Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Book Review – China Miéville: Kraken

I have been reading Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Nov 2010). A book about the hunt for a giant missing squid – the Kraken – that's worshipped like a god. Well, that's not the most appealing premiss for a book and it looked like it could easily fall in the 'must I continue reading' category. I fact I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp.

Some reviewers have claimed that Kraken not as good as some of Miéville's other books such as 'The City & The City' and as a result they have been disappointed. Now this may be true. But as this is the first China Miéville book I have read, I enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it sufficiently to order a copy of The City & The City.

In fact there is not really that much of a plot, it mostly consists of chasing around after the Kraken and not getting very far. So you can read a few hundred pages and find the plot at almost exactly the same point as before. However the real fun of the book is the weird characters you meet along the way. I don't want to say too much about these as it's best to discover these yourself. However I must mention Goss and Subby. A pair who are pure evil but who you can't wait for them to keep cropping up in the story.

I would recommend Kraken, even to those not interested in SiFi. Miéville has a reputation for being a good writer and maybe he would be much better know if he wrote more mainstream fiction.

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