My fears seem to have been borne out. Its characters inspire little sympathy and the story, while it does tackle the weighty subject of the potential fall of the city-state of New Crobuzon itself, is nonetheless aloof for much of its length. Yes I do. Do I also think geniuses are fallible mortals like the rest of us? The story this time is set around 25 years or so after the events in the previous two volumes.
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Between the revolutionary fervor, fantasy, trains, and Western-like parts runs a common theme of love and the painful, desperate, doomed human longing. I loved this book. It was not the insta-love like it was with "The Scar" but a long, careful, slow-to-build-up affair that by the end of the story fully blossomed.
This book is fascinating, passionate, brutal at times, thought-provoking and deliberately anger-inducing. Let me explain. Here, however, we are taken on the quest, getting glimpses into many different corners of Bas Lag, only quick looks at the really changed New Crobuzon, and for a while only a teasing promise of the titular Iron Council.
But once I got past the grief of not falling in love with a geographical location, I was able to fully appreciate and passionately love the painful and difficult themes of this book. The ramifications of Crobuzonian politics, only glimpsed in the first two novels, finally take the center stage. It is not difficult to draw parallels between our less-than-perfect society obsessed with money, power, greed, and inequality, and the world of New Crobuzon, on the verge of collapse and catastrophe.
New Crobuzon, the in famous festering filth of a city, believe it or not, has changed for the worse. The oppressiveness is palpable, the atmosphere is rotten and suffocating, and the overall effect on the reader is powerful.
At the same time, we get to see even more of the single greatest horror and injustice of the Crobuzonian system - the Remade. The horrific bodily remaking that the criminals including the political ones undergo marks them as outcasts, permanent slaves, nobodies, people below the regard of society.
But it is only in Iron Council that we get to see more of the ramifications of this. We get to see their suffering and their fighting back. I could not help but feel my heart break a bit over their pain and torture. We also see the gender issues that up until now were not addressed much in Crobuzonian universe. But life does not work like that, life tends to reset itself towards the status quo with maybe small new hope brewing under the surface - and CM reflects this in his writing.
Everything comes at a cost and the costs are often very hard to bear. Sometimes the purpose is to unsettle you and make you think. But the part I loved the most, the one that left perhaps the biggest impact on me, was the art about love and human longing. It underlies every action, every event of this story. The revolutionary fervor is fueled by longing for change and better life.
The Iron Council is triggered by the longing for freedom and justice. And, of course, there was the love and longing of Cutter and Judah - albeit, sadly, not for the same thing.
Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. The novel is set in and around New Crobuzon , a sprawling London-esque city. New Crobuzon has for some unknown time been at war with Tesh, and is attempting to build a railroad across the outlying desert, partially as a new means of conducting this war. Against this backdrop, the novel follows the deeds of three main characters—Ori, Cutter and Judah Low. While doing so, he spends time with the Stiltspear, a race of indescribable creatures who can conjure golems, living creatures made from unliving matter. Judah attempts to warn the Stiltspear away, but they will not listen and he must settle for making a few recordings and beginning to learn their golemetric arts.
China Mieville's Iron Council in Stock and Shipping
In his mother married Paul Lightfoot; they divorced in At the age of eighteen, in , he taught English for a year in Egypt, where he developed an interest in Arab culture and in Middle Eastern politics. Ballard as literary "heroes"; he has also frequently discussed as influences H. Lovecraft , Mervyn Peake , Ursula K. Le Guin , and Gene Wolfe. He has said that he would like his novels "to be read for [his imagined city] New Crobuzon as Iain Sinclair does for London".
No treaties hinder the ontological proliferation: each new creature must be bigger, more powerful or weirder than the last. Here is a dark man floating eerily above the treetops, here big cactus-men, here amphibious monsters than can sculpt water. By the time we get to a giant tortoise - "more than yards long," we are solemnly informed - the novelty of sheer scale begins to pall. It tells the story of industrial action on a railway - which, this being fantasy fiction, is more colourful than a day of commuter misery at Waterloo. It is rumoured there is a train called Iron Council that wanders the wastelands, laying track before it and pulling it up after, populated by workers and escaped prisoners. It is pursued implacably by the militia of the city-state of New Crobuzon, from where the train first set out in an effort to build the first transcontinental line.
Blood on the tracks