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King Rat > King Rat: Part Three - Lessons in Rhythm and History: Chapters Nine to Thirteen

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message 1: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (last edited Apr 29, 2014 08:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Saul meets Loplop, King of the Birds, and Anansi King of the Spiders. But we also begin to see that King Rat has ulterior motives for introducting Saul to his heritage.
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The introduction of the story of the Pied Piper. I don't remember if it was obvious where this was going, when Pete first showed up at Natasha's, the first time I read it, but it's surely no spoiler to mention it now.

After King Rat tells the tale of the Pied Piper, Loplop and Anansi tell their own stories. There are numerous stories of rains of dead birds, but I wonder if there's a mythological tale of the spiders and scorpions being cleared from the palace in Baghdad. Perhaps in the Thousand and One Nights?

It's also here that we hear of Tibault, King of the Cats; Kataris the Queen Bitch; and Bub, Lord of the Flies.
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Chapter Thirteen is the particular brutal killing of Kay. Despite the effect it had on me, I think this is actually CM's weakest writing. People die in front of subway trains frequently, and even if they're tied in place, I just don't see it "bursting" the front of the train…


Saski (sissah) | 266 comments This is my second time through and this particular scene has haunted my thoughts ever since. I recognized it with the first few words and I put the book down, not sure I wanted to relive 'live'.

I picked it back up a few days later and read it more analytically this time. It is still strong but I can now see (and be bothered by) some bits that didn't ring true, like for Kay to twist in the some of the ways he does, tied in the way he is, he would have to be double jointed or something.

And I agree, Derek, the last paragraph doesn't work for me either.


message 3: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments I feel Miéville got the tone, and the sheer horror, that he wanted, but technically it isn't up to his normal standards.


Nataliya | 378 comments "Chapter Thirteen is the particular brutal killing of Kay. Despite the effect it had on me, I think this is actually CM's weakest writing. People die in front of subway trains frequently, and even if they're tied in place, I just don't see it "bursting" the front of the train…"

This entire scene - with the train rushing out of the tunnel, Kay's scream, the whites of the eyes of the train driver and the 'SPLAT!' that followed - I couldn't help but imagine it in a series of a comic book panels. To me it worked visually but not as a written scene.


message 5: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Yeah, that's it. "SPLAT!", in capitals, and maybe with more than one exclamation point.


Nataliya | 378 comments Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Yeah, that's it. "SPLAT!", in capitals, and maybe with more than one exclamation point."

SPLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remind me - does Mieville write for comic books at all? I seem to remember he may have dabbled in comics, but I may be confusing him with Gaiman here...


message 7: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Yes, he does. Dial H


Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: " I don't remember if it was obvious where this was going, when Pete first showed up at Natasha's, the first time I read it, but it's surely no spoiler to mention it now."

It absolutely was! XD


message 9: by Traveller (last edited Jun 03, 2014 03:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments I'm only starting to love this book all of a sudden now in Chapter 12. I love love the Pied Piper of Hamelin tie-in!

..and CM's obvious sense of humor coming to the fore:
“The poet called me a Caesar, who lived to swim across. But that wasn’t my Rubicon. That was my Styx. I should’ve gone. I should be a drowned rat. Ha ha ha! I had to LOL at that... all the punning.... XD

EDIT: Oh, oops, I've not read the Kay killing yet... :( Only up to where KR survives the rat holocaust. And now i see that is only Capter 12. Ooopsie. :P


message 11: by Traveller (last edited Jun 04, 2014 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Okay, now I've read Chapter 13, and all I can say is: what was wrong with China Mièville? :O :(((((((

That was so... GRRM-like. Like I was watching an episode of Game of Thrones... (Okay, perhaps not quite as bad...)


message 12: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments LOL. I am almost caught up with GoT, and yeah, there's a similarity there (I haven't been affected as much as I was by the Frey wedding since I first saw Alien).


message 13: by Traveller (last edited Jun 04, 2014 10:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "LOL. I am almost caught up with GoT, and yeah, there's a similarity there (I haven't been affected as much as I was by the Frey wedding since I first saw Alien)."

Just wait until you see the very latest episode... :S (If you thought scenes of *a character* disemboweling people was bad, wait for the episode that aired this Sunday...and I am not talking of the scene showing people skinned alive. (The latter being something quite tame for GOT, anyway). )


Saski (sissah) | 266 comments Hey, Hey, spoilers please! Ah, never mind, I doubt I will ever purchase GoT.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Ruth wrote: "Hey, Hey, spoilers please! Ah, never mind, I doubt I will ever purchase GoT."

Tee-hee, Ruth, the whole series is full of that, believe you me... I could be talking about chapter 4 or chapter 40 there... okay, I'll excise the name, how's that?


Saski (sissah) | 266 comments Hahaha, no problem ;)


message 17: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Reportedly, Martin said that every time somebody asked when the next book will be out, he kills another Stark. He exaggerates, because he hasn't actually killed many Starks: he's probably killed far more Tullys, but we didn't really know them.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Throughout the series, roughly 225 NAMED characters are killed. If you don't mind being spoiled, here is one person's list. ..but beware SPOILERS if you click on the link.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/...


Allen (allenblair) | 227 comments I don't think the writing in Kay's death scene was all that bad, but it did seem a bit piecemeal. Like he added a few things after the fact. It felt like he came up with the "blood blister" idea first and then tried to write it into the scene.

I liked the Pied Piper tie-in too, and finally getting to know our villainous ratcatcher. But I confess I never thought it would be Pete. In fact, I kind of liked him and thought he would be a good guy, and off he and Kay and Natasha would go to help Saul. Maybe I've got a soft spot for hippies, hipsters, whatever the London term for them. Anyway, why is Pete so evil? Yes, checking one's emotions would be an occupational trait of ridding the world of rats, spiders, birds - think exterminator - but such a liar with Kay? To treat him like quarry too. Whatever it takes? If Pete let him go, he may have tried to warn Saul, but heck you're the Pied Piper with a flute that would make anyone do anything so I imagine you could control someone like Kay. Why kill? He let the bird and spider kings go ... I think Pete's weaker than he seems. Or, CM's going to be making a case for some deeper world-violence issues. Or both.


Allen (allenblair) | 227 comments Oh, and I was mesmerized by Anansi's rope work, flying through the city, the "mad funambulism" as CM puts it, and I thought Saul's reaction very nicely written with some real "snot-nosed" fear! But somebody's going to have to explain to me these overhead roadways, etc., that always seem to be in his novels, even PSS.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 1838 comments Allen wrote: "I don't think the writing in Kay's death scene was all that bad, but it did seem a bit piecemeal. Like he added a few things after the fact. It felt like he came up with the "blood blister" idea fi..."

I also thought initially that I'd take sides against the rats--rats being rats, but, making the piper evil is not so far-fetched. If you read the very first original Pied Piper stories, he is evil in those as well. (view spoiler)


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