May 1st, 2006


Perdido Street Station

I have just finished reading this, and I feel... vaguely disappointed.

I put off reading it for a long time, simply because I didn't really know anything about it, and there were other books to read. It was one of the ones I finally bought with a pile of book tokens at Christmas.

I very nearly gave up on it right at the start. It begins:

Veldt to scrub to fields to farm to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time. The hovels that encrust the river's edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark.

We rock. We pitch in a deep current.

Behind me the man tugs uneasily at his rudder and the barge corrects. Light lurches as the latern swings. The man is afraid of me. I lean out from the prow of the small vessel across the darkly moving water.

And so on. It continues in that vein for quite a while, and I was fighting to stay awake. It's the end of chapter three before anything remotely interesting happens. Or, at least, anything that makes me want to find out more.

In contrast, chapter six begins:

New Crobuzon was a city unconvinced by gravity.

Now that's an opening sentence.

As for the rest of the book, once it gets going, the characters are certainly engaging, and it is, no question, hugely inventive. I felt that only one of the plot strands had any actual resolution, hence the dissatisfaction at the end, though. I'm sorry; I just like neat endings - but ones where the author's clever enough to write characters who can resolve things, rather than everything being 'pat'.

Anyway. The bloody thing weighed a ton, and it has far too much Donaldson in the prose for my liking. It's done with now, and I can move onto something else.
  • Current Mood
  • Tags

Books to read

My stack - those unread books that I'm actually planning on reading soon, as opposed to the ones I've given up on, and shelved - currently contains:

  • Hard Contact and Triple Zero, both Star Wars tie-ins by karentraviss, bought solely because I've enjoyed reading her LJ about her writing;
  • Piratica. Being: A Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure upon the High Seas. Presented Most Handsomely by The Notorious TANITH LEE. I Mean, Good Lord, how can you not pick up a book with a title like that?
  • A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious PIRATES, by Captain Charles Johnson. An actual history book this - I think - but even so: Arrr!
  • The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I've read three of his other books, so this should be good. And the theme isn't deliberate, honest.
  • Micah, by Laurell K. Hamilton. Yes, it's another Anita Blake book. Furry porn. I suspect it'll be godawful, but what the hey. Read all of 'em so far.
  • Singularity Sky By Charles Stross. Because Iron Sunrise was damn good, so I'm gonna read more by the man.
  • Lucifer: Crux, by Mike Carey. On-going comic book series.

No idea which one I'll read first, though.

What's in your pile?
  • Current Mood
    Choices, choices...
  • Tags