I'll be able to bring myself to do it.

methodman

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Perdido Street Station
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2004, 05:46:38 pm »
Quote from: "Sean Z"
A couple or three months ago I read the first three fifths or so of Perdido Street Station, and while it wasn't awful I didn't think it was very good either. I have this theory that when any quote in the blurb of a book praises the author's imagination it's code for him not being a very good writer.

I just found it dull: the main character didn't seem too interesting, a lot of the descriptions were just lists of objects, and the various fantasy elements just seemed to be thrown in willy-nilly (bit o' magic here, bit o' technology there, a generous helping of races, a couple of extra dimensions, a dash of AI...). Also, he seemed to misuse several words and I couldn't figure out whether that was intentional or not.

Is this particular emperor naked, or am I missing the point? I am planning to finish PSS off at some point, but I don't whether I'll be able to bring myself to do it.



Interesting.
You're actually the first person I've heard say they don't like Perdido Street Station.
I thought it was fantastic.
Strange how people react differently isn't it?
I didn't want the book to end, and I quite liked the descriptions and the variety of creatures.
The protagonist was unusual, but to me that added charm. Bring on the overweight heroes!

It's worth a read.

Meth

Offline Stephen Palmer

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Mieville does it again
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 08:26:56 pm »
Heh! I just got a proof copy of "Iron Council" from those awfully nice people at Macmillan. Unfortunately I can't read it, as a colleague and I agreed to read this book together, and the HB isn't out until late Sep 2004... aaaaargh! Irony strikes again!

STEVE PALMER
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methodman

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Mieville does it again
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2004, 11:22:27 pm »
Quote from: "Stephen Palmer"
Heh! I just got a proof copy of "Iron Council" from those awfully nice people at Macmillan. Unfortunately I can't read it, as a colleague and I agreed to read this book together, and the HB isn't out until late Sep 2004... aaaaargh! Irony strikes again!

STEVE PALMER
http://www.stephenpalmer.co.uk
 :?



Isn't it already out in America? I think you can order it from Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345464028/qid=1090534881/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/102-9915710-7268129


Why wait till september?


Meth

Connor Wolf

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Re: Perdido Street Station
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2005, 12:56:53 pm »
Quote from: "methodman"
You're actually the first person I've heard say they don't like Perdido Street Station.


Can I be the second?

It was incredibly drawn out so that small spaces of time were dragged over pages which added nothing to the tension. The story, at the beginning, was shaping up nicely and when the slake-moths escaped the book just went downhill into a really depressing chase which, despite the implied timeframe and the importance, seemed leisurely as the narrative failed to excite.

As I said, the opening sections were well written and set the scene perfectly. We find out that the city is a dirty place, all filth and nefarious characters, but by the time we get to the final 200 pages China is still telling us what a horrible place New Crobuzon is; we get the idea!

His use of words became annoying. When I read a book I don't expect anything to pop out and sound alarms in my head but there were a number of words that appeared so often I got bored of them: extraordinary, onieric, and all possibilities of thaumaturgy. He seems to only know one shade of brown without actually saying brown, too. Dun.

Characters were boring also, despite being interesting ideas, although the cactus people made me think China was having a laugh. Stupid things.

I suppose its redeeming features are that it's not a quest for the Sword of Whocares and there is some interesting invention in there although getting it onto the page and cutting this I-want-to-be-Mervyn-Peake crap might make him a better writer.

I've not read The Scar or Iron Council - maybe one day I will, but I'll check out his books further down the line to see if he has improved.

Offline Shaun Jeffrey

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Mieville does it again
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 11:30:21 am »
Three's my lucky number. I read the first few chapters then fell asleep. When a book does that to me, I find it hard to continue reading it. I will probably check another of his books out as one book is never enough to judge an author by.
The Kult

People are predictable. That's what makes them easy to kill.

Offline Pigasus

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Re: Perdido Street Station
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2005, 12:02:43 pm »
Quote from: "Connor Wolf"
Quote from: "methodman"
You're actually the first person I've heard say they don't like Perdido Street Station.


Can I be the second?


I didn't like it either - though, admittedly, I gave up reading it after just a few pages. Seemed instantly recognisable to me as simply another fantasy opus dressed up as SF...

Still, that's only my snap judgement.
The ZONE's reviewers are full of praise for China's books:
Perdido Street Station
http://www.zone-sf.com/perdidosts.html
Iron Council
http://www.zone-sf.com/wordworks/ironcouncil.html
The Scar
http://www.zone-sf.com/scarchinam.html

BenJones

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Mieville does it again
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2005, 01:25:46 pm »
has anyone read his first book?? (king rat - i think!) i loved perdido street station but just couldnt get into king rat. it seemed to start well but meandered about. i intend to go back to it at some point and give it another chance.