Perdido Street Station

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Sun Feb 9 14:09:24 EST 2003


Tanaqui said...

> me:
> + > A fat book like _Perdido Street Station_ needs every one of its words,
and
> + > is also a joy to read, but I would never dream of attempting to push
it on
> + > someone who didn't have much time to spare for books that don't
deliver a
> + > hit as fast as games or anime
>
> Dorian:
>
> + See, now, I'm gonna differ on this one.  I have no objection in
principle to
> + Great Long Books, but I was *very* disappointed by "Perdido Street
Station".
> + I bought it on the (possibly foolish) grounds that Mr. Mieville shares
my
> + opinion of Tolkien, so I thought that he might write a book that I would
> + like.
>
> Have you read the short story _An End to Hunger_ by him on the Register
site?
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/archive/15732.html

No, but now that you've pointed it out I'll give it a try.
>
> (irrelevantly, his savaging of _The Sparrow_ and the Harry Potter books
were
> completely priceless. What did he say about Tolkien that drew you towards
his
> novel?)

IIRC, he basically appears to share my opinion that Tolkien badly needed a
good editor who would have cut out all the irrelevant history bits and the
multi-page descriptions.  So I figured if he felt like that, he'd share my
ideas of how a fantasy novel should be written, and write it. :-)
>
> *blink* Oh, well, I can't see how someone who started reading it could
stop.
> The book is based around alchemy, art and social politics and the
characters
> had the sort of conversations that interest me.

Unfortunately, the conversations didn't particularly interest me.
>
> You never met the Weaver, or the handlingers, or the communicatrix, or the
> Ambassador from Hell, or the CI (Created Intelligence) mind or the
political
> players, or found out anything at all the italics-narrator's personal
history
> let alone about the rest of the garuda race, or even got further than the
> caterpillar stage of the critters. wow.

No, you're right, I didn't. :-)
>
> You met one atypical khepri (Lin) and her crisis-energy thaumaturge lover
> (Isaac). Did you get to a vodyanoi (the watery people) at all?

Yeah, I think they came up a little.

I dunno; I just couldn't seem to engage with the characters, and the writing
seemed to me to be very consciously beautiful - almost shouting "look at
this sentence!  Look at these word choices!  Isn't it gorgeous?  Aren't they
perfect?".  I like beautiful prose, but I'd rather it looked effortless.
The "self-consciousness" that I perceived in Mieville's prose seemed to
distract me from the characters and the plot.

::shrug:: I may give it another try at some point, but at the moment, I'm
just glad I only spent EUR5 on it!

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian.
--
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
mistaken."
- O. Cromwell


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.445 / Virus Database: 250 - Release Date: 21/01/03

--
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/



More information about the Dwj mailing list