Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Perdido Street Station (2000) China Mieville
I’ve been reading this book since March, a page or two at a time and for awhile, I was beginning to think it was never going to end. It’s not that this book isn’t good–it is good–I just didn’t care for it.
Isaac is a scientist–an eccentric scientist who is attached rather dubiously to New Crobuzon University, and who is one of the few humans who is willing to date a Khepri–one of the insect headed humanoids–even if it is secretly. Lin–the Khepri Isaac is dating–is an artist, who has decided to live outside the Kehpri district and integrate with larger society. Isaac receives a request from a Garuda–one of the bird people–to rebuild his wings. In Isaac’s search for flight, he becomes involved with unexpected–and dangerous–matter.
The problem I had with Perdido Street Station is that it’s a bunch of bad things happening, one after the other, and it got terrifically depressing.
The story is good, but it just didn’t hold me. I could read a page or two, and then put the book down without any difficulty, even if really bad things were happening. I just figured I could put the book down, and when I picked it back up, the same bad things would be happening, and then some other bad things would happen.
The characters were good, but I just didn’t like any of them. I found them interesting, and they acted realistically, but I didn’t like them. Which made reading about them less appealing.
Additionally, there was a strong science fiction feel to the book–or at least it felt science fiction-y to me. That also dampened my enthusiasm for the book.
It’s a good book, but it’s not a book that I particularly liked. It’s dark, but not the kind of dark that I particularly like. If you like science fiction, then this book may be more to your liking than it was mine.