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Publisher's Summary

A colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination. Damian Lynch narrates China Mieville's British Fantasy Award-winning novel of human cargo bound for servitude in exile.

A pirate city hauled across the oceans.... A hidden miracle about be revealed.... These are the ingredients of an astonishing story. It is the story of a prisoner's journey. Of the search for the island of a forgotten people, for the most astonishing beast in the seas, and ultimately for a fabled place - a massive wound in reality, a source of unthinkable power and danger.

©2002 China Mieville (P)2011 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

" The Scar demonstrates enough invention and brutal energy, firmly ruled by a calm architectonic intelligence, to show that Miéville is one of the most imaginative young writers around in any kind of fiction." ( The Guardian)
" The Scar is a feat of the imagination, a rich reclamation of the pleasures of every genre. It's also a caution against imagination, a sobering look at the chaos left in the wake of every mad visionary." (Kim Newman, The Independent)
"Mieville's creatures end up none the wiser, but there is nothing uncertain about his confidence in his own inventions. And it is wonderfully infectious; Armada, like New Crobuzon, has the feel and complexity of a living place - it's just that you wouldn't want to live there." (Andrew McKie, Sunday Telegraph)

What listeners say about The Scar

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First Rate

Speechless and wordless . . . Thanks China ... Okay so now I have to find 15 words! Nope, still not enough!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Amazing story dead on arrival

This performance fails to do justice to the fantastic world Mieville has created. The gothic atmosphere and steampunk grit are entirely missing from this undramatic reading.

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A 21st century classic Fantasy

I read this awesome novel when it was new. Hearing it now was another revelation of the genius imagination and descriptive brilliance of the author. It’s long but the universe of the series is such an incredible mix of fantasy and steam punk requires rewarding immersion.
If your after a simple book this isn’t it. It has a lot to say about social relations and casts an incredible mirror to the early development of capitalism. While at the same time an intricate story of conspiracy, betrayal and loyalty on a fantastical floating pirate city. An excellent book and a real value for money long listen performance from the narrator.

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Favourite Miéville so far

A recent convert to Miéville, I have been greedily consuming all the audiobooks available through audible. The Scar has definitely been my favourite- compelling without his tendency to get caught up in lengthy science lectures, and a fabulous performance by Damian Lynch. I’ve already ordered a copy for my Dad

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  • Joe
  • 11-03-2019

a rather disappointing anticlimactic nonsequel

We'll written but lackluster story. Not the sequel I was hoping for and even more disappointing than i thought it would be once I accepted it wasn't a true sequel. Good writing, you're just always hoping the story picks up and it just doesn't. The interesting aspects are barely touched upon. how do you make a pirate city not the most interesting thing ever?

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Complicated

I could never finish reading the book, hence I tried the audio. the story line is great, but complicated. I enjoyed the audio but personally
I find the copious amounts of unknown words tiring and distracting.

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Best. Fantasy. Ever. Devastatingly original world.

Some technical issues in the recording, line break pauses missing, but story is unbeatable. You'll never see a world so diverse or original. Compared to the other books in the series, this one moves to different places and has better epic events. The pacing is hill and valley but better than the rest of the series. All and all, this is my favourite fantasy novel.
You do not need to read perdido St station to read The Scar. you can start here.

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Disappointing

After a brilliant start with Book 1, this book focuses more on the picaresque and swashbuckling to its disadvantage. I would prefer a bit more reflection and character development.

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  • Matt
  • 19-11-2012

Fantastic story let down by subpar rendition

Damian Lynch couldn't ruin one of my favourite books for me, but he gave it a real go. He stumbles and brachiates through the sentences as if each one were a tongue-twister (although, to be fair, it IS Miéville), reading nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns and not really betraying any understanding of what he's reading. Perhaps the most troubling part is that a disturbing number of these errors, even when picked up on and re-read by Mr Lynch, have not been edited out (I counted five untouched gaffes in one unhappy half-hour), possibly due to the soporific monotone in which the story is read. China Miéville is one of my very favourite authors, and I'm quite sad to see Mr Lynch has been further involved in the presentation of his works, not least of all because, of those books, The Scar would seem to be the MOST hospitable to Mr Lynch's tendency to give every character with an accent a Caribbean lilt. Susan Duerden's performance of Embassytown was vastly superior, and I'd hoped I'd get to hear her as Bellis Coldwine. No such luck. Boo.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-04-2013

not too bad

I wasn't sure about carrying on with this series because I had mixed feelings about Perdido St Station (long, exhausting but ultimately quite satisfying). I should say that The Scar is not at all a sequel to the previous book, it's simply set in the same world with the occurrences from Perdido only peripheral comments to this story. In The Scar, I liked some of the concepts, and many of the characters had potential but they never really followed through. For all that the story should have been epic, it actually all felt a bit pointless by the end. The narrator was ok but I much preferred the chap who did the previous novel. I think his grandiose style better suited the story. In summary, it was ok, some good bits, some tension but, to be honest, I was a bit indifferent about the fate of the characters by the end. I'd say it's worth a credit if you enjoyed the Bas Lag setting but I wouldn't put it at the top of your wishlist.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • scotty
  • 29-04-2012

A Stunning, Thought Provoking Read

China Mieville has got to be one of the hardest working authors I've ever read. He puts stunning little side plots and nuggets into his fiction that would be a whole novel to a lesser writer! Anyway...

The Scar is a fascinating story that develops around a lady running away from her home city and finding a city like she never dreamed. Full of danger, intrigue, the strange and familiar it calls to our heroine (Bellis) and she is torn between love and fear of her lost home.

When the chance comes to betray her new, floating, home in Armada she does but ultimately is a pawn in a larger game. The small cog in a larger wheel is a recurring theme in CM's work and is appealing as a starting point for character development. On the subject of characters, the diversity, depth and sheer imagination of CM's vision is amazing.

My only criticism of CM's stories is, and please bear in mind I'm a fan of Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The Scar, that I never like the way the stories end. It's my personal opinion only.

This is a great, sweeping, imaginative story that will take you from the familiar ie politics (Mr Mieville like the theme) to philosophy to religion and beyond, all in an easily accessible 'steampunk' past-present.

Give it a try, you'll enjoy!

7 people found this helpful

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  • haydn lillywhite
  • 16-02-2017

A great series of books let down by the narration

I love China Mieville but I can't recommend the audiobooks.

There seems to have been a lot of odd choices when it comes to the narrators and I feel Damian Lynch's reading style, even voice, doesn't really suit the theme.

I've read a lot of similar sentiments about this and his other audiobooks in the series and that is what spurned me to write this short comment and confirm what others have said.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 09-04-2014

Compelling story, poor narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The story is great but Lynch seems to struggle to handle what sounds like a clumsy sight reading of the text.

What did you like best about this story?

As usual Mieville's work crackles with great ideas, weird landscapes and a rich, deep world building

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The contrast between the dialogue, which pops with personality, and the narrative which stumbles under a stilted delivery of two to three sentence chunks really grates after a while.

Did The Scar inspire you to do anything?

Sadly, it inspired me to stop listening

4 people found this helpful

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  • Neil
  • 01-04-2017

Appalling choice of narrator

After the superb experience of listening to perdido street station I immediately went on to buy the sequel. If only they had kept the same reader. Damien Lynch's narration has no sense of awe, drama or any real emotion stronger than mild boredom. It's as if this is the first time he has read the text and is unaware of the power of the words he is speaking. Shame, this book deserved more. Definitely one to read rather than to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Geoff Bows
  • 04-02-2020

Truly fantastic story ruined by terrible narrator

This is one of my favourite China Mieville story’s and I downloaded it despite having read the book twice. The narrator should, however, stick to reading children’s books.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • "night-nurse"
  • 21-11-2011

Good overall, but.....

Good overall, but there is some very careless editing where several passages are read twice (presumably due to the reader making an error such as using an incorrect inflection the first time which has subsequently not been edited out)....only a sentence or so each time, but detracts from an otherwise enjoyable listen.....

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie Price
  • 14-04-2016

Sorry to say ...

What disappointed you about The Scar?

This is just not read well: I've thought about this a lot, and I think the problem is that he doesn't sound as though he believes what he's reading (always tricky, of course, with Mieville's amazing worlds). It sounds as though he's reading a children's story..Harry Potter maybe, where the grown-ups know it's not real ...

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scar?

I love Mielville's writing and the battle scenes are excellently written.

What didn’t you like about Damian Lynch’s performance?

see above

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment, I think

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel S.
  • 08-06-2021

Deserves a more invested narrator

While the book is a fantastic read I struggled to finish this Audible version due to the flat narration. The whimsy and weird are rendered mundane and dull due to this unfortunate choice of narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • SABRE
  • 06-05-2021

Let down by odd narrator choice

Damian Lynch isn't a bad narrator, but his style didn't suit this story. He is a bit flat in his intonations. At times characters weren't defined enough to be able to easily identify the voice of who was speaking. Or accents were recycled which became confusing. Although some of his accent choices were spot on.

The story is so brilliant and complex enough that the narration doesn't destroy it.

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