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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
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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 (613 )
5 star
 (185)
4 star
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3 star
 (108)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (348 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (348 )
5 star
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4 star
 (122)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
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  •  
    Flapjack 10-25-10
    Flapjack 10-25-10 Member Since 2012

    Flapjack Jones

    HELPFUL VOTES
    132
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    339
    26
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Wild story"

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 04-15-13
    Tim United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2011

    Putting books on the back burner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    781
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    402
    398
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    106
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny Horror"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-09-11 Member Since 2014

    torchone

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    79
    2
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    0
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better reader way too much British slang and colloquium,also they authors style is chaotic,verbose to pointlessness. Plot was not that interesting


    Has Kraken turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

    Scott brick, Simon prebble, Neil gammon


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

    none


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Campbell 05-19-11
    D. Campbell 05-19-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "What's the point?"

    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pound, VA, United States 05-16-11
    John Pound, VA, United States 05-16-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "meh"

    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).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina West Hills, CA, United States 04-02-11
    Tina West Hills, CA, United States 04-02-11 Member Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    "A bit of a struggle"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulrich Michelstadt, Germany 08-08-10
    Ulrich Michelstadt, Germany 08-08-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
    2
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    Overall
    "Boring"

    I read this book and got so bored by the for me uncomprehensible flood of meaningless words that I had to put it down.

    I do not know whether this book would have been any better if I was smarter or would have invested time into a backround research - but as it is it was a waste of money and time.

    I cannot recommend this book to anybody. Sorry.

    6 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucie 12-20-10
    Lucie 12-20-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    1222
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Yuk... and a waste of time"

    If it wasn't for John Lee (Narrator) I would'nt even tried to to finish it ... it's a mixture of Dr Who, star treck (all generations) and LSD at their worst.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Boynton Beach, FL, United States 11-22-10
    Eric Boynton Beach, FL, United States 11-22-10 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    "Purposely Confusing"

    This book is a mess, the author adds in many unnecessary nonsensical words just to hind a VERY thin story line.
    You keep waiting for all the crazy language and hanging plots to come together but they never do. Then you realize the author is making the story and characters up along the way. The characters are given "new and unforeseen" abilities all along the way only because the author keeps writing herself into a box and must toss in a magical "key" so the story can go on.
    John Lee does a great job, but he must read what he is given. No fault to him on this.

    Signed,
    I want my money back!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Columbus, OH, United States 11-04-10
    Paul Columbus, OH, United States 11-04-10 Member Since 2014

    TimeLord

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    61
    7
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    1
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    Overall
    "not neverwhere"

    not awful, just not very good. i like the effort, just not my style. riddlin might help.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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