We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Kraken | [China Mieville]

Kraken

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.
Regular Price:$39.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.

In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.

All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.

©2010 China Mieville (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (623 )
5 star
 (190)
4 star
 (202)
3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (77)
1 star
 (45)
Overall
3.7 (357 )
5 star
 (112)
4 star
 (115)
3 star
 (74)
2 star
 (34)
1 star
 (22)
Story
4.1 (356 )
5 star
 (155)
4 star
 (125)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jason 02-09-15
    Jason 02-09-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great book highly recommend to anyone"

    loved every second of this book. I've recommended to many people already. great modern fantasy world full of magic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Coldsmith Austin, TX USA 12-28-14
    S. Coldsmith Austin, TX USA 12-28-14 Member Since 2010

    Mayflower Child

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exhausting inventiveness"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by China Mieville again?

    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.


    What aspect of John Lee’s performance would you have changed?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Makimoto Vacaville, Ca 02-12-14
    Gordon Makimoto Vacaville, Ca 02-12-14 Member Since 2013

    I'm a recently retired police officer, judo instructor, grandfather, husband. Lifelong Sci-fi, horror, military fiction fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book"
    What made the experience of listening to Kraken the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Kraken to and why?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to John Lee before....I think...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    It was really fun to be back in Mieville's worlds again. This was a fun rollercoaster ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steph United States 08-20-13
    Steph United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    68
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Alternate London + Pop Culture Sci Fi = Fantastic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah BLOOMINGTON, IN, United States 05-09-13
    Sarah BLOOMINGTON, IN, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop lisitening"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 12-19-12
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2009

    Me am Pop-Surrealist Tiki-Artist living and making Art on the active volcanic "Big Island" of Hawaii. Aloha.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Creepy creeps up from the deep..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Kraken to be better than the print version?

    yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    hero - quite the adventure, you learn so much in such an strange world from his step by step path into this magical and hyper-verison of Harry Potter.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    fantastic!~


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes... but there is soooo much I could not. I enjoyed days of this amazing tale...


    Any additional comments?

    Harry Potter for adults. Smart adult, who like a good mystery and are not too squeamish about creepy bad guys killing people is really creepy ways....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Barr 09-24-12
    Ron Barr 09-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this! Imaginative, sloppy fun."
    Would you listen to Kraken again? Why?

    Yes. It's a blast. I'm sure I missed a lot.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Kraken?

    The opening chapter when we are introduced to China's vision of London was extraordinary.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    John Lee constantly reminded me of the British-ness of the story. He was excellent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There's a world out there you haven't yet seen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    luke 08-03-12
    luke 08-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Becareful with this one"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A story and characters I could hold onto


    Would you ever listen to anything by China Mieville again?

    NEVER!!


    What three words best describe John Lee’s voice?

    Good but the story robs him


    What character would you cut from Kraken?

    all of them.... seriously... all of them..


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to the first chapter sample before purchasing... If it does not grab you.. .don't buy it..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry OBrien Kailua Kona, HI, US 07-28-12
    Larry OBrien Kailua Kona, HI, US 07-28-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dynamite narration improves an exceptional text"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. As a book, I think this is the best modern fantasy I've read and John Lee's narration adds tremendously to the text. Usually I would recommend a book as densely written as this (neologisms, parentheticals, interrupted dialog, etc.) be read, but Lee's narration adds great depth. He does a great job communicating the confusion of the protagonist and the menace of the antagonists.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Modern fantasy always has a problem that there are a bunch of machina out of which the author can pull a deus. Miéville does an exceptional job establishing the power relationships between a pantheon of gods (many of which seem mutually exclusive) and various magical cabals. The pace at which confusion gives way to a sketched outline of the rules of the game and then ultimately to the series of internally-logical events of the climax is exceptional.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've not, but I will absolutely seek him out in other audiobooks after this.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I can't say that it was. It's too dense a meal for that. But I very much enjoyed how I did listen to it, which was in 1-2 hour blocks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert des plaines, IL, United States 06-25-12
    Robert des plaines, IL, United States 06-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Imaginative romp through London underground"
    What made the experience of listening to Kraken the most enjoyable?

    The twists and turns as the author continuously invented new worlds within worlds to keep the reader reeling.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Many of the characters developed - up and down - through out the book and it would be hard to pick one overall favorite. I kind of liked some of the bad guys more than the good guys even though I was rooting for the world not to end.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His mastery of different London accents is more that I could do for myself.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't say moved, but about halfway through the book I realized that this was not going to be like any other book I had read and I was excited to keep going.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 43 results PREVIOUS1235NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.