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Kraken
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What Else Are You Reading? > "Kraken" by China Miéville (BR)

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Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Roll call! Are you in?

This will be my fourth China Mieville book this year.


Sarah | 2611 comments I’lll be here Silvana! Just let me know when you want to start. I think I was about 18% in and then I put it off to do the buddy read. I’m going to just start over. This is my first Mieville so I might need some more assistance than usual.... lol


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Sarah wrote: "I’lll be here Silvana! Just let me know when you want to start. I think I was about 18% in and then I put it off to do the buddy read. I’m going to just start over. This is my first Mieville so I m..."

Yay, my BR buddy Sarah :)
I plan to start August 1st as scheduled but I'll update you if there's a delay.

The only thing you need to remember while reading a Mieville book is that he's pretty much the pioneer of New Weird. But his writing, worldbuilding is superb, and none like any others. It is better to phase your reading too, unless perhaps for his YA works.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Hi Sarah, indeed there will be a delay. I could only start around mid August, around the 16th. Would that be okay?


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "Hi Sarah, indeed there will be a delay. I could only start around mid August, around the 16th. Would that be okay?"

Yup! That works perfect. I had a couple library holds released earlier than expected so you just let me know when you are ready.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Sarah wrote: "Silvana wrote: "Hi Sarah, indeed there will be a delay. I could only start around mid August, around the 16th. Would that be okay?"

Yup! That works perfect. I had a couple library holds released e..."


sounds great! thank you.

And I hope more could join us :D


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Hi Sarah, I plan to start this tomorrow. Just need to finish one book more. *wipes forehead


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "Hi Sarah, I plan to start this tomorrow. Just need to finish one book more. *wipes forehead"

Sorry for the delay- I've been trying to catch up on my library/buddy reads.

I'll try to get this started today or tomorrow.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments I am just Starting and was happy to know that it all started in a (view spoiler).. I did not read the blurb or plot summary before so that's a good surprise.


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "I am just Starting and was happy to know that it all started in a [spoilers removed].. I did not read the blurb or plot summary before so that's a good surprise."

Ha! I totally got the vibe too. Actually- it might have been more (view spoiler)


message 11: by Silvana (last edited Aug 25, 2018 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Sarah wrote: "Silvana wrote: "I am just Starting and was happy to know that it all started in a [spoilers removed].. I did not read the blurb or plot summary before so that's a good surprise."

Ha! I totally got..."


I have not seen/read this one. Looks interesting.

I am at 10% now. Yes, yes, just really getting started. But so far the narrative is not as challenging as some of his other books. The police procedural reminds me of The City & the City (view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Silvana wrote: "I am just Starting and was happy to know that it all started in a [spoilers removed].. I did not read the blurb or plot summary before so that's a good surprise."

Ha!..."


I’ve been a bad book buddy thus far! I haven’t actually picked it up (again) yet- it’s been a hectic week trying to get my daughter ready to start school. I’m planning to get it started again today. I should be able to get caught up pretty quickly.

I’m surprised about the narrative not being as challenging. I don’t know if I was finding the content all that challenging- but I know when I first started it I found it to be very dense. I have The City & The City too and am hoping to get to it in December... maybe.


message 13: by Silvana (last edited Aug 25, 2018 07:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments No worries I am reading this along with two other books so my speed will be reduced.

As for the narrative, this is not as dense as if compared with The City, Embassytown and even Perdido Street Station. I had difficulties for the first two although ended up liking them. Or, maybe because the world in Kraken is not (yet?) as fantastical as the ones in them. Less worldbuilding so less content to absorb?

End of part 1
(view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments 31%

(view spoiler)

Really liked the FSRC guys with their funny banter.


message 15: by Silvana (last edited Aug 27, 2018 04:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments 38%

I had to do a double take on understanding these (view spoiler)

I also liked that the book gives a funny take of the Chtulhu myth and also cults in general. The more I read about giant squids the more I am in awe. Do you know they have blue bloods, like, literally?

The theme of (view spoiler) is quite common so this can be considered urban fantasy staple. The Tattoo guy is scary. (view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments How are you progressing, Sarah?

I am now at 70% and oh boy part III and IV were just action packed with magical goodness.

Some random comments
(view spoiler)


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments I’m 20% done (chapter 14-ish I think). This book is such an acid trip! I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea, tbh. I’m reminde of The Raw Shark Texts, which was completely incomprehensible haha. Kraken does have its fun moments though, so I’m sticking with it :)


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "How are you progressing, Sarah?

I am now at 70% and oh boy part III and IV were just action packed with magical goodness..."


Ahh you’re so far ahead!! (I’m sorry- usually I’m better than this) I’m about 10% in myself-

I wanted to re-read what I left off on so I could give the book the full attention it deserves. It sounds like part III and IV are hard to put down so I’m looking forward to it.

Also- I’m finding my second go much easier than the first. Definitely not as difficult as I somehow recalled it being.

(view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Dawn wrote: "I’m 20% done (chapter 14-ish I think). This book is such an acid trip! I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea, tbh. I’m reminde of The Raw Shark Texts, which was completely incomprehensible haha. Kraken d..."

Glad you could join us Dawn! I’m also enjoying and noticing the banter more. There’s been a few parts that made me laugh out loud.


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments Great, I do think it’s getting better - or I’m getting more into it - as it progresses!


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Great that you could join us, Dawn! Is this your first Mieville? His world are always this unique but I love how immersive they are.


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments It is my first, yes! I’m slightly thrown I guess lol. Haven’t been able to read more today, will continue tomorrow though :)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments No worries. I think his books are meant to be read in phases. I am now at 75%. Everything starts to go down. Hard.


Sarah | 2611 comments End of Part I

(view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Do you read the ebook or dead tree edition? I use Kindle for it and dictionary indeed says many of these words are British slang or informal ones.

I love them.


Sarah | 2611 comments Kindle! I’ll have to remember that for next time.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Finished! It was super weird but exciting till the very end. Oh I hope you guys are enjoying this too. Don't rush it. Just immerse yourselves.


Sarah | 2611 comments 20%

(view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments That duo was scary!
And I am not even sure what they were.

Let me know what you think about Wati and UMA since they are one of my mostest fave things in the book.


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments Okay. 65% done and I can't wait for this to be over lol

(view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments To each his or her own indeed. I am glad that at least you enjoyed the (view spoiler)

Did you use an ebook or physical? As I mentioned before, Kindle dictionary helps me alot. And, since I read the Peter Grant series (similar setting, UF set in London) I grew accustomed to informal Brit speak.


message 32: by Sarah (last edited Sep 02, 2018 03:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "38%

I had to do a double take on understanding these [spoilers removed]

I also liked that the book gives a funny take of the Chtulhu myth and also cults in general. The more I read about giant sq..."


Okay! So I’m finally up to about 40%. (view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Oh! Thanks for the elaboration, Sarah. I had different ideas whenever he popped out LOL

This is exactly what BR is for :)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments What do you guys think about Collingswood? She is one spitfire, isn't she.


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "Oh! Thanks for the elaboration, Sarah. I had different ideas whenever he popped out LOL

This is exactly what BR is for :)"


I don’t know how much of it is accurate lol.

And Collingswood is right up there with Wati. I was actually wishing she was a little more present in the book. I do wish sometimes the setting would be described a little more. Also- the passage of time. I sort of feel like I’m in a daze.

(view spoiler)


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments (view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

I don’t know why- but this made me laugh. (view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Dawn wrote: "Okay. 65% done and I can't wait for this to be over lol"

So I’m about up to 60%. I don’t know if you finished yet Dawn but I’m struggling a bit with all of this too. I think you hit the nail on the head with the writing being abstract. I read from 50-60% last night, and it could be because I was tired but I felt like I didn’t understand a single thing that happened. I can’t tell if it’s getting more difficult as it goes, or if because my non-comprehension is just compounding.

I do think Mieville is probably brilliant. He is definitely creative and has included ideas that I’ve never seen before, a lot of which you mentioned. I wish I understood the lingo more, I think that would help a bit.


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments Yes, I finishes it, and it continues in the same way all through. I was alternately completely confused and shaking my head at the silliness of it all. That’s not to say Mieville isn’t a good writer, he definitely has a way with words and is very creative. I just couldn’t follow his train of thought, Kraken seemed to have an internal logic I just didn’t comprehend or am attuned to. Ah well, can’t win every time! :D


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "How are you progressing, Sarah?

I am now at 70% and oh boy part III and IV were just action packed with magical goodness.

Some random comments

Aside from the intriguing angels of memory I also f..."


I’m finallt also at 70%. Hopefully I can wrap this up in the next couple days, maybe even tonight.

(view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Oh! (view spoiler)


Sarah | 2611 comments Well I finally finished. Sorry it took so long.

I enjoyed this but it was really confusing. I feel like I read all of it but only understood half of it. I think part of the problem is setting. I need scenes set for me and sometimes I felt like I had to restart and go : “wait, what? How did we get here?” And then there were a lot of conversations where multiple people were actually saying “Wait- what?” And that sort of made it worse. I already own The City & The City. I’ll probably take a break and read something easy before I attempt that one.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Sarah wrote: "Well I finally finished. Sorry it took so long.

I enjoyed this but it was really confusing. I feel like I read all of it but only understood half of it. I think part of the problem is setting. I ..."


Oh yes better take some time off first. That book is difficult, at least for me.


Sarah | 2611 comments Yeah- someone recommended Perdido Street Station as being a good place to start. So maybe I’ll borrow that one from the library before attempting The City and the City. It’s funny having to work my way up on an author lol.


message 45: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel | 1327 comments So I actually started Mieville with his kids book Un Lun Dun. Which has a more linear plot, good gateway drug lol


Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments I has the same problem, I simply couldn’t follow where things were taking place - or how. I do have a couple of his other books, glad to hear they are less.. metaphysical XD


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Perdido was my first entry and it was as bizarre as Kraken. Although, maybe less magic? But more weird non human characters. Well, the first few chapters might shock you but after that everything is well.

I have not read Un Lun Dun but Railsea, his other non adult work, is also really good.


message 48: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel | 1327 comments Kraken as a first Mieville seems a bit like learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool haha, It's extra out there


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments Yeah. Now I think so too. Maybe because I already got used to his stuff.

But really, I still stand to my opinion that Embassytown and The City and the City are harder to read 😅


Sarah | 2611 comments Silvana wrote: "Yeah. Now I think so too. Maybe because I already got used to his stuff.

But really, I still stand to my opinion that Embassytown and The City and the City are harder to read 😅"


Good to know anyway. You think Kraken counts as "a book that intimidates you"?


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