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  1. #1

    China Mieville, reading order?

    I've bought the second book Scar for my brother as a gift, but when he tried to read it he said it's to confusing, that he needs to read the first book.
    I only bought the second book because people seemed to enjoyed it more than first and several said that you can skip Perdido street station and go straight for the Scar.
    So, is that true, or is it really necessary to read the first book, or is my brother just too lazy to turn his brain on?
    Well, I would also like to read Mieville and am interested where to start?

  2. #2
    Well, all his books are confusing because they are so weird. Basically, all his books are stand-alone. Maybe try Un Lun Dun because it is for children and thus the easiest to read.

  3. #3
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushking View Post
    Well, all his books are confusing because they are so weird. Basically, all his books are stand-alone. Maybe try Un Lun Dun because it is for children and thus the easiest to read.
    I would agree with that. I think "The Scar" is his best book by a nautical league. The mosquito women alone are worth the price. But yes, his work can be tough to get into if you're not used to his way of seeing the world.

  4. #4
    Didn't try it yet, but I can put my mind into the book if it is a good book, so I just wanted to know is it essential to read Perdido first, don't want any children book.
    My brother's taste is Feist, Dragonlance, Goodkind and similar, so thinkin' the problem is in him.

  5. #5
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomau View Post
    Didn't try it yet, but I can put my mind into the book if it is a good book, so I just wanted to know is it essential to read Perdido first, don't want any children book.
    My brother's taste is Feist, Dragonlance, Goodkind and similar, so thinkin' the problem is in him.
    Yes, "The Scar" is miles different from the above and definitely *not* a children's book.

  6. #6
    Thanks, so won't miss anything by reading The Scar first?

  7. #7
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomau View Post
    Thanks, so won't miss anything by reading The Scar first?
    No, I don't think so. Lots of characters will refer to the city that Perdido Street Station took place in, but it doesn't matter.

  8. #8
    OK, thanks!

  9. #9
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    I'd definitely start with The Scar, if only because it's an easier read and less likely to put you off. The book's much tighter plot-wise. There will be some references you won't get but I think Miéville fully intended that they be readable in any order without the risk of spoilers.

  10. #10
    I started with The Scar when it came out six years ago, then read PSS, Iron Council, and the non-Bas Lag novella, The Tain (the first edition PS signed one), before reading his first novel, King Rat (non-Bas Lag), Un Lun Dun, the story collection Looking for Jake, and his non-fiction publication of his Ph.D. dissertation, Between Equal Rights. Suffice to say, you can read his books in any which order you please, although IC depends upon a vague awareness of the nastiness that is New Crobuzon for the full effect.

  11. #11
    Registered User Murrin's Avatar
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    I read Perdido Street Station first, then the Scar--Iron Council, King Rat, Looking for Jake and Un Lun Dun followed in turn.
    The Scar is good, but I thought it was a little harder to get into in the early chapters than PSS. You don't really need to read one before the other--though there are references in The Scar to the events of PSS, they're not spoilers and they're not important to the story. (I'd say you need to read PSS before Iron Council, though, just to understand some of the history.)


    [I wouldn't write off Un Lun Dun just as a "children's book", by the way. It is a really good story in its own right.]
    Last edited by Murrin; January 30th, 2008 at 07:33 AM.

  12. #12
    Chronologically, the three Bas-Lag novels are in order Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council.

    However, there are only slight references to the events of the previous book in The Scar, so reading this one first shouldn't really matter. However, if you like it, then by all means go ahead and read PSS after that.
    While I found Iron Council not as great as the previous two novels, there were still some very striking moments and lots of cool happenings. It's still worth a read IMO.

  13. #13
    You can read The Scar first, but it's going to be a little tougher than if you've already read Perdido Street Station. I agree, though, The Scar is the better book. I really liked it (just read it a few weeks ago). There's just a lot of weird stuff in those books, and if you're already familiarized with Bas-Lag, The Scar is a really fast, fun read. But it's going to be a little tougher, especially in the beginning, if you don't know the layout of the land, and some of the odd-ball creatures. Bellis Coldwine is a great, great character, though. I liked her better than any of the characters in PSS.
    Last edited by Farm Ur-Ted; January 30th, 2008 at 12:16 PM.

  14. #14
    I eat fish. Bear's Avatar
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    Overall, I preferred Perdido to The Scar, but both were very good. I haven't read Iron Council yet, but I'll likely pick it up pretty soon.

    But The Weaver might be my favorite character of his. Whenever it showed up, I was pumped.

  15. #15
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    I think Scar is a masterpiece of fantasy even though it has a weak ending. Perdido Street Station is excellent but heavier to get into and somewhat disjointed compared to the thematical unity of Scar.

    Iron Council was one of my greatest disappointing reads (on a par with Black man/Thirteen by R. Morgan and for the same reasons).

    Not that is bad compared to most fantasy, it has its moments, but it is so lame compared with the first two, nothing essentially new and ideology runs amok. I will give it a reread sometime when Mr. Mieville comes up with a new book (the YA thing does not count for me), but I remember how disappointed I was when it was published and I read it....

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