It is a time of revolts and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming metropolis to the brink. In the midst of this turmoil, a mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places. In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope, an undying legend. In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon's most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the Iron Council.
©2005 China Mieville (P)2011 Audible Ltd
"Miéville has reshaped modern fantasy, as readers of the award-winning Perdido Street Station and The Scar know very well, and he's done so by rejecting epic romance à la Tolkien for what one might call Zolaesque magic naturalism. Miéville's signature city, New Crobuzon, is populated by the human, the insectoid, the genetically remade, and altogether teems with the kind of grotesques one associates with Bosch paintings, the gnarly art (both verbal and pictorial) of Mervyn Peake or the night-club scene in Star Wars. There are no generic happy endings here." (The Washington Post)
"China Miéville's new novel takes place in the same world as Perdido Street Station and The Scar, a kind of steampunk milieu furnished by clockwork engines (here we see the invention of the phonograph), electrified by magic ("thaumaturgy"), and populated by an improbable variety of sentient life-forms. 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." (The Guardian)
"Full of warped and memorable characters, this violent and intensely political novel smoothly combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror, even the western." (Publishers' Weekly)
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"Excellent story, shame about the narration"
I didn't enjoy Railsea as much as I'd hoped, but Iron Council was everything I've come to expect from China Mieville. What almost completely ruined it for me, though, was the narration. Mieville utilises an excellent and broad vocabulary, but unfortunately the narrator approached many of the words as someone who had never heard them before and therefore pronounced them with seemingly random inflection and phonics. I can thoroughly recommend the book, but it's one to read until a new actor is found do so for Audible.
"Even with the best will in the world...."
I am a bit of a Mieville fan having loved "The city and the city" and the first two New Crobuzon books to bits. I came to this willing to plunge into any wierdness that China proposed. I had saved it up for my holidays for over 6 months after I purchased it, smuggling it with me like a precious pleasure postponed. I got halfway through and I had to give up and I am confused as to exactly why. The politics that other reviewers mention did not frighten me nor the experimental nature of it. I was looking forward to more Mieville challenges. I am not sure who it is aimed at since as an admirer of Mieville's writing I was left disappointed and those who have not already been introduced to New Crobuzon will be left totally confused. Die hard fans who brook no criticism perhaps?
Of course but with more trepidation having been bitten by this. Fair play to him for trying something new and I may even have a go at the print version to see if it was the content or the delivery. I will have to wait for a whlle though, until the bad taste leaves my ears. My current feeling is that I hope China listens to his editor the next time he tells him to tighten it up a bit. Mieville is an amazing writer and I would love him to take this one back to the drawiing board because it is full of great ideas.
I think the narrator was as lost as the rest of us and if so that might have been part of the problem. It is narrated with willing enough enthusiasm in spots but the long gaps between sentences leaves them disjointed. The mysterious disappearance of any inflection from time to time reminded me of my own reading to my kids when I hate the book (Postman flippin' Pat or something) and just want to be somewhere else so I start reading on autopilot. Is this the narrator's fault? I don't know but the listless narration was the straw that broke this camel's back. I must admid that John Lee on the city and the city and Janathan Oliver on Perdido St Station were more to my taste.
I rather liked the idea all of the characters and the references to characters from the other books but they did not breathe.
I think my biggest problem with this was the highly intrusive and continuous use of the historic present which, once it thrust itself into my face, particularly in the flashback sequences, obscured anything else the book might have been trying to do. I suspect it may have been the root of the problems for the narrator or maybe it was the narrators handling of it that was the problem for me. In any case, as much as I absolutely hate to give a bad review, I have to say that this one was a waste of my hard earned cash and my holiday reading time. Luckily I had brought a few print books with me on the hols and they worked out much better once I had given this up as a bad job. With the best will in the world I just couldn't get into it.
"Interesting ideas, but too fragmented"
Having enjoyed reading the 1st two books in the series I thought it sensible to conclude with this last instalment.
I found the book a bit too confusing for an audiobook. I had some trouble relating to the characters and why they were doing what they were (characters sometimes seemed to be included in the story for no real reason).
At the end of the book I had no real longing for more. It's possible that this book is more suited to a written format and that its complexity makes it difficult to follow in audiobook format.
Overall I thought the book (like the previous books) had some interesting ideas, but I think the author was maybe over reaching in some cases and maybe tried to fit too much in.
I can't really recommend listening to Iron Council unless you have listened to the previous 2 books.
"Hard book to get into, the reading is sub-par"
3 hours into the audiobook, it's hard to keep interest; I usually like Mieville's style of writing but the narrator's monotone completely kills the pleasure and makes it difficult to follow the story
Might just be me but I found this very confusing and struggled to follow the plot
"Iron resolve needed to finish it"
This book failed from the overuse of neologisms. There were so many new made up words (I don't mind a few) that they got in the overall way of it all and made it impossible to take seriously. I like most of the work of C.M. and he has some staggeringly good ideas but now and then he goes off the rails. This is one of them for me.
This book was too clever for its own good. A bit more simplicity would have worked better for me.
No. I likes his tonation and delivery
I will still read/hear other works by C.M. as some of his stuff is great. Just this one not so for me.
"So so much. Too much for me."
Originality, creativity. So much imagination it made my brain hurt.
This is my second listening of this trilogy. Think it should be really good but. . . I already have another four books by CM and will certainly be listening to them. Perhaps eventually I will get to fully appreciate them.
Lecturing, emotionless, disinterested.
Maybe. Really cannot see how it could be condensed/converted into a film without destroying it totally.
I really have tried with these books. They have so much going for them, also my daughter tells me they are brilliant. They are my sort of book but I just cannot get on with them. No listening while doing anything else, even cycling, there is so much in them that they require total concentration. And then I find I just drift away, maybe the fault of the narration, maybe just my levels of concentration
Maybe just better to read, allowing more pensive pausing and back flicking.
They are perhaps a little self obsessed - isn't this clever just for cleverness sake - and they really do lack any humour or irony.
That said I will persevere and try more by this author
"bit baggy, but great"
I found this a little overlong in places and I would have edited it down a little but apart from that I thought it was a great end to the trilogy. All 3 books are very different from eachother and I guess this one is by far the most political. Personally I loved it because of its anti authority, anti capitalist ideas. I guess people who arnt with me on this may not enjoy it as much! The imagination is great as in the first two books and I probably would make sure you have at least read perdido street station before this as there are some reference points. I think if you liked the others and dont mind some revolutionary politics then youl enjoy this.
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