Mike and Nevada
brought me down a copy of Perdido Street Station
by China Mièville
. As i think i mentioned earlier, i read his short story Reports of Certain Events in London
and absolutely loved it to pieces. That story is basically the tale of "feral streets" which appear and disappear in regular city neighborhoods and which are only perceived by a certain group of people who have somehow started looking really hard. The interesting part is that the streets seem to have a society of their own
, which the humans try to tease out. For example the streets sometimes appear in disarray, as if attacked, or there may be evidence that two streets have joined forces and perhaps even bred! So very abstract and intriguing stuff, and Mièville
basically writes a decent paragraph, so it was a wonderful read. Perdido Street Station
unfortunately really doesn't have the high-level abstraction i was hoping for, however. As far as i'm concerned, it's a luridly textured monster story with a large helping of "Steam-Punk" mixed in. (Which if there's one thing i find really turns me off, it's steam-punk.) Perdido Street Station is basically like an H.R. Geiger
painting: it's fabulously textured, it's dark, it's organic, it's well executed, but really, what's the point ? There's little there to really engage the imagination.
I want to add that China's monsters, these "Slake-Moths
", are basically Leaf-Cutter Ants
. Leaf-cutters fertilize and farm fungi and then eat it, which is pretty much what the slake-moths do with human dreams*. Similar to my complaint about The Cave
, there's basically no motivation or character to these monsters besides Hunger. Granted, The Weaver
is a pretty neat monster, as far as motivation goes. Actually The Weaver may be one of my favorite monsters of all time. It's basically a gigantic god-like multi-dimensional spider who views time, space, society, human events, relationships, etc as a giant web, and who's sole motivation is to make the pattern of the web "as pretty" as possible. Which is pretty neat.
* Well really, human nightmares. China: couldn't you've given them an appetite for All sorts of dreams, not just bad dreams ? That seems like a pretty arbitrary and tedious decision there.Michelle
and i went to see Toni Takitani
, which is a movie adaptation of a Huraki Murakami
short story. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE IF IT IS REMOTELY WITHIN YOUR POWER TO NOT DO SO. It's pretty horrible. Basically nothing happens except the audience is informed that PEOPLE ARE LONELY. Which is a fine message, but there really wasn't enough um.. pudding under the sugar crust to cushion the message. I think the worst part is that 90% of the story is told via narration, and not just narration but narration with sad, slow, sad, slow piano music playing in the background only when the narrator is speaking
. It pretty much robbed me of my soul for an evening.