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Kraken [Hardcover]

China Mieville
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 14.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product Description

Review

'The novel crackles with demotic vocabulary and hip neologisms (''realitysmithing'', ''pistonpunk'') and, as ever with Miéville, London figures prominently - a city crazed with secrets and meaning. Kraken is essentially fantasy with a dusting of urban grit and Miéville's message is clear: the everyday can be extraordinary, and the mundane, magic.' --Financial Times

'While Miéville is far from the first novelist to threaten to obliterate London, he may win the prize for having the most fun along the way... Here we have a prodigious imagination letting rip...The exuberant energy and ambition of Kraken make for a complex novel packed with fascinating and original concepts.' --Guardian

'this epic exercise in cephalopunk eschatology and fundamentalist gang warfare offers the reader a truly delirious ride. Irreverent, funny, full of frenzied action, and unclassifiable except as pure Miéville, Kraken is a feast for its wily creator's fans while giving his detractors a whole new catalog of reasons to clutch their pearls.' --SFReviews.net

'A writer working at the height of his creativity; in terms of sheer imaginative power, Miéville blows most other writers away. Despite its minor flaws, Kraken is an absorbing story that is by turns amusing, shocking and utterly enthralling, and is all wrapped up in the weirdness that Miéville is famed for (along with a healthy dose of gleeful wit). The result is both bizarre and wonderful. Who said the New Weird was dead?' --Speculative Horizons

'Poetic, demented, surprisingly approachable and seething with intelligence, Kraken is a cracking read, no doubt about it.'
--The Speculative Scotsman

'Impressively literate, crafty, and yet reliably China. Recommended.' --SFFWorld.com

'Kraken is urban fantasy as it should be - dark, dangerous, and creative with both a modern and nostalgic feel, and lacking trite pop culture interpretations of mythological monsters covering up romance and wish fulfillment.' --Neth Space

'It's funny, disturbing, incredible inventive and is a meaty read... It's engaging, clever and funny throughout and it also demonstrated to me that Miéville is in a totally different class to most other writers. Kraken is an exceptional and exciting piece of weird fiction.'
--Comic Book Outsiders

'Anyone would struggle to top The City & The City, which bagged China Miéville a third Arthur C Clarke Award this year, yet this leading British fantasy writer again proves he's got imagination tweeting out of his multi-pierced ears by unleashing another cracker with Kraken... Miéville's mind clearly fizzes with curiosity, his work magpie-ing everything from origami to Egyptian death rites. However, it's not just the texture he weaves from them but the inventively engaged way that he expands on them that makes his books so intellectually delightful and, in this case, unusually funny.' --4 stars, Fiction of the Week, Metro

'Fizzing verbal extravagance.' --Daily Mail

'Many of Kraken's best features have already been tackled by other writers of modern speculative fiction, from the saline stink of contemporary Lovecraftian horror to the seedy enchantment of a mysterious hidden London that recalls Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Mieville simply does it better, with slick, ornate prose that often reads as a direct critique of the stale tropes of contemporary sci-fi and fantasy... Mieville is one of the most brilliant writers in the English language today, and he knows it, but he also knows that it is not enough to be clever - magic, excitement and spectacle are just as important. Like an eminent Marxist scholar put in anarchic charge of a fairground ghost train, Mieville wants to make you think, but he also wants you to get you on the ride and scare you out of your skin. So buckle in - and look out for low-flying tentacles.' --Morning Star

'A baroque London adventure... Kraken is a remarkable achievement.'
--Press Association

'The great strength of this book is Mieville's understanding of belief as a way of life.' --Independent

'Simultaneously reverent and brimming with punky attitude, Kraken proves Miéville is ever forging new ground, even when walking the same grey pavements as his readers.'
--Independent on Sunday

'Urban fantasy -- in which the familiar setting of our own world is superimposed over a deeper, more thrilling realm of warring wizards or vampire academies -- has become increasingly formulaic, but Kraken is by China Miéville, who is sui generis, and it is constantly surprising, inventive, and written with a stylish élan too often lacking in this field. The imaginative world-building skills he used to create the world of Bas-Lag in three earlier novels are brought to bear on his home territory of London -- even if it's not quite the city readers will know. Homage is duly paid to the works of Michael Moorcock, Iain Sinclair and Arthur Machen, among others, but beside a few familiar tropes (inevitable when writing about magical traditions) the author displays an impressive level of invention. When so many writers are recycling the same old myths (zombies, vampires, more zombies), Miéville's ability to create new horrors -- and new wonders -- is welcome.' --The Times

'Nobody working in fantasy at the moment has Miéville's range: Kraken winks at both Thomas Pynchon and Judge Dredd, Star Trek and Iain Sinclair. It's also the clearest example yet of Miéville's Lynch-like fascination with confusing surfaces and cores.' --Scotland on Sunday

'I've been reading as many of his books as I can. They're so imaginative and creative. They make you feel comfortable because there are threads of recognition that sort of relate to our world as it is but yet all of these seemingly impossible creatures and creations.'
--Debbie Harry in the Observer

'For criminal gangs and a famous missing architeuthidae, you can't beat China Miéville's fabulous Kraken.' --Independent on Sunday

`An erudite, brilliantly-characterised, fast-paced, psychogeographer's dream. It's like Ackroyd on acid, or possibly squid ink, up there with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Kate Griffin in my personal hoard of Seminal London Fantastic literature' -- Marylebone Journal

Book Description

Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it's the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he's been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it's a god. A god that someone is hoping will end the world.

About the Author

China Miéville lives and works in London. He is two-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award (Perdido Street Station and Iron Council) and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice (Perdido Street Station and The Scar). The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published in 2009 to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell (The Times) and Phillip K. Dick (Guardian).
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