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King Rat by China Miéville
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Aug 23, 10

bookshelves: novel
Read from August 14 to 23, 2010

Miéville's first novel is a gritty, urban Panchatantra blurring the worlds of human and animal, and Märchen and the real. If you know London well (better than I) the movement of the action will attain greater focus. It also helps to be familiar with East London rhyming slang or the principle behind it. For example, King Rat calls his teeth "Hampsteads" because teeth rhymes with Hampstead Heath. But Miéville's descriptive power and characterizations are strong enough that readers without such familiarity won't get lost but rather occasionally bewildered, hopefully in a good way.
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