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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I want my money back!
As you may be able to tell from the few reviews I've done, I not a fan of books that reference other books, or TV shows, or movies, or ... I want a book to help me escape from my own world. But referencing some hit TV show from our own pop culture always ruins the mood. I want authors to tell their own stories without leaning on others.
Pure gibberish. I assume the author deliberately tried to keep the reader confused. I'm still not sure what the plot was supposed to be. Not recommended. I wasted a credit. Nuts.
I enjoy reading many different genres and I have read many books. What makes a book great is the way that it is written. Either this author had a bad editor or the author does not have an imagination when it came to word choice. My fourth grade students could give this author a lesson on using different words for “said”. It got so monotonous that I could not finish the book.
Just a horrible rip-off of Neil Gamon. Sad. It is always the case that one author's formula for success will be emumlated, this is shameless example. If it was even half as good a Gamon's work, it might be worth half the price. It isn't.
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