Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday morning

So I am nearly done with China Mieville's Perdido Street Station and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read this amazing book. The publisher calls it Dickens meets Stephenson, which is a little odd as it is a fantasy novel, but the comparison is apt. Like Dickens, Mieville centers his action completely in a city with all its social, economic and political complexity. Like the grimmer late Dickens (no Pickwick Papers, this) the city is a bleak place, in this case dirty, smelly and dangerous. The Stephenson comment makes sense as this is a steampunk/fantasy hybrid in setting, which is closer to some of Stephenson's work than say Martin. It is a dark book, with occasional flashes of humor. For me, the darkness is overwhelmed by Mieville's profusion of creation. More on this one later.

This new series of mysteries looks like it could be the Berlin Noir of this decade.

Here is a great article about the coming of high end chocolate to Britain. It's filled with excellent detail.

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