Friday, July 15, 2005

Perdido Street Station: a review

Perdido Street Station is a novel by a guy named China. I imagine he got beat up a lot as a kid, both for having a girl's name, and for being weird. On the other hand, it clearly made him stronger. Strong enough to write one of the weirdest books I've ever read. It's Industrial Revolution fantasy or magical realism, can't tell which. It's much better than the last book I read that was fantastical commentary on the Industrial Revolution*.

See, in Perdido Street Station, there's about ten different subplots running around a bizarre fantastic city, with plenty of descriptions of freaky people/architecture/customs/monstrous subraces. High-falutin' language? Oh, ever so much, dear readers.

I honestly don't know if I liked reading this, or if I should recommend reading Perdido Street Station to anyone. After about 100 pages, I had to keep reading, so that was good. On the other hand, I'm not sure I liked the ending, so that's bad. Also, reading it was work. Chewing on the imagery was a workout, and it's not a happy fantastic setting. It's full of exploited proletarians, some of whom are hideous mutants.

* You thought I was going to say Cryptonomicon or Quicksilver, right? Ha! Haven't gotten there yet. It was The Difference Engine, which took me four tries to read because it SUCKS.


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