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Kraken (2010)

by China Miéville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2301693,295 (3.6)249
Being chased by cults, a maniac, and the sorcerers of the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit, cephalopod specialist Billy Harrow inadvertently learns that he holds the key to finding a missing squid--a squid that just happens to be an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.… (more)
  1. 171
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (gonzobrarian)
    gonzobrarian: British cults vs. American Gods.
  2. 160
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another urban fantasy vision of London.
  3. 30
    The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  4. 30
    Weaveworld by Clive Barker (ShelfMonkey)
  5. 10
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (acousticmoose)
    acousticmoose: Another "new weird" fantasy with a city as the main character. And squids.
  6. 10
    The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The London's have a very similar magic system - at times, I felt these two books could be part of the same series.
  7. 00
    City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Mav.Weirdo)
  8. 00
    Halting State by Charles Stross (MyriadBooks)
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» See also 249 mentions

English (167)  Czech (1)  French (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
Ótrúleg hugmyndaauðgi, stöðugar flækjur og óvæntir snúningar er það sem helst einkennir þessa sögu China Miéville. En hún er nokkuð tyrfin lesning og fjölskrúðugt málfar Miévilles var mér oft erfitt því að þótt ég teldi mig þokkalegan í ensku þurfti ég að hafa orðabók til fletta upp í stökum sinnum - sem er reyndar kostur þegar fram í sækir.
Söguþráðurinn segir frá líffræðingi á safni í London sem hefur séð um varðveislu á risakolkrabba sem fundist hafði. En allt í einu hverfur ferlíkið og tankurinn sem kolkrabbinn var geymdur í. Engar eðlilegar skýringar finnast á hvarfinu og málið flækist enn frekar þegar mannslík finnst troðið í glerkúpul án þess að sjáanlegt sé hvernig maðurinn hefði getað komist þar.
Líffræðingsgreyið flækist nú í fantasíuheim þar sem hann kemst að því að galdrar eru í raun til auk þess sem útúrfurðuleg trúarbrögð og guðir eru sprelllifandi. Öllu verra er að öflugasti glæpaforingi Lundúnaborgar sem húðflúraður er á bak annars manns ætlar sér að finna kolkrabbann hvað sem það kostar. En öllu verra er að þessi þjófnaður á safngripnum mun valda endalokum heimsins og því hefst æðisgengið kapphlaup við tímann. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
3 stars as i never finished it.

6 months after winning a giveaway it arrived. Lost in the mail.
Tried several times to read it but couldnt retain my interest, even taking time beetween attempts.

Mieville is always highly recommended by trusted friends, but just doesnt seem to be my cup of tea.
Good for everyone else though! ( )
  Toast.x2 | Sep 23, 2021 |
To me this was a 250-300 page story stretched out to 500 pages. I loved the start of the book but it just dragged on and on. Good enough that I finished it but I was having to force myself to read it. ( )
  richvalle | Jul 11, 2021 |
Adult fiction/fantasy. Sort of like Neil Gaiman's American Gods, but with squid. Starts off decently with a mystery, trouble from evil deities, pending apocalypse--and then continues for another 400 pages with odd twists and half-revelations; I got to page 300 or so before giving up on the story. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I had to read this one twice. The first time through, for some reason, the character Goss became intolerable. Not in the bad way of I hate him but in the way of creeping me out so much my testicles wanted to hide inside of my body any time the narrator put on the Goss voice. Great read once I got used to that though. I always wondered squid worshiping fundamentalist would be like! ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
Kraken utilises Miéville’s common setting of London, albeit a strange London. This otherness beside the familiar is a strand in his work evident from King Rat and Un Lun Dun through to THE CITY AND YTIC EHT.

This one started out as if it may have been written with a film or TV adaptation in mind - one with a potentially light-hearted take - but soon veers off down strange Miévillean byways which may be unfilmable. For these are the end times and cultists worshipping all manner of weird gods abound.

It begins with a kind of locked room mystery as a giant squid, Architeuthis, has been stolen - formalin, tank and all - from its stance in the Darwin Centre, a natural history museum where Billy Harrow is a curator. He helped to prepare the squid for show and is thought to hold the knowledge that might allow all those interested in its recovery to find it. The police fundamentalist and cult squad, the FSRC, is called in to help investigate the disappearance which becomes more involved when Billy discovers a body pickled (in too small a jar) in the museum’s basement. And these are merely the first strangenesses to be encountered in this book. We also have the consciousness of a man embedded within a tattoo, a tattoo which moves and speaks. Then there is the double act of Goss and Subby - two shapeshifting baddies from out of time (they shift other people’s shapes) - and weird sects, cults and mancers of all sorts.

Never short of incident and brimming with plot the novel is probably a bit too convoluted, with too many characters for its own good, and its one-damn-strange-thing-after-another-ness can verge on overkill. But this is an unashamed fantasy, a form to which I am antipathetic when it is taken to extremes; and Miéville is not one for restraint.

While Kraken sometimes skirts along the edge of comedy it never fully embraces it. There are too many killings and acts of violence for comedy to sit comfortably. I might have liked the novel better if it had. Its main fault is that it never manages to settle on which sort of book it is meant to be, straddling various narrative stools such as police procedural, one man against the odds, woman in search of the truth about her vanished lover, etc.
added by jackdeighton | editA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton (Jan 29, 2011)
 
Miéville has done what all great science-fiction has done—and great so-called literary fiction, when it gets around to it—provide a nuanced, highly imagined critique of the zeitgeist, dressed up in a crackerjack story.
 
""... "Kraken" is, no mistake, a literary work. The hint is in the subtitle, "An Anatomy," because Miéville is exploring the gap between the prosaic squid and the mythic Kraken, between the mundane ground of everyday life and the sacred. What precisely turns a fish into a god? What is the anatomy of a legend? And how do gods manifest themselves in our world?
...Miéville's best work since "Perdido Street Station."
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drechsler, ArndtCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higurashi, MasamichiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kubiak, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meier, FraukeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valdez, Elisa LazoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
“The green waves break from my sides
As I roll up, forced by my season”

    —Hugh Cook, “The Kraken Wakes”
Dedication
To Mark Bould
Comrade-in-tentacles
First words
An everyday doomsayer in sandwich-board abruptly walked away from what over the last several days had been his pitch, by the gates of a museum.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Being chased by cults, a maniac, and the sorcerers of the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit, cephalopod specialist Billy Harrow inadvertently learns that he holds the key to finding a missing squid--a squid that just happens to be an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Welcome to London
and an underground of cults,
cops, baddies and ... squid.
(ed.pendragon)

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