Mark Joseph, September 02, 2011
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I love Tolkien as much as anyone, but sometimes you want something different. Might as well start at the top--this book is maximally different from The Lord of the Rings. Both are "fantasy" novels, but that is the extent of their similarities. Creator and perfecter of the sub-genre "New Weird," Perdido has everything--a heart-poundingly scary plot, brilliant characterization, more moving parts than any novel I can think of, more than one "I didn't expect that" moment, a fair amount of political commentary and/or subtext, and lots and lots of *weird*. This is one of my favorite books ever, and I'd only have one caveat for the potentially interested reader--if you can't handle weird (especially one central romance between a human man and an insect-headed woman), the book may prove a bit too rich for your tastes.