Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012


My latest book (on the kindle) is Kraken by China Mieville. I had read one other book by him - The City & the City - which I liked very much, so I thought I'd give another of his books a try. Here's a bit about it from a Guardian book review ...

Kraken by China Miéville

[...] Following the quest of museum curator Billy Harrow to recover his mysteriously vanished prize exhibit, the giant squid Architeuthis, Kraken plunges Billy and the reader into an alternative London of cults and magic. And if the fact that his plot is powered by a case of squid-napping does not give away Miéville's less than serious intent, the abundance of other puns, injokes and pop-cultural references surely do. Any novel that pays homage to The Sweeney with such splendid lines as "We're the bloody cult squad, Harrow," clearly has a playful intent.

The jokey tone marks a departure for Miéville. The City & The City, which won him an unprecedented third Arthur C Clarke award this year, was perhaps his darkest and most politically charged work to date – and this from an author who has established a reputation for taking the fantastic very seriously indeed. In this context Kraken seems as though Miéville is taking a step back from the artistic agenda that has previously informed his writing, perhaps to flex creative muscles grown stiff in the constraining seriousness of the New Weird. And Miéville sets about his dark comedy with almost unseemly relish. Squid, however gigantic, are merely an appetiser for the feast of weirdness he lays out .....

I'm just at the beginning but I'm not yet enjoying it as much as I did The City & the City - I guess I'm not so much a fan of books that are funny, although I do like the funny bits in The Dresden Files novels: Bob the skull always cracks me up :) Maybe part of the problem too is that I'm actually "reading" it ... though the kindle does make the font size very big, listening to books is still much easier for me.


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