P. Aaron Potter's Reviews > Kraken

Kraken by China Miéville
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Jul 06, 12

bookshelves: horror, urban-paranormal
Read from June 21 to July 06, 2012

If H.P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman had a love child...
Wait, they're both dudes. And one of them's dead.

Okay, if Michael Scott Rohan and Terry Pratchett...oh, no wait, both dudes again.

Okay, if Carrie Vaughn read the Cthulhu mythos as bedtime stories to Ray Bradbury's young clone, and then if somehow Clive Barker crawled in an open window at just the right moment...

If you're getting the idea that this book invites a lot of comparisons, you're on the right track. What it doesn't seem to really resemble is much of Mieville's other work. Admittedly, Mieville is an author I'm deficient in, but that's because the samples I've assayed have been so wordily dense that they discouraged further reading. I am no enemy of words. I likes 'em. But there is a time when an author has just used several six-syllable neologisms to explain what could have been covered in a single, common two-syllable word that just makes me want to rap their jeyboarding knuckles. "Stop that! Write better!"

Kraken doesn't suffer from that problem nearly as much. Yes, it's too long for what it is, and there were plenty of times I wanted to grab a red pen and scratch out half the lines, but those errors of overwriting are at the sentence level this time, not the word level. And there's humor enough to mitigate the offense. Despite comparisons to everything from Good Omens to The Great and Secret Show, this book is its own devil. I suggest giving it a three-chapter head start. If you're not sold by then, or if you still find Mieville's infamously prolix voice too off-puting, go grab Rohan's Chase The Morning and enjoy that one instead.
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