Kraken: An Anatomy Hardcover – 29 Jun 2010
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'Meanwhile, blogger Damien G Walter enjoyed the literary fantasy of the year, finding in China Miéville's Kraken, a tale of cops and apocalypse in an alternative London, "a prodigious imagination letting rip".' --Guardian, Fiction Recommendations of the Year --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A dark urban fantasy thriller from one of the all-time masters of the genre --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
However, even genuises have their off-days, and that seems to be what's happened here. I say "seems" because I can only guess at what prompted Mieville to approach this book in the way he did. This is not China Mieville, this is Clive Barker on acid. It's completely mad, perhaps the result of a bet as to how much weirdness Mieville could cram into 400 pages.
The concept is promising, and indeed a short synopsis would sound equally appealing. Mieville's writing style, whilst an acquired taste due to the author's of chain-of-consciousness prose interspersed with quirky colloquialisms, is rich and beautifully delivered. There's humour too, and several laugh-out loud moments, the politically incorrect outbursts of the virtual retro police officers being a case in point. However, a few dozen pages into the novel things start to go bad and the key problem quickly becomes evident. This problem, in summary, is that anything can happen.
Mieville has created a world entirely without rules and without boundaries. This sounds exciting, especially bearing in mind the author's formidable powers of imagination, but what it actually does is rob the plot of all suspense.Read more ›
There are of course the Marxist underlays and the quiet jokes to the knowing, but my biggest complaint is that I felt a little bit insulted by this, there is plagerism (and that is an opinion, not an accusation) and the general impression that he wasn't really trying.
I saw England play Algeria last night and felt the same way.
Personally, I blame the publisher, I read Alistair Reynolds 'Terminal World' and felt the same way.
Don't force our greatest writers to churn out pulp, I'll wait for the masterpiece.
The point to be taken is: I love sea monsters. Miéville's The Scar - an infinitely better book than this one - concerns in large part a gigantic sea monster from another universe called an Avanc; the inclusion and dealing of which I loved (one excellent aspect is Miéville's choice to never describe the creature in any detail; allowing my imagination to run wild with it - making the fear potential increase enormously). So when I saw that Miéville's latest work was to be titled Kraken, I immediately built up high hopes.
All in all though, I'm sad to say that I was let down. I love Miéville (and I haven't even read Perdido Street Station or The City & The City yet), but his latest effort falls considerably short of his abilities in my opinion. New Weird in style Miéville certainly is, but this all too weird for my tastes. From animal servants picketing for their rights to an omniscient invisible flying cartoon pig, this grasps completely in the wrong direction for an altogether ludicrous kind of strange. Add to this a plot full of questions to which we are given all too easy and entirely unsatisfying answers and it doesn't amount to much.Read more ›
Kraken is China Mieville's seventh novel, and probably his most barking mad book to date. Kraken is a total one-eighty from the measured, focused crime noir that was his previous novel, The City and the City, and shares many more elements from his young adult-aimed Un Lun Dun, such as the fantasised (much more lightly here) depiction of London and a whimsical sense of humour (not to mention the short chapters). Where Un Lun Dun stumbled slightly in its opening chapters with Mieville trying to be down with the kids a little too hard, Kraken aims its culture and pop references more clearly at geekdom, with multiple references to TV shows like American Gothic, Lexx and Battlestar Galactica ("The revamp, obviously,"), a number of Moorcock references and a number of plot points related to Star Trek. There's also some nods at Gaiman, particularly Neverwhere (which also inspired elements of Un Lun Dun and King Rat), with Goss and Subby coming over as worthy homages to the latter's Croup and Vandemar, only less pleasant.
For a book that's so satisfyingly bananas in places, it makes you work hard in others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good read; the first time I've had a good experience with Mieville. There are some terrific and truly original ideas here. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miss Smith
This is a very poor execution of what is a good idea. The problem is the book meanders along for nearly 500 pages when it would have been much better edited down to say 250. Read morePublished 15 months ago by janner37
A great story for Meiville fans, albeit one which I think gets a tiny bit lost and wandery in its latter half. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Daniel Staniforth
Heavy, hard work to read, hurts your brain, but a good novel. Worth the read but only if you have the time and energy to pay it your full attention!Published 22 months ago by Felicity Smith
Could not understand a thing in this book. Don't get me wrong, I'm first in line for the weird and wonderful, but was clueless in this book. Read morePublished 22 months ago by sandstorm
Absolute rubbish. It was one of the books in my book club and I was hugely relieved to find that over 75% of us hated it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by amcarn15
Maybe it was just to clever for me (or maybe it's much vaunted by people just because they don't get it and are too scared to admit it? Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lisa Robins
This my my first (and probably only) sojourn into China Mieville. It was such a struggle to get through this book that I almost gave up on several occasions. Read morePublished on 29 April 2014 by EvilEdna