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 Audiobook

Kraken

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 -

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

3.8 (788 )
5 star
 (264)
4 star
 (256)
3 star
 (135)
2 star
 (84)
1 star
 (49)
Overall
3.8 (510 )
5 star
 (183)
4 star
 (161)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (27)
Story
4.2 (510 )
5 star
 (251)
4 star
 (158)
3 star
 (64)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    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 Chicago, IL, United States 06-25-12
    Robert Chicago, IL, United States 06-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    51
    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
  •  
    Crew of the Normandy SR-2 Ohio, United States 05-21-12
    Crew of the Normandy SR-2 Ohio, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    393
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "16 Hours of Blah"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There was so much wrong with this book I don't even know what I'd suggest. At the time I write this I have over 300 books in my Audible library. This has been the only book that I've given a 1 rating to it's story. After 8 hours of straight listening, I couldn't tell you who any of the characters were, what they were doing, or why they were doing it. This book is everywhere. It seems very random to me. Random and boring. The characters are bland and don't make an impact.

    I'm very disappointed in this book. After reading the publisher summary and some other reviews I really thought I'd enjoy this title. Thanks for trying John Lee.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Probably Wind Through the Key Hole by Stephen King.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    I've listened to quite a few books that John Lee has performed and never had a complaint before. He does a good job with a boring book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The cover is kind of nice looking. It also was the only book I've ever read/heard that talked about origami people folding.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be looking into the author's other work, but unless something really stands out I won't be making another China Mieville purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    webtraverser Northern Virginia 04-27-12
    webtraverser Northern Virginia 04-27-12 Member Since 2009

    kevjenn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Literary Chimera"
    What did you love best about Kraken?

    I liked Mieville's deft use of humor and absurdity. The story, while completely original, was assembled from tropes of multiple genre's. From sci-fi to fantasy and from whodunit to horror, he kept the listener wondering what literary DNA he would splice in next. The story and plot were top notch, never slowing and very tight, the characters had a surprising depth, and most importantly it all held together for something very rare indeed: the satisfying ending.


    What other book might you compare Kraken to and why?

    Anything by Douglas Adams or Neil Gaiman but that's pretty much expected. More violent than either of them but certainly of their ilk.


    What about John Lee???s performance did you like?

    John Lee was perfect. His range of characters was impressive and his voice was incredible.


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

    No spoilers here but there is a bit about Star Trek matter transportation technology that was quite poignant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. J. Moore london 04-23-12
    A. J. Moore london 04-23-12 Member Since 2011

    amooreuk

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self Indulgent, confusing, uninteresting"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better source material, as many others have pointed out, the story itself is a total rambling mess, and I was often confused as to what was going on and why, and could have done with a harsher editor. The over the top prose style and vocabulary began to get on my nerves too. The characters were poorly written, and felt very flimsy.


    Would you ever listen to anything by China Mieville again?

    Probably not, I thought "City and the City" was overrated, a reasonable noir with an interesting premise, but certainly not worthy of the fawning and the reviews, I also got quite bored with "The scar", again a nice idea but the story plodded along and again I felt largely disinterested in all the characters.


    What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

    Nothing in particular, he did a reasonable job with difficult material.


    What character would you cut from Kraken?

    Where to start, there's so many, all of the them are badly written. I found it difficult to care about the main character, his side kick or any of their protagonists.


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid this audiobook, perhaps even this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 04-21-12
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    477
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    893
    162
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    100
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I really, really wanted to like this book"

    Let me start by saying I am a fan of China Mieville's work. I am also a huge fan of all organisms in the Mollusca phylum especially cuttlefish. So, I really wanted to like this book. While there were parts of it that were really inventive, novel, and funny, this book relies heavily on the Star Trek model of scifi. The reliance doesn't leave the reader with a feeling of knitting weird fiction together with contemporary literary reality which would have resulted in a more practical feel to the tome. It leaves the reader with a feeling of a lazy imagination. It is definitely not Mieville's best work, and I wouldn't suggest it as an introduction to his work. The narration is excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-20-11
    Joel MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2008

    Audible listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    240
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept me listening"
    If you could sum up Kraken in three words, what would they be?

    Unique mystery thriller.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Kraken?

    Goss and Subby, Subby and Goss. Two or maybe just one - it all depends on how you look at it - memorable character(s) in the book. The first time you meet them - it is memorable.

    That Goss has a real flare about him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Battle with the sea. Mieville really makes you work to grasp the sea as a being.


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

    London Calling.


    Any additional comments?

    A good listen but I am easy to please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sgtbuk1 Knoxville, TN United States 07-08-11
    sgtbuk1 Knoxville, TN United States 07-08-11 Listener Since 2003

    sgtbuk1

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    158
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Not Mieville's best"

    Though I'm excited to see Mieville's launch away from the world he created in Perdido Street Station, I found this one to be pretty mundane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald 05-22-11
    Gerald 05-22-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Way too long and boring"

    I thought this was a science fiction book but it turns out to be a fantasy book. It is so long I almost quit listening several times. The author went on tangent after tangent of unneeded descriptions writen just to make the story longer. I am very sorry I wasted my time on this book. I would not read anything else by this author. The Narrator was fine but he didn't have much to work with since the novel was so poorly done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-20-11
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-20-11 Member Since 2010

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    411
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    650
    172
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    46
    3
    Overall
    "A little confusing"

    I really liked this book and the idea behind it. I was intrigued by the religious overtones and I really liked the characters. One of the other reviews I read said it was funny, which I did not think it was, but none the less the story really held my interest. It was a bit confusing towards the end but all in all I enjoyed the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.