This book covers many of the same interesting themes as Gaiman's American Gods, but less successfully. I just found the book to be surprisingly unengaging. Characters speak in riddles, and the author has a writing style where sentences stretch on so long by the time you finish, you forget what the sentence was about. Moreover, the reader has a sing-song quality to his voice, that for me, made it hard to focus on what he was saying. I found I kept having to go back and relisten to the section of the book I just finished, because none of it registered in my brain. I've never had this problem with any other author or narrator. Despite these impediments to getting into the book, I was still able within the first couple of hours to know just how it was going to turn out. As a result, this book pulls off a rare feat, being impenetrable and predictable at the same time.
The story was nicely complex -- there was much I missed the first time through. The second and third time I picked up on things I missed and found new parts to be thought provoking.
Neverwhere (or anything by Gaiman) It's the same mind bending twists that happen in "our" world, but just around the corner just ahead of us or behind us. Like, what happens in the fridge when you close the door sort of thinking.
It was quite mesmerizing -- But I love John Lee, which is partially brought me to this book in the first place.
It was quite thought provoking.
Great story that owes a lot to Adams, Pratchett, and Gaiman. The ending is a bit too tidy for my taste. Good characters -- although the female characters are relatively flat and stereotypical. The reading was good enough. Character voices were somewhat inconsistent, but not annoyingly so. Some were excellent. Worth downloading and listening to -- especially if you have run out of Discworld and Adams.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.
My favorite characters are Collingswood and Goss. Their personalities and manner of speaking appeal to my mind as well as my ear.
It's hard to choose. He brings the main characters to life so well. I guess I would have to say Goss is my favorite voice.
It made me laugh. But it also shocked me at times and caused wonder and excitement as well.
Only if the friend doesn't care much about characters; because the characters are so thinly conceived, the story has little to offer besides the author's admittedly hugely inventive fantasy imagination.
Only if someone can assure me that he's grown as a writer. Readers who like urban fantasy but want something with more depth should try instead Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker.
For some of the detective novels I've listened to, Lee's narration is often quite appropriately plain and restrained. You'd think that a book as rich in visuals as Kraken would be better served by the more old-fashioned narrational style that Lee favors, but in fact the thin characters might have been improved by a livelier, more actorly approach. And the lack of speech tags in the writing absolutely demanded a greater range of voices than Mr. Lee deployed.
I'm a recently retired police officer, judo instructor, grandfather, husband. Lifelong Sci-fi, horror, military fiction fan.
the story was great. the Narrator did a good job voicing the characters. the way Mieville weaves everyday London with magical London is totally believable.
If I compared it to another Mieville book it would be Perdido Street Station. Not because the stories are similar but because Mieville does such a great job of creating a new worlds.
It also reminded me of Stephen Kings books because there is the everyday world and another world just underneath waiting to be discovered or intrude on someone's life.
I have not listened to John Lee before....I think...
When a character realizes that there is a whole part of London she knows nothing about and must decide if she is going to go further into that world. It is a tough decision and it will change her life and she knows it.
It was really fun to be back in Mieville's worlds again. This was a fun rollercoaster ride.
This book is a wonderful jumble of pop culture science fiction and fantasy blended with an alternate modern day London. China Mieville is known for descriptive world building that makes you feel present in the story. He lives up to his reputation in Kraken. It is a very detailed book, and this is book is only for multi tasking if you are doing mindless tasks like laundry. If you do not focus on it you will miss some intelligent pieces of humor. This book definitely caters to those that love the sci fi/fantasy genres but you can still enjoy this book if you are only a casual sci fi/fantasy reader. I loved the fact China Mieville was willing to poke gentle fun at himself and his audience.
Kraken involves an alternate London that has regular London living obliviously living amongst them with no idea that they have Gods, Londanmancers, cults, and familiars (currently on a union strike) living amongst them. Billy gets pulled into this world when he's working at the Darwin Museum and a giant squid disappears. He's pulled into this world by those that think he is the Kraken Prophet and is dodging muliple factions of cults, henchmen, assassins, a paranormal division of the police, and Chaos Nazis. My summary does not do it justice. You have to read it.
John Lee narrated it and I think for the most part he did a fabulous job, the only place I feel he may have fell short was the character of Collingsworth, who is a paranormal, Amy Winehouse type, police woman. He doesn't do terrible with it but I could see if I was reading it, my internal interpretation may have been a bit different. For the wealth of particular characters I don't know anyone who could have done better.
I loved it and it will definitely go into the listen again pile because I am sure that on a second try I would pick up on even more of the pop culture references. I did notice some characterized this book as scary or horror and I tend to stay away from that genre because I can scare easy. I did not find it scary at all.
Once this book got started I couldn't stop listening. I found myself offering to do yard work and things around the house that would mean I could listen to a little more. The plot is excellent. The characters are both complex and incredibly creepy. Mieville creates this world that is just a tiny bit strange and those little things make all the difference. It's believable enough that it's even scarier. Fascinating, fast paced, and keeps you guessing.