I finished reading Kraken, by China Mieville, a couple of days ago. For the first several chapters it seems to be a fairly ordinary real-world mystery story. The crime is rather odd – a preserved giant squid is stolen from a museum – and the cops are something of a comedy act but there is nothing, other than the author’s other works, for those familiar with them, to suggest that there will be anything especially odd or fantastic about it. But then, as the story is ambling merrily along it suddenly takes a sharp left turn down WTF? Lane. You stop, and you think, “Wait… What just happened?” and go back several paragraphs and read them again. That was my reaction even though I was warned.
From that point on the book is a fantastic ride full of weird religions, bizarre fantasy creatures and everyday objects come to life. The stolen giant squid is somehow connected to the end of the world which is supposed to happen within days, or perhaps hours, and the protagonists search for it, navigating through a weird alternate London where anything can happen and anyone or any thing could be either a friend or an enemy. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy or anyone attracted to weirdness.
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Before I started Kraken I had been reading Moby Dick and had planned to continue but then slacked off, skipping days and finally just dropping it but I’ve picked it up again. This is my second attempt. Actually, I shouldn’t say “attempt” because I did finish it the first time but it’s my second attempt to figure out what’s so effing great about it. I am 81 percent of the way through it. (I’m reading it on my Kindle.) Ignorant, semi-literate review coming