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Kraken by China Mieville

Kraken (original 2010; edition 2010)

by China Mieville (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6211393,257 (3.62)229
Authors:China Mieville (Author)
Info:Del Rey (2010), Edition: Book Club, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Kraken by China Miéville (2010)

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» See also 229 mentions

English (137)  Czech (1)  French (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
Giant squid worship - all you need to know. ( )
1 vote hatpin | Jun 17, 2018 |
Finally! I picked this book up and put it down so many times I lost track. I've been having a terrible time concentrating lately, and I know people who thought this book was amazing, but I was happy to just get through it. So it didn't work for me, but I'm mostly chalking that up to my tired, cranky, stressed state of mind. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
By far one of the WEIRDEST books I've ever read. A lot of talk about the end of the world, and religions with krakens as gods...it was just very odd. I felt like I was reading a different language half the time. Granted some of that comes from my unfamiliarity with British slang, but really the whole vocabulary surrounding the people who could do "magic" confused me to no end. I obviously liked it well enough to finish it, but I'm not sure if I'll read another of his soon. Goss and Subby were the creepiest, most disturbing villains I've read in a while. The description of how they killed the guy in the jail cell...still gives me the shivers. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
I expected a different sort of book. This veered too far into the fantasy genre for me. Still, the writing is crisp and fun, and Mieville has an eye for characters. ( )
  reenum | Feb 23, 2018 |
NOT his best, I think, but fun. Difficult to define..... ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (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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“The green waves break from my sides
As I roll up, forced by my season”

    —Hugh Cook, “The Kraken Wakes”
To Mark Bould
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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Welcome to London
and an underground of cults,
cops, baddies and ... squid.

No descriptions found.

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)

(summary from another edition)

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