Thursday, July 4

Book: Perdido Street Station, China Mieville Click for more info

Although I used to love reading as a child, there was a time when I, well, kind of grew out of it. Blame TV or videogames (smartphones didn't exist back then), but I just didn't seem to find reading interesting. But then I arrived in university and met lots of people, most of whom were smarter than me in that they had managed to hold on to their love of books. It was the exposure to these friends that renewed my own interest in books; and Perdido Street Station was one of the first books that I read during this renewal.

Which is probably why I hold it in such high esteem - if you had asked me in the past decade what my favourite book was, I would have cited this. It was magical, deep, tragic, adventurous and full of character - I didn't even mind the weird steam punk side of things here. I've been gagging to read and enjoy it again, and so now, over a decade later, I am.

And I have to be honest here - the second reading wasn't as great as the first. It's not a mediocre book by any measure... it's just not the perfect story I thought I had read. Where had all the imagination gone? What about the deep characterisation that I used think was the main influence in building my appreciation for that quality in other books? It just wasn't there.

All of course which goes to show that Perdido is by no means a classic book. It's good, like most books, for one reading, and perhaps if I had been more mature in reading I would have realised that the first time around? Of course it's still a special book for me personally as it essentially opened the door to me reading man more books (some better and some worse than Perdido), but sadly I do think that this'll be the last time I'll be reading it.