(PDF/EBOOK) Kraken: An Anatomy BY China Miéville

At and I think ualified as literary fiction Kraken is pulp fantasy isn t itCM You say pulp like it s a bad word I wanted to have some fun with the genre of fantasy and write a humorous book and I did bothM Good job Doing that gets you three stars from meCM WTF Not that I care about how many stars you give me on your social networking site What have you writtenM CM Exactly M You don t have to shit on my self steem just because I gave you three stars We can still be friendsCM Feast on my dung I M CHINA MIEVILLE BITCH I REST MY CASE Returns to his blogJV Shrugs I don t know what to tell you M Somebody s having a bad hair day I mean you can t fill your book with stock characters who never develop follow a traditional pulp storyline and xpect to write something that moves your readers deeply He HAD some good ideas in the book that made it a very ntertaining read But I can t give him xtra credit for being China Mieville right You see what I meanJV Last time you wrote a review with me in it you had me murdered Don t xpect sympathy here M Yeah Well my reviews are sometimes violent It wasn t personalJV Shakes his head and goes back to Ambergris M I guess there s a downside to being a meanspirited cynic who disses books all the time I mean really books are my closest friends Because real people are such assholesHarold Bloom Maybe you re just using book reviews as a way to avoid working on your real writing project Perhaps you re afraid this novel will turn out to be less dgy than you hope for and that fear is making you find ways to avoid working on it Perhaps your rough treatment of China Mieville is really the result of your own insecuritiesM Goddamn you Bloom If this is going to become a review of ME I m fucking leaving A preserved giant suid is stolen from London s Natural History museum and curator Billy Harrow is at the top of veryone s list for answers But who stole the Kraken and why Was it the Londonmancers Or minions of the Tattoo Or the Church of the God Kraken Or someone lse all together That s what Billy Harrow and Dane Parnell a renegade from the Church aim to find out But can they recover the Kraken before it s used to trigger ArmageddonChina Mieville appears to have the Midas touch at times In Kraken he takes the conspiracy thriller and infuses it with so much new weirdness that green goo is oozing from between the pages Where do I start Do I talk about the Londonmancers shamanic magicians who dwell in and shape London s streets Or Wati the sentient statue thing that s unionizing London s familiars Or the gunfarmers Or the chaos nazis Mieville throws so much at you in this one that it s hard to pick out one outlandish concept as the favoriteI see people comparing this to Neil Gaiman s Neverwhere or American Gods the works of Tim Powers or ven Mieville s own Un Lun Dun but the book that it reminds me the most of is The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes There are conspiracies galore gods created by belief and the psychotic duo of Goss and Subby who remind me both of Croupe and Vandemaar of Neverwhere fame and of The Domino MenThe characters are an interesting bunch Billy Harrow s in the Arthur Dent mode of protagonists Parnell drives the story forward as do the impressive array of interesting Londoners In fact Billy s probably the least interesting character within the book But really when one of the characters is a talking tattoo he s got competitionEaster ggs about within Kraken s piscine pages There are multiple Star Trek references including a magic powered phaser and a Tribble a Lolcats reference Dr Who Michael Moorcock the list goes on and on And Mieville both mentions the criminally unknown Hugh Cook of the delightful The Walrus and the Warwolf in the forward and includes one of his poems The Kraken Wakes within the pages Any complaints Only that there was a little too much going on at times Kraken was a good read but it was never a drop verything and neglect your personal hygene kind of gripping I found myself procrastinating a few times rather than go back to it Once the story passes the 33% mark it really takes offIf suid based conspiracies are your bag this book is for you Otherwise this book should appeal to Mieville fans conspiracy fans and fans of Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Barnes Now get reading before I send the gunfarmers after youLater In the interest of being much crotchety than I was in 2011 I m downgrading this to a 3 While brimming with ideas it is by far a lesser Mieville Chapter 1 Wow this is kind of cool Everybody says China Mi ville is the shit He owns the GR comment boards He can kick ass in any genre or no genre or bend genres to fit his will Not to mention his good looks right I mean the dude is hawt with a capital H Hubba Fuckin Hubba At least that s what I ve been told personally I think he looks like a rude low class French waiter who hasn t bathed and has been relegated to peeling potatoes in the back alley where he can t scare off the customers although the customers wonder why their potatoes smell like cigarettes and BO So I m not prepared to just go with the flow here I made up my own mind about his looks and I ll make up my own mind about his writing too thank you very much Still I come into this with some pretty damn high xpectations given the love affair all I come into this with some pretty damn high xpectations given the love affair all GR friends are having with this potato peeler right now And indeed Kraken starts off pretty cool Original concept and original writing style I think a very real writing style that sounds like me and my friends talking only with various British accents and slangChapter 2 Hmm Interesting Very cool I like the SRC specially Collingswood I want to be Collingswood s lover I assume being Collingswood s lover goes something like this I follow her around and shine her shoes maybe wipe her ass while I beg for her to simply look at me without something resembling utter contempt and she barely tolerates my presence while occasionally spitting in my face shoving dog shit in my mouth and putting out her cigarette in my yeball But I m okay with thatChapters 3 4 5 t se This book is full of very short chapters and the chapter breaks come when you would xpect a bad TV drama to break for commercials I assume that s on purpose to add to the levity or something but it bugs meChapters 6 7 8 Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, et se Still cool I m not sure I understand what the fuck is happening but I like itChapters 20 50 Umm who are those people and why do I care Are they really necessary or are they just Mi ville messing around for his own amusementChapters 50 99 Like I said really short chapters and lots of them But also just lots of words and odd characters and weird shit happeningChapters 100 199 Okay now who the fuck are those people Is Mi ville just fucking with me nowChapters 200 299 Well at least now we re getting somewhere and it s mostly interesting though there are still way too many characters and weird things about the universe to rememberChapters 300 399 Interesting and cool and whatnot but I m just ready for it tond The protagonists are hitting one dead nd after another following this thread to that thread and back againChapters 400 499 Somebody just tell me how it s going to nd PleaseChapter 500 Wow The climax is underway and I m surprised It s almost cool nough to make the wait worth it I like where this is goingChapter 501 Wait a second will somebody please tell me what the fuck just happened It looked like a great nding then this dude did this shit and talk about deus machina and I don t This Forsaken Earth even understandxactly what happened or how it worked Chapter 502 Okay there s some room left in the book to The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) explain how the hero did what he did to stop the bad guy from doing what he wanted to do Mi ville is going toxplain it isn t he Isn t he Chapter 503 Nope no xplanation I still don t get how or why that worked in the universe he set up unless the hero is just supposed to be God hisownselfChapter 504 Well I don t totally understand but at least it s nding and Campfire everybody seems happy hey hold on what s who s whyChapter 503 So that was the realnding Huh How does that make sense given this and that and some other things that happened arlier I don t get it Very disappointing Kraken by China Mieville is about as predictable and formulaic as a book about a suid sect amidst a London underground teaming with competing cults and all under the shadow of the nd of the world can be Weird weird book But then Mieville is supposed to be among the vanguard of the weird fiction group I liked this is supposed to be among the vanguard of the weird fiction group I liked this it at times devolved into a clumsy absurdism but to its credit it never got down to ridiculous Kafkaesue or Beckettesue absurdity but of the Monty Python variety absurdism There were many scenes that made me laugh out loud and I think I have seen some reviewers describe this as a dark comedy Kraken also hosted a colorful satire on theology and organized religion Absolutely a tribute to Lovecraft this is a good book all by itself as well but maybe not the best as an introduction to his work Newer readers might try Perdido Street Station firstHolding it all together is Mieville s Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars excellent writing his uniue imagination and his uncanny ability to draw from a multitude of inspirations from a calliope of genres and cultural mediums Oopsin myxcitement I seem to have Mievilled all over myself Pardon my gushSo the ONLY reason this gatling blast of brainstorming outr ness is not yet nesting on my all time favorite shelf along with Perdido Street Station and The City The City is that my feeble grey matter is still trying to process whattheFrench I just read I grasped the big picture though my neurons were white knuckled and straining but there were so so SO many reference gems idea snippets bizarre sound bytes and fluttering flashes of just beyond the real that I m convinced I will be picking flakes of fantastic out of the narrative Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life even after completing a second reading of this artwork Not uite as ground breaking as Perdido Street Station or as technically brilliant anxecution as The City The City but with densely packed hip literate prose and myth spiced techno jargon as both of those books combined This is word sensei writing and full throttle imagination paired with hyper threaded story crafting on a scale that only Mieville himself has Crazy Love everven come close to before This is a hard core concept porn performance by the biggest girthiest word smither working in the spec fic industry today Despite my brain gasping for oxygen and begging for a moment of calm in the story s relentless prose storm the yegasms kept coming and coming on almost very page It has been a while since I have been this impressed by the combo of prodigious imagination and the writing chops to get it all ffectively on the vellum This is a roller coaster into otherness just beyond perception and my captivation meter was pinned on lock down very single minute of the storyPLOT SUMMARY A plot summary for this book doesn t really seem fitting but I will give it the short and sweet so I can move on to the good stuff London was full of dissident gods Billy Harrow works at the Darwin Institute where the prized xhibit is a preserved specimen of Architeuthis ie a giant suid While conducting a tour of the institute Archie miraculously disappears and sets off a countdown to the apocalypse featuring the most imaginative rogue s gallery in the history of literature yes in all of literature From ink born tattoo crime lords to chaos Nazis and the most bizarre pair of supernatural hitmen since writing found paper THOUGHTS Mieville s primary focus in this story is on deconstructing the underpinnings and motivations for religious belief Actually it s much much grand and in your grill than the why s and wherefores of religious belief not to mention basic in its reader applicability but I don t want to give hints regarding the actual philosophical boxing match at the heart of the narrative Thus since religious belief forms the surface narrative thread and Mieville has a creative xplosion discussing a plethora of apocalyptic religious sects and their faith tenets I will let the xplanation sufficeWhile addressing big serious issues of innerness and autochthonal psychology relating to why humans think and act the way they do Mieville spreads his insight over a canvas that is a most fascinating riff on the magical London memorialized by such pop staples as Harry Potter and Neil Gaiman However this is a London Of until now a city whose denizens human and otherwise are adept in magic and murderThere is the Congregation of God Kraken a sect of suid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity and beyond There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim There is the FSRC the Fundamentalist and Sect Related Crime Unit a branch of London’s finest that fights sorcery with sorcery There is Wati a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of. ,
Kraken gave me a severe case of goodreaditus an unpleasant condition whereby as you are reading a book you are constantly thinking not about the book itself but how you are going to review it For xample I thought maybe I could borrow the voice of Cher Horowitz from Clueless Here s the four one one on Billy Harrow He s like a suid janitor he s single he s 24 or something uite old and he arns minor duckets for a t I had my ups and downs with this title but in the nd it s mostly all ups The language was the biggest thorn though in my other frames of mind I also really New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood enjoyed it at the same timeWhat this book is not is a uick and light read meant to delight and float through your mind like a cloud of inkIt deserves to be savoured and gloated over perhapsven stopping a bit to roll the cadences of copspeak off your tongue to feel its beat I had to do it too before I realized that it sounded just fine It s the reading of it that seemed jarring almost as if it was a mirror to the jarring concepts that butted heads all throughout the maze of the storyI was reminded very pleasantly of Perdido Street Station which I also had an almost identical problem with The worldbuilding on both of these are so damn rich and weird and well thought out The feel of the societies is ripe and bursting with flavor Of course Perdido was fantasy stationed in an alien landscape that just happened to be modern human flavored while this one just happened to be dark fantasy mythospunk plopped right into the heart of modern London The two aren t all that different EnglishAlien I watch Doctor Who I know what I m talking aboutSeriously both novels weave a complex tapestry of groups and individuals with brightly colored lives that I could never forget carrying burdens and gifts that made up for a hell of a lot of plot stretching and twists that made perfect sense in the Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey end The problem is in the getting thereI had to be patient RepeatedlyI had to tell myself to have faith in the Kraken but what I really wanted was to pick up the bottleI jest or do IWe got a major turf war of gods and their believers ravaging London The prophets all agreed that the universe wouldnd in fire and nd very soon We ve got a bumbling test tube nerd who preserves specimens turning out to be the big hero and we ve got a security guard sacrificing his live to ink Was I pretty much amazed by the inclusion of so many fascinating characters Oh hell yes I ll never look at my fountain pen the same again and I m still thinking of the stitches in the mouth of a certain tattoo And who needs lsd if you ve got a dram of mollusk ink And these are just a few of the many interesting tidbits that show up throughout the novel It s littered with orphaned ideas and pretty turns I mean really Buddhist Jesus monks pulling a West Side Story Talking Kirks statues and the patron of all fair wage picketers Oh Wadi Wadi And cold fire What a fantastic SF twist THAT one turned out to beTruly it was a satisfying wrap up So many threads came back together to pack one hell of a punch just like Perdido Street StationIf I ver read this a second time I m going to do it slowly savoring ЯED each turn and hint and phrase very carefully I m certain I ll get a lot out of it In the meantime though I can t honestly give it a full five stars It was slow to develop and some of Billy s blindness was a bit annoying but it was all a matter of falling down the rabbit hole anyway so I decided to take the ride with him Marge on the other hand was a breath of sanity throughout the text that proved to be the best steadying factor for me Dane was a solid and thorough plot mover and he grew on me too Collinsworth Oh well she s uniue I did reallynjoy this novel It wasn t so much a Lovecraftian tribute as it was a Mythos tribute Practically verything that the mythos built was pretty original We got pieces of chaos nazis a bit of Read Or Die but verything The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs else was purextrapolation and imagination as far as I could tell I liked the Londonomancers and the Krakenites Honestly the Mythospunk was probably the very best part of the novelNot perfect but there s so much to Moreno enjoy that I was very willing to see it through and I m very glad I did Four and a half suidshttpsclsiewertwordpresscom2015 Enter that room and you breached a Schwarzschild radius of something not canny and that cephalopod corpse was the singularity I rather get why Mi ville s normally fantastic fanish fans don t like Kraken much I will note that I ve had intermediate success with Mi ville finding a couple of his works uite memorable and some uite putdownable Kraken is one Injoyed muchly primarily due to its absurdity the absence of didacticism and its clever clever use of language Speaking of however I would have like a bit on the language front specifically the description sort of language words that might have given insight into what was happening As it was I felt rather like Arthur Dent after meeting Ford Prefect Sometimes you can t get bogged down in the how Baron said Sometimes things happen that shouldn t and you can t let that detain you But the why we can make headway with But I rather suspect idea satiation of the text was part of the point and indeed Mi ville says it was a bit of a kitchen sink of ideas in Kraken Again not knocking it The first book of Mi ville s that I truly respected and whatever Monsieur Pain else because love isn t the sort of word you use with that book was Embassytown which was a bit of a mind bender of a science fiction book Science fiction being what it is it sasier for me to take those realities with a grain of salt or in that case with a rather large tub of popcorn to help all that salt go down because wow was that book ver idea dense This is idea dense too but in a creative silly bizarre candy shop sort of way not so much a philosophical one And yes no it couldn t have no disappeared so many metres of abyss meat could not have gone There were no giant tank no suid shaped holds cartoon style in the wall It could not have gone but there is was not Kraken is nominally at least about Billy a man who is a museum curator at the Darwin Centre He s leading a tour group when they discover the star attraction a perfectly preserved specimen of a thirty foot giant suid has disappeared without a trace Dane the security guard is also mysteriously absent As the police go through their investigative disappeared without a trace Dane the security guard is also mysteriously absent As the police go through their investigative Billy makes a gruesome discovery in the storage rooms A special division of police make Billy an offer but before he can think twice vents have spiraled out of his control into weirdness What follows is a journey across London through a city with dissident gods and magic workers where crime overlapped with faith as Billy seeks to understand his role in world changing What If events and recover the suid What my colleague is getting at Baron said is we re facing a wave of StJohns A bit of anpidemic of The Exhaustion Breakthrough eschatologies My most serious challenge was developing anmotional connection to the characters None really seemed sympathetic and while I m mentioning it Billy was than a bit Arthur Dentish in the beginning wandering around and saying what what I don t understand all the time when he really needed to get with the program The police are little help although they contribute to the attempts towards law n order they are just as apt to handcuff those preventing the apocalypse as much as those starting one Perhaps the one I felt most affection for was a millennia old rebellious spirit leading a strike of the city s magical assistants and familiars against The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good exploitation The villains were truly horrific and Mi ville deserves kudos for imbuing them with scary life in such brief appearances Goss and fucking Subby Sliding shifty through Albion s history disappearing for ten thirty a hundred blessed years at a time to returnvening all wink wink with a twinkle of a sociopathic Supplemental Book eye to unleash some charnel degradation for hireThere was no specificity to Goss and Subby On the other side the language is somethinglse something that makes me Hark! The Herald Angels Scream enjoy it and yet makes my brain work a bit too because not only does he flat out improve my vocabulary he takes a rather deconstructionist approach to structure at times Often it takes me a minute to work out meaning I think Or at least glean on to partial intention I most definitely feel like is one Mi ville that you can re read for meaning if only you can stand the story I don t mean that in a snarky way despite how it sounds I m reflection on my ownxperience with his works how some were like a full five course dinner of things I liked but were arranged in unusual ways but some of his works were like five course dinners of things I mostly didn t like Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners except for maybe the appetizer and dessert Not to take away from the creativeness of it as much as the saturation of theffortYou know what lse is njoyable about his stories Utterly unpredictable There will be no tropes here or if they are they shall be used ironically and with abrupt changes in meaning to turn reader assumptions sideways There s so much that is fun good and oh yes here the Sea the motif of the ink the angels the museum the ramifications of a disappearing skill the smallest ode to Star Trek and the suiddity of it all There is satisfying Bidadari yang Mengembara endingven if it isn t precisely the one xpected While I originally rated this slightly lower it grew on me the I thought about it and the I thought about it the I wanted to read it again This might be one worth adding to the library for the sheer inventiveness the languageness of it Yes I think I will We ve been arguing about books said Marge Best sort of argument said Billy What was the substance Virginia Woolf versus Edward Lear I went for Lear said Leon Partly out of fidelity to the letter L Partly because given the choice between nonsense and boojy wittering you blatantly have to choose nonsense In the city of the nd of the world is uickly approaching instigated when aan gets stolen Genero the undistinguished protagonist all of a sudden discovers a new world when he s by a and then rescued by a It then turns out he is a hero sort a necessary La strada delle croci element of the battle between a and aan Jeff Vandermeer Alright Mieville the name of a city China Mieville This will be a London sometin JV Alright writes it in Now we need a nounCM Ah suid JV Sure Why not Writes it in VerbCM KidnapJV Past tenseCM KidnappedJV taps forehead with pen You know Mieville I kind of like the idea of basing our next books off of Mad Libs but I can t help but feeling like this particular storyline is just unavoidably plain I mean you could use this framework to generate The Dark Is Rising or Un Lun Dun or CM I AM CHINA MIEVILLE I WILL MAKE IT WORK JV ProfessionCM Uh gangsterJV Writes it in The Lord of The Ringsven I mean this looks kind of Tolkeinish in its framework CM I M CHINA MIEVILLE BITCH 1 year later JV Hey China congratulations on KrakenCM Did you like it JeffyJV It was uite funny Collingsworth was a terrific secondary character And when you brought in that guy who figured out how to teleport man that was vintage And so was the Tattoo CM Cheers JeffJV The idea of competing armageddons is a fun one And you have the detectives over here the friend over there the protagonist here and they all meet up at the nd it s a terrific way CM Yeah thanks JV Of getting around a fair to middling plot CM JV And a dull flat main characterMieville turns looking out of the review at the reviewerCM Where do you get off judging my book and giving it a star rating Not to mention impersonating me and claiming I said inane thingsMichael Leaps back from his computer startled Uhhhi I m a big fanCM Fuck you a big fan Big fans appreciate the lements that work in a book they don t spend time nitpicking because it didn t reinvent the genre You re docking me Two Bloody Stars Because bloody stars because s a hero s journeyM First off I don t give five stars to anything that didn t stun me with its brilliance So that s kind of like an The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth extra credit number of stars So really I m docking you ONE for the hero s journey thing CM But you gave five stars to The Monster at the End of This BookM So I did Did you read Keely s review of Kraken Did you pick on himCM He didn t call himself a big fanMichael ToucheJeff Vandermeer Do you still need me Can I go home nowM CM Shut up JeffM It s just that Ixpect a lot from you That s all The Bas Lag books were technically speculative fiction but they surpassed th. In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum Billy Harrow a cephalopod specialist is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux better known as the Giant Suid But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the suid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin airAs Billy soon discovers this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose xistence he has been blissfully ignorant.

free read Kraken: An Anatomy

Hat has in common with New Crobuzon than it does with Hogwarts and Mieville drenches this background in his uniue brand of the politically charged new weirdFor xample at one point the plot picks up that the Union of Magical Assistants UMA has gone on strike In typical Mievilleian fashion he describes it thusly There were pickets of insects pickets of birds pickets of slightly animate dirt There were circles of striking cats and dogs surreptitious doll pickets like grubby motionless picnics and flesh puppets pickets of what looked like and in some cases had once been humansNot all the familiars were Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, embodied Butven those magicked assistants who schewed all physicality were on strike So a picket line in the unearth A clot of angry vectors a verdigris like stain on the air an xcitable parameter Mostly in the middlingly complex space time where people live these pickets looked like nothing at all Sometimes they felt like warmth or a gauzy clot of caterpillar threads hanging from a tree or a sense of guilt That kind of writing and descriptions just floors me and makes my brain juice bubble And these kinds of paragraphs are all over this workNow is it true that the plot can be rather Gordian in its knottiness and than a little jumbled for wide swathes of the story Yes granted The narrative is dense and the visibility can at times be limited behind a curtain of swirling fog My reactionI could care less because I trust my navigator to get me to my destination I just thank Cthulhu that I m not the one drivingBottom line this is an The West Transformed experience book where the journey through clever gorgeous prose is worth a few scratches of head and the beauty and majesty of the commentary than outweighs the periodic moments of stunned confusion Until I ve read this again and maybe again I will continue to believe that my befuddlement isntirely my fault and China Mieville has done precisely what he set out to do I am a fan and this book has only deepened my respect for this singularly gifted individual This novel sueezed my brain and left it wrung out twisted and parched I am thankful and happy as a result 50 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Oh hey An lolcatThat s new But wait because ven though they are 1000000 years old in internet time lolcats are only kittens in offline time by which I mean the time by which your parents live their lives go on check your mail right now your dad just forwarded you a bunch of them Hahaha Invisible Bike I forgot about that one Moreover judged by the molasses pace of the publishing industry they re younger still So I give props to China Mi ville you re only getting that acute accent once in this review so njoy it for offering up perhaps the first blatant lolcat reference in what could be termed a major novel certainly the only one to receive a starred review in Booklist This book does not countBut that s just one fun thing in this very fun book one fun thing out of many About 200 pages in I started ripping off a tiny scrap of my bookmark very time I came across an idea so cool it would probably be a major plot point in a book less crazily mescaline fueled Very soon I ran out of bookmark To be fair I was using an oversized Post It Still I don t recall making scraps of anything whilst reading Boneshaker another ostensibly punk leaning sci fi romp that boringly stretches out a handful of Mieville s cast offs into a sad Paper Chasers excuse for an adventureI don t want to spoilverything A few things were spoiled for me Like I knew there was a real working phaser in there But no one told me about the real working Tribble One lovable character speaks through inhabiting statues and his idea of what constitutes a statue is very broad indeed imagine portentous dialogue between a suid cultist and a pencil topper shaped like a unicorn Three bad guys that are worthy The Complete Polly and the Wolf enough to have their own books but don tven rate as this one s mastermind granted the man behind the curtain is usually just a man Also there are these guys who read the future in London s VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE entrails Like literalntrails they cut through and pry apart pavement and the city has literal blood and organs and stuff I spoiled that one because it was my first bookmark but for the rest I will give page numbers 200 208 234 288 303 308 322 329 362 374 385 420 NO WAY 463 I hope I got them all Some of the pieces of paper were very small That s probably going to be pretty annoying for the next library patron That s not to say it s a 5 star book because it isn t In fact I am giving it 35 which is less than I gave The City the City A Riesling to Die even though I had fun reading Kraken Because for all the ideas crammed in here ink suirting from the pages um literally at several points the story is not so hot I mean it sounds cool but a stolen suid god macguffin is still a macguffin and a bland hero is still a bland hero And the central character here is bland He s your patented outsider introduced into a crazy world UnLunDun Suid cults Gunfarmers Paranormal cops Wizards familiars striking for better working conditions just so he can say What the fuck and other characters canxplain things to him Though China is British our hero does not sadly say Wot s all this then though he would certainly be justified in doing soI was never bored or anything don t get me wrong Also I don t know if it would be possible to get bored reading this unless you are bored by awesome But sometimes it is almost boring in that you don t really feel for any of the characters Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story even though I really like and would read a seuel starring several of them and the story tends to wander off into these nifty idea side plots that don t strictly go anywhere And something about reading Mieville both of the ones I have picked up anyway makes me feel like myyes are dragging through molasses or maybe I m actually stoned oh shit did I really read this book because it takes me FOREVER and I have to read very single word carefully or I ll lose track of verythingAnd you don t want to miss a thing including the many suid puns Like suidnapping obviously and suid pro uo he makes you wait for that one Missed opportunities a cult of Siddharthists come on And also the lead character s name is Billy Billy the SuidOh fine Go write your own punsLike this one and it was Unpredictable funny and chock full of weird with a side of SUIDDITY apocalypse and yet oh blasphemy Kraken is my first 3 starred Mi ville This hurts my fangirl soulBut here s the thing ven the weakest book by His Chinaness is still better that the strongest offerings of most other writers Therefore me giving it 3 stars in NO WAY puts it in the same category that some of the drecks that I ve read I liked this one It s just that it in NO WAY measures up to the usual amazing and brain popping xperience I came to A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, expect from CMI think of this book as a grittier weirder Mi villedition of Gaiman s Neverwhere The strange other London where things are not what they seem Goss Subby Croup and Vandemar Billy is another Richard Mayhews the ordinary wide yed chap dragged through the ver My First Kitten escalating weirdness byxperienced warriors destined for something bigger in the Seeds of the Spirit 2000 end But really Gaiman is Mi ville lite whereas Mi ville is Gaiman full roast black hold creamer and sugar addxtra weird Usually this would be a recipe for success as far as I m concerned Alas Kraken misses the mark a bitAll this sea creature talk in the book makes me crave the SUIDDITY deliciousness y all Now here s what I loved for the sake of the oreo cookie Pin-Up effect here yes calamari suid talk DID make me hungry so scuse me before breaking my heart with the less awesome parts In a city like London Stop that was an unhelpful way to think about it because there was no city like London That was the point Mi ville is amazing at creating fully alive weird cities and making them be real protagonists of his storiesxamples New Crobuzon Armada Besz lUl oma UnLondon Here his setting is contemporary London that apparently has a secret supernatural side to it which is still firmly ground in reality I mean it s the place where the paranormal creatures form picket lines for crying s the place where the paranormal creatures form picket lines for crying loud The strike paralysed large sections of occult industry The conomy of gods and monsters was stagnatingThere were pickets of insects pickets of birds pickets of slightly animate dirt There were circles of striking cats and dogs surreptitious doll pickets like grubby motionless picnics and flesh puppets pickets of what looked like and in some cases had once been humans Which neatly takes me to my next point Mi ville is unabashedly joyful about airing out of his political views on politics of labor and religion in this case Ever since reading London s Overthrow I have xtra appreciated the political musings of Dr Mi ville PhD the proud author of Between Eual Rights A Marxist Theory of International Law He knows religion is bollocks Collingswood said He just wishes he didn t That s why he understands the nutters That s why he hunts them He misses pure faith He s jealous There are so many side characters that are unbelievably fascinating and Loyal to His Lies each one of them couldasily merit an The Favorite Daughter entire book to himherself The cast is uite an interestingnsemble to say the least However it brings me to the bad part of the oreo cookie metaphor actually kind of a reversed oreo cookie since honestly the middle is the best part but bear with me here I m hungry okay With all the awesome side characters and fascinating side plots this book is too overstuffed with awesome than this story can take maybe if he had spread the ideas over a trilogy it would have worked better There are too many plots and ideas that he tries to tie together to make a coherent story and it is not that successful of an attempt The main storyline becomes not only story and it is not that successful of an attempt honestly main storyline becomes not only to follow but is almost impossible to identify leaving the reader to just blindly go along on this crazy ride And combined with the uneven pacing it can get frustrating Seriously this is the first time in my Mi ville reading Fitness for Geeks experience 6 books a few short stories that I felt the pacing was poorly done In some sections the story drags in others it moves along at lightning speed giving you a whiplash And finally despite the palpable threat despite the fights and weirdness and humor I found it hard to care about what is going to happen The characters failed to make me completely invested in them Billy Ugh Collingswood Bleh Dane Parnell Kinda butrgh Wati Yeah but not nough I did not feel very invested it did not have the now xpected thought provoking uality and did not leave me in the vague state of unease that I came to cherish as a part of my Mi ville reading xperience In short the book never became dull but never became uite that interesting And to finish off the reverse Oreo comparison here is the final layer the good one All the griping aside it was a fun read ven though not the most memorable The sheer amount of bizarro is nough to keep you chuckling and perhaps having uite vivid dreams I know I did while reading this It is fun as usual to see Mi ville allow his imagination run wild taking us on the crazy plot turns that nobody could have predicted coming It is not deep or profound or thought provoking but it s a good and honest fun Just because someone uses something wrong doesn t mean it s uselessFinal verdict 3 stars Read this one if you are an stablished Mi ville fan Probably stay clear of it if you re just trying to get into CM writing pick up Perdido Street Station Un Lun Dun The Scar or The City The City instead and leave this for the time when you re so hooked on Mi ville that you are ready to read Naked Choke even his grocery list and believe me that time WILL come You may not be interested in the gods of London but they re interested in you And here is what Mr Mi ville himself has to say about Kraken Courtesy of Seak Bryce L the interview is here thanks Catie for pointing it out to me Kraken by contrast was a kind of loving valedictory to what I hope is annjoyable but rather chaotic kitchen sink Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good excess of the Bas Lag books It s a book all about totality it s full of stuff it attempts whether successfully or not to make a virtue of a certain kind of I hope notxactly ill discipline but sort of distraction like the book itself gets distracted but that those distractions I hope are Murder at the Mansion engaging Something that no one I vever read does as well as Pynchon to whom this book is among other things a tentacular pulp homag. Magical familiars There are the Londonmancers who read the future in the city’s ntrails There is Grisamentum London’s greatest wizard whose shadow lingers long after his death And then there is Goss and Subby an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who together constitute a terrifying yet darkly charismatic demonic duoAll of them and others are in pursuit of Billy who inadvertently holds the key to the missing suid an mbryonic god whose powers properly harnessed can destroy all that is was and ver shall. Kraken: An Anatomy
Hannah Arendt

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