Kraken

  • by China Mieville
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 16 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.
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 Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.
As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.
All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.

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What the Critics Say

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A New Favorite Author

If you like Neil Gaiman, you may like Mieville. I would not describe this story so much as horror (some of Gaiman's stories are more so), but a philosophical fantasy. Kraken has less steam-punk and science fiction than some of Mieville's other stories, although it has plenty of the fantastic. It is a riot. In this story, it is centered very much in the alternate reality of the City of London, which is a major character in Kraken. If you are an architect or interested in cities, you may love it for this reason alone, but if you are interested in more intellectual sci-fi-fantasy with other influences of science and religion, you may also like it. The characters, moreover, are also more developed, or memorable, than some of his other stories. Lastly, the narration, by John Lee, is of course superb. I listened to it twice.
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- Caveat Emptor

Arcane Horror A-Go-Go!

Another classic Mieville immersion into the unconscious of London herself - but this time through the ink of a magical giant squid. And not just any giant squid mind you, but god-spawn... Join Billy the museum curator, and preserver of said deus enfant, on his horryifying and often hilarious journey through the seedy underbelly of London's secret religions. Dark magic and evil, dripping beasties spawn from every crevice as Billy tries to preserve his sanity and his life. Fans of Mieville's Perdido Street Station will feel right at home in this occult city on the brink of apocalypse(s?!). Narration of Mieville's rollicking and eerie prose performed splendidly by John Lee.
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- cmthomas

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-29-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio