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Download Railsea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Railsea Audiobook, by China Miéville Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,555 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: China Miéville Narrator: Jonathan Cowley Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9780307967367
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On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea—even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters, and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

From China Miéville comes a novel for listeners of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick that confirms his status as “the most original and talented voice to appear in several years.” (Science Fiction Chronicle)

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Riveting…a great adventure.”

    NPR

  • “Superb…massively imaginative.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • [Miéville] gives all readers a lot to dig into here, be it emotional drama, Godzilla-esque monster carnage, or the high adventure that comes only with riding the rails. USA Today
     
  • Superb . . . massively imaginative. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Riveting . . . a great adventure. NPR
  • Wildly inventive . . . Every sentence is packed with wit. The Guardian (London)
  • “Wildly inventive…Every sentence is packed with wit.”

    Guardian (London)

  • Other names besides [Herman] Melville’s will surely come to mind as you read this thrilling tale—there’s Dune’s Frank Herbert. . . . But in this, as in all of his works, Miéville has that special knack for evoking other writers even while making the story wholly his own. Los Angeles Times
     
  • “Miéville has that special knack for evoking other writers even while making the story wholly his own.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[Miéville] gives all readers a lot to dig into here, be it emotional drama, Godzilla-esque monster carnage, or the high adventure that comes only with riding the rails.”

    USA Today

  • Winner of the 2013 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book
  • A 2013 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalist for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordan | 2/13/2014

    " So this is kind of like Moby Dick. Except people travel with trains on the railsea instead of with boats on the ocean. Oh and giant mutant desert animals attack anyone who touches the dirt. So, better. There's also some nods to other nautical tales like the Odyssey, Treasure Island, and Robinson Crusoe. It was also slightly reminiscent of Iron Council, one of Mieville's Bas-Lag books with a heavy emphasis on trains. And even though it's labeled as a young adult book, it doesn't feel like it at all. Which is nice because I'm pretty sick of YA right now. The characters are all pretty interesting, I particularly liked the Captain and Sirocco, and the plot is entertaining. The weird narrator interjection chapters were kind of odd at first, but once I got used to them weren't bad. Overall this was definitely the kind of awesome that I expect from Mieville. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Artesia | 1/19/2014

    " 3,5 stars. Quite imaginative, but writing style is... irritating, for the lack of a better word. Another big problem are characters. Comrade Mieville, in my opinion, is always more invested in a setting, than in characters, but this novel takes it to a whole other level. I actively disliked all the main ones, and didn't care at all about secondary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/15/2014

    " This is my third China Mieville book, the other two being The City & The City and Embassytown, and this one is by far and away my favorite of the three. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Schwan | 1/9/2014

    " Overall the story is interesting. We have a number of different people on quests that find their quest overlapping with others. Initially the language the author uses is confusing eventually a rhythm develops and you get the invented words. This book falls into the classic category of hero quest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Robinson | 1/8/2014

    " Didn't know the local library had a teen fiction section, and now I know where the millage money went. GR friend Natalie reviewed Railsea, and it was there on the shelf when I put the habeas grabus on it. Now I have to wait like a grown-up for the next Mieville book. YA must mean no dismembered bodies. Or mechanohuman sex. This is every bit as chewable as his other books filed in scifi/fantasy. Mieville has made it more difficult for other authors in my reading life. Rail by twisted rail in this book, he builds a world I can see, walk around in: not on the ground, of course. Can smell oil and smoke, feel steam and wind. The women are as well drawn as the men. And boys. A little bit coming of age hero story, a bit adventure, a bit essay on dreams and the pursuit thereof, all gifted us by a cheeky writer who includes a short chapter tease about where the reader might want the story to go. Not yet, reader. I've set the hook, you'll just have to wait. From anyone else, I would shut it there. Not Mieville, no way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Myra | 1/7/2014

    " Railsea is a good book written by China Mieville. It is about a boy named Sham who in a doctors assistant on a train called the Medes. I would recommend this book to young readers who like adventure books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob Mcconnaughey | 1/5/2014

    " not finished; a bit precious so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Haley | 11/29/2013

    " An absolutely delightful retelling of Moby Dick! Once more, Mieville blurs genres--this book is a little bit steampunk, a lot of fantasy, and thought-provoking all the way through! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vuk Trifkovic | 9/16/2013

    " Good, but unlike other his books not great. Yeah, the references are clever, but the ideas are not as developed nor the characters as gripping. But I could see this being an entry point into Mieville's work for young adults. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. | 6/29/2013

    " A good novel, but not great. I was far more interested in the captain's quest, and fascinated by the concept of captains who KNOW that the giant animals they chase are symbolic, than Sham's story. I sort of wanted that book in full rather than glimpses of it as part of a different story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Rotella | 6/21/2013

    " Another instant classic from one of the best authors out there. More obviously a comment on political and economic issues that are on all our minds recently, but that is really not the focus of the adventure, so not distracting at all. Loved it. I love reading and re-reading China's books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie Shaurette | 5/23/2013

    " Adventure is really not my genre, but this is one eccentric, well-written book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Tischaefer | 1/10/2013

    " Way fun. Very inventive and interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 8/20/2012

    " Moby Dick on trains... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hope | 6/20/2012

    " China Mieville is one of the most creative and unique world-builders I have ever read. Railsea is no exception, and the way he reveals the world to the reader is amazing. I want to reread this some day when I have time to just revel in the use of language, the turns of phrase. "

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About the Author

China Miéville is the author of King Rat; Perdido Street Station, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award; The Scar, winner of the Locus Award and the British Fantasy Award; Iron Council, winner of the Locus Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Looking for Jake, a collection of short stories; and Un Lun Dun, a New York Times bestseller.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Cowley is a British actor hailing from Eastbourne, East Sussex, but he currently calls Los Angeles home. He received AudioFile Earphones Awards for his narration of The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen and The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart. He has narrated many audiobooks and can also be heard on both sides of the Atlantic narrating film trailers and documentaries.