Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kraken-China Miéville

Kraken-China Miéville

the facts
satisfaction: Up
pages 481
gender: M
nationality: UK
year: 2010
Novel

"In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis duxbetter known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air."

This time Miéville takes on Lovecraft vibes to describe an amazing labyrinth of London all focused on Armageddons and apocalypses. Warring religious factions fight to be the end of the world and the cast list is longer than I am tall. It's Miéville's art that that doesn't bother the reader.

Two characters that stick in my mind. The memory angels just broke my heart-the dead one of the decommissioned museum and the angel following Harrow, breaking and diminishing. These museum guardians are the protectors of the ideas and memories held in our public institutions. To have them 'dead' really yanks at those heartstrings of this former museum employee. Then there's Marge's ipod guardian who gets 'fed' music and sings along and in return protects Marge. Adorable!

Anyhow, the plot is way too complicated for me to go through-the kraken is stolen and numerous factions get involved thinking everyone else has it and people go insane, and people attack each other, and a special faction of the police is involved...Listen, it makes much more sense if you actually read the novel and have Miéville's attention to detail wash over you and you meet all the people involved. There's dark humor to really grab you, urban grit to horrify you, and fascinating takes on dogma to keep you thinking. The mix of the realistic and impossible, the gruesome and awesome, the heart wrenching and the funny is just unbeatable.

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