Perdido Street Station v Ghost Ship

  • Beer: Ghost Ship
  • Brewery: Adnams
  • Style: Citrus Pale Ale
  • Strength: 0.5%

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a Ghost Ship. They’ve been a pretty easy to find low alcohol option for a while now and for good reason. It is an eminently drinkable beer that properly tastes like a beer. The flavour of the Citra hops comes through as nicely as you’d expect any good beer brewed with it too. Its maybe not the most experimental or exciting of beers. I’ve certainly tried plenty of AF Beers which have given me more to think about. As a relatively mainstream entry point to low-alcohol beer though there are few better choices.

  • Book: Perdido Street Station
  • Author: China Mieville
  • Publisher: Pan
  • Published: 2000

This book is f*cking weird. And that is a good thing.

While there is a plot of sorts in this book it is far from the driving force of it. This book is about a place, its people and their lives within it. New Crobuzon is a vast sprawling metropolis that feels like a loose Steampunk-esque version of London, albeit one with an array of truly bizarre sapient species. It is a city you are drawn into wanting to explore but would never want to visit in person. 

To be perfectly honest I am at a loss for where else to go with trying to recommend the book. Do I discuss the verbose prose which makes Faulkner look like Hemingway? Do I talk about the themes? If I did I’d soon run out of characters as there are just so many. Do I pick one of Mieville’s unique creations be it creature or construct? Which would I choose? The bug headed Kepri; the horror of Remaking; Perdido Street Station itself?

I think all I can really do is to give you some idea of what you’d be undertaking by picking up this behemoth of a book. At 867 pages in the edition I have, it is a chonker. As vast maybe as the city it seeks to describe. Within those pages though is a literary experience which I think does more to speculate on what boundaries there are to push within speculative fiction than almost any other book I’ve read. All that while also being a rollicking good read.

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