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
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I couldn't finish it. I loved the fantastic story, but the John Lee's strong voice, coupled with the accent, is too much for this American listener. He reads with all the intensity of an end-of-the-world movie preview. Every single word has gravity. He overpowers the text. I hope to finish this story in book form.
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Back in 2012 my favorite movie was "The Cabin in the Woods." A lot of my friends didn't liked it, but I thought that it was funny and horrifying at the same time. If you liked that movie, you will enjoy reading "Kraken" because it's well written from the comical aspect from the horror genre. Trying to catch the giant squid, talking tattoos and the sci-fi setting, is just funny.
Most people likes slasher movies with blood, but I find them boring. I enjoy China Mieville's writing because he is very clever with his words. Instead of being chase by a killer, you are on a deep path of funny horror. It's very clever. I really enjoy this author because once you understand his style of writing, you can only assume that Mieville got sent to the principal's office many times.
A better reader way too much British slang and colloquium,also they authors style is chaotic,verbose to pointlessness. Plot was not that interesting
Scott brick, Simon prebble, Neil gammon
Why are some of the characters so hostile towards each other? I just don't get it. It didn't seem to serve any purpose or fit into the flow of character through the story. Other reviews mentioned that the book was both predictable and impenetrable. Um...yes!
Mieville's stories and imagination are inevitably rich and complex.
I also generally like John Lee . His reading of the Bernie Gunther series by P. Kerr is great. I do take a HUGE exception for Feast for Crows. Lee the Usurper cannot compete with Roy Dotrice, not at all. (Listening to Lee read Crows was a 31-hour exercise in resentment.)
Lee's reading of Kraken was a similar experience. His reading is so far over the top as to make every single syllable distracting. Does he have to pronounce "Subby" as "Subbbbbbbbbbbbby" EVERY time? In my opinion I don't think Lee was showing much respect for Mieville's written word. I think he was loving his voice far more than the story. Lee didn't gild this lily. He shellacked it and then stomped on it.
(Btw: anyone who thinks Mieville is a cheap version of Neil Gaiman is an idiot. Gaiman's the mockingbird; he's a hack with a gift for self-promotion).
I quite enjoyed Perdido Street Station and The City & The City, but found this book a bit tougher to get through. I'm not sure specifically what the problem was but the middle third took some effort. In the end did enjoy it however.
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