Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Kraken by China Miéville

Kraken is a story about the search for a giant squid that goes missing from the Natural History Museum in London. A 60-foot dead squid in a tank of formaldehyde that was there one minute and gone the next. The plot sounds ludicrous. How could it have been accomplished? Why would someone want to do it? The answers to those questions are China Miéville's latest contribution to the growing genre of "Weird Fiction".

I hope that when China Miéville dies he will leave his brain to science. I'd like scientists to study it and find out what makes it so unique. If that could be discovered, maybe it could be duplicated and there could be more authors out there with his level of creativity and literary abilities. Miéville's books are not quick reads, meaning as I read them, I realize that I'm reading at a slower pace than I would most other books. The reason for that is the language he both uses and creates. If you try to use a dictionary to look up a lot of the obscure words he uses, you'll find that the majority of them aren't there. He makes a lot of them up. But that doesn't mean that their meaning is unobtainable. It just means you have to think while you read.

That may not sound like a resounding recommendation to read his books. So I should add that the fantastical worlds he creates and their inhabitants are unlike any you're likely to come across anywhere else in literature. They're so bizarrely unique and oftentimes disturbing that I find they're impossible to either forget and not appreciate.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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