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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  23,842 ratings  ·  2,973 reviews
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 Thin ...more
Hardcover, 509 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Del Rey (first published 2010)
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Liam Johnstone I'm of two minds on this, because I love this book, but I absolutely think if a book isn't doing it for you, you should move on. I'd say if you haven'…moreI'm of two minds on this, because I love this book, but I absolutely think if a book isn't doing it for you, you should move on. I'd say if you haven't gotten to the star trek stuff and Wati yet, you should keep going, but if you've gotten that far and it still isn't your cup of tea, then maybe it won't be.


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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,842 ratings  ·  2,973 reviews

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May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: China Miéville fans
Recommended to Nataliya by: Catie

Unpredictable, funny, and chock-full of weird with a side of SQUIDDITY apocalypse - and yet (oh blasphemy!) Kraken is my first 3-starred Miéville. This hurts my fangirl soul.

But here's the thing - even 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 bra

Oh hey. An lolcat.That's new. But wait, because even though they are 1,000,000 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 email 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 Miéville (you're only getting that acute
Stephen my excitement, I seem to have Mievilled all over myself. Pardon my gush.

So the ONLY reason this gatling blast of brainstorming outréness 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 byt
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Kraken by China Mieville is about as predictable and formulaic as a book about a squid sect amidst a London underground teaming with competing cults and all under the shadow of the end 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, though it at times devolved into a clumsy absurdism; but to its credit, it never got down to ridiculous Kafkaesque or Beckettesque absurdity, but more of the Monty Python variet
Chapter 1: Wow, this is kind of cool. Everybody says China Miéville 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 c ...more
In the city of _______, the end of the world is quickly approaching, instigated when a/an _______ 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 element of the battle between a ______ and a/an ___________.

Jeff Vandermeer: Alright, Mieville, the name of a city.

China Mieville: This will be a London sometin'.

JV: Alright *writes it in* Now,
Dan Schwent
A preserved giant squid is stolen from London's Natural History museum and curator Billy Harrow is at the top of everyone'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 else 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 Armageddon?

China Mieville appears to have the Midas touch at
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Angelmaker, The Rook

Four and a half squids

“Enter that room and you breached a Schwarzschild radius of something not canny, and that cephalopod corpse was the singularity.“

I rather get why Miéville’s normally fantastic fanish fans don’t like Kraken much. I will note that I’ve had intermediate success with Miéville, finding a couple of his works quite memorable and some quite putdownable. Kraken is one I enjoyed muchly, primarily due to its absurdity, the absence of didacticism
I had my ups and downs with this title, but in the end it's mostly all ups. The language was the biggest thorn, though in my other frames of mind, I also really enjoyed it at the same time.

What this book is not, is a quick and light read meant to delight and float through your mind like a cloud of ink.

It deserves to be savoured and gloated over, perhaps even 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 ju
Paul Bryant
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
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 example 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 squid janitor, he's single, he's 24 or something, quite old, and he earns minor duckets for a thankless job. What that man needs is a good healthy boinkfest. Unfortunatel
"Now look," said Billy, in an uncertain approximation of his reasonable voice. "What's all this about? Can't someone tell me?"

"Oh, for fuck's sake," replied Collingwood in disgust. "Someone's been trying to tell you for most of your sodding life. You just won't listen, will you? But if you want something more explicit, there's always Goodreads."

She opened a grubby-looking Apple Powerbook with a Hello Kitty sticker on the lid and began typing.

"What's Goodreads got to do with it?" whispered Billy,
Heidi The Reader
Kraken is a complex urban fantasy about a missing squid, an astonishing large cast of characters and the end of the world - in no particular order.

China Miéville is an incredibly imaginative author. In this story, he has created a half dozen separate religions with their own gods and customs. (Hundreds more are hinted at.) Not content with that, he also created magic of all kinds, a strike by familiars, protective London-based angels and a supernatural police force.

And that's just the tip of the
David Katzman
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of adult/urban fantasy, gritty Brits, and/or punkers
The most fun you can have with a giant squid this side of Japanese octopus porn. I take that back. It’s the most fun no matter which side of octopus porn you’re on.

This is the first China Miéville work I’ve read so I wasn’t tainted by any of his previous books. I went in with few expectations. And how did I feel coming out? The dude rocks.

Here's the the milieu: Magic exists in modern day London, and, hidden behind mystical distractions, a secret society of competing religious cults, for-hire mag

Hey, come with me, do not ask and do not be surprised at anything. Even if something seems to you completely unbelievable - take it on the chin. Meet the city which you will not find in the coloured folders, places you will not find in any guidebook. Prepare yourself for delirious trip, apocalypse, armageddon or whatsoever. Just follow me.

It is my first Miéville and I really didn't know what to expect. Story starts interestingly when we are about to visit Natural History Museum. It’s really fab
J.G. Keely
Kraken marks a digression for Mieville from his familiar madcap style. Where before we had come to expect moody, slow-burn plots interrupted by sudden action, and just as suddenly back to introspection, we now get a story that is dramatic, unbroken, and streamlined in punchy chapters and theatrical quick-cuts.

His vibrant, poetical asides into mad science and techno-thaumaturgy have been toned down: no longer a virulent undercurrent, twisting and shaping his world, they have become curiosities an
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
First off, a book with the title Kraken is required to have a sinking ship attacked by a Kraken or at least have the line "release the Kraken" make sense. Sorry, it's in the rules...This did not have any.

If that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere, although if you know anything about Mieville (I'm told), you should know that you never really get what you expect from his novels.

Kraken was my first crack (or should I say krak) at China Mieville outside of the 100 or so pages I read of Perdid
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Catie by: Nataliya
I never thought I’d give a China Mieville book two stars. There’s just so much that I love about his writing and world-building. Although he does tend to move through genres with a shocking (shocking!!) lack of respect for genre boundaries, I never thought there’d come a day when he wrote a story that wasn’t really my thing. In fact, I believe I’ve said almost these exact words a few times: “His world-building is so inventive and amazing and his prose is so beautiful – I think I could read his w ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Let’s make one thing clear: China Miéville is way too ripped for his chosen profession. Being the new demigod of speculative/weird English fiction, he should by rights be some kind of hunch-backed, bespectacled, bowl-haircut paradigm of nerd. Instead he’s an Adonis, a Hercules, a shaven-headed Atlas – standing out among his many accolades is the coveted “best guns in literature” award; a title he seems unlikely to yield anytime soon.

Tomcat, Could They Beat-Up China Miéville? Blog

Well, that i
Jan 10, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
There's something agonisingly frustrating about throwing a China Miéville novel across the room.

The problem, I think, is in convincing myself that it actually deserves to be thrown. Because a Miéville novel should be brilliant. Both Kraken and the other Miéville I've read, The City & The City, are built on fascinating conceits. Like City's politically schizoid metropolis, the hidden London into which a museum curator is drawn after theft of a giant squid promises a wild, intelligently drawn and
Oct 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kat-fantasy
DNF at 25 %

I started with high expectations and I really wanted to like this book.

The story sounded really good: A giant squid, a museum’s curator protagonist, London, magic, all kinds of cults, theft and murder, the end of the world and lots of weirdness.

Unfortunately the execution just did not speak to me.

I don’t think it’s a bad book, but it is definitely not my taste.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this book.

This is the first China Miéville book I've ever read, and it was a really great introduction to China's world. He clearly knows exactly what he's doing, I don't think that even one sentence was out of place. The writing style fits the theme of the book to a T: urban magic, modern takes on historical practices, like the haruspex.

Speaking of these modern takes, I thought "Kraken" was VERY original. Almost everything in the book was something I wouldn't have imagine
Scott  Hitchcock

Very original but the story wasn't able to keep my interest. I also hate when authors rely on pop culture nostalgia. This was my first Mieville book. I would take another shot.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: SF-F Fans who are up for a Challenge
This book is crazy.

Now, either China Miéville writes your kind of crazy or he doesn't. If you read this book and think "This is crazy...but it kind of makes sense," then you're good to go. However, if you have to ditch it after 100 pages because all you can think is "WTF?", then this book is not for you.

What makes it difficult is that Miéville tends to plunge you into his crazy world and hopes you'll hold on long enough to start to enjoy the ride. He's not big on info-dumping or exposition. Read
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Many other writers have done urban fantasy, re-envisioning modern metropolises hiding a magical underbelly co-existing alongside the modern technological veneer: JK Rowling and the Harry Potter novels, Neil Gaiman and American Gods, Charles de Lint and his Newford novels. All of that is like Campari next to Miéville’s hard 100-year old whiskey. He ratchets up the weirdness, twists it and integrates it into modernity in a way that’s well… let’s just say that if Kraken were to get into a celebrity ...more
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2005-2010, mieville
August 2010


There’s a tale for ya. Miéville’s got him some oldoldreaders, deepfans what’ve been there since yearone or earlier (but not me, sadtosay; we smileflirted in bookstores but I didn’t heedthecall til yearfive), and in some of the forums there’s been a legend for years: Kraken! The bigsecret. Been talked about since early yeareight, maybe far back as ‘seven, but no one knew what it was. Justwhispers. Another Bas-Lag? Couldn’t be; sounded Scar-ish. Something newworld? Something thi
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ok, so this book got a lot better in the last quarter. It's still a rambling self-indulgent mess of a novel that doesn't realize that it's supposed to have a plot except at the beginning and end.

The main character, Billy Harrow curates an exhibit in the Natural History Museum that includes an 8 metre long giant squid. It goes missing. Then things get weird. Then weirder still. Eventually things get weird enough for this to be a China Miéville book.

Billy gets involved with several groups of peopl
Oh, China Mieville. My language wizard who disdains cliched tropes, has more imagination than any other writer - living or dead, and who just loves taking me (and other readers) on the most unpredictable rides he can come up with. When I thought I couldn’t love you any more than I already did, you went ahead and wrote a book about a cult that worships giant squids. Marry me, China.

“Kraken” certainly winks in the general direction of Lovecraft’s oeuvre. A lot. But you’d be wrong to assume it’s a
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am officially throwing in the towel, page 291. Sorry, Mr. Mieville. I know some women around her love you but I think maybe I chose the wrong book with which to start your catalog.

Kraken isn't awful. In short bursts Mieville is inventive, sometimes startlingly so. But the novel read like a suspense movie that goes on too long and I stopped caring about the plot and/or characters. And some of the stronger elements weren't strong enough to support storyline cliches. Man stumbles into a secret,
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it
My comment on the first Mieville book I read was something like, “brilliant book! Shame it has no soul.” Second verse, etc.

A quick-moving book about a giant squid corpse that is going to end the world. No really. It’s got this absinth-intense whacko worldbuilding – all squid cults and fire that burns time and animal familiar labor strikes. It has the sort of sense of humor you would need to carry off “squid pro quo” jokes. And wonderful writing, of course. Every sentence in a Mieville book has f
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fantasy
What the frak did I just read?


It's like Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson had a baby, and the baby was a giant squid, if you know what I mean. If you don't, or if that sounds terrible to you, you have my permission to not read this book. But if that idea excites you . . . well, lucky you!

This book was seriously trippy, and I loved it! This was my dog walking book (I read it on my kindle app on my phone when I took the dog for her nighttime constitutional), and so I read it in tiny portions ov
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A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist W ...more

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