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Kraken (2010)

por China Miéville

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,5401773,538 (3.59)255
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:With this outrageous new novel, China Miville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read thisor any otheryear. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring aboutor preventthe End of All Things.
In the Darwin Centre at Londons Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centres prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis duxbetter known as the Giant Squid. But Billys tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.
As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizenshuman and otherwiseare adept in magic and murder.
There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanityand beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRCthe Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unita branch of Londons finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the citys entrails. There is Grisamentum, Londons greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifyingyet darkly charismaticdemonic duo.
All of themand othersare in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Mivilles Embassytown..
… (mais)
  1. 170
    Neverwhere por Neil Gaiman (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another urban fantasy vision of London.
  2. 171
    American Gods {original} por Neil Gaiman (gonzobrarian)
    gonzobrarian: British cults vs. American Gods.
  3. 30
    Weaveworld por Clive Barker (ShelfMonkey)
  4. 30
    The Atrocity Archives por Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  5. 10
    The Midnight Mayor por Kate Griffin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The London's have a very similar magic system - at times, I felt these two books could be part of the same series.
  6. 10
    City of Saints and Madmen por Jeff VanderMeer (acousticmoose)
    acousticmoose: Another "new weird" fantasy with a city as the main character. And squids.
  7. 00
    Halting State por Charles Stross (MyriadBooks)
  8. 00
    City of Stairs por Robert Jackson Bennett (Mav.Weirdo)
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» Ver também 255 menções

Inglês (174)  Holandês (1)  Francês (1)  Checo (1)  Todas as línguas (177)
Mostrando 1-5 de 177 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Parts of this were exceptional, but it was too long and tried to do too many things. Really, really hard to rate.

The main plot is that a preserved specimen of a giant squid is abducted from the Natural History Museum in London, setting off a series of feuds between various cults, gangs, law enforcement groups, scholars, and concerned citizens who are either trying to bring on or to ward off the apocalypse. So crazy, right? It was fun, but I had some problems at times with the execution.

I was recommended this as a London-set urban fantasy similar to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, which is spot on. But I probably should have read the two books a little further apart. Kraken feels like Mieville read Neverwhere, then thought "pfft, that wasn't nearly gritty, explicit, disturbing, or weird enough; I'll just kook things up a bit with some doomsday cults, sentient 5000 year old statues, Nazis, and pyromancers..."

There are a lot of similarities. Both have a hero's journey plot. Both are set in alternate/hidden versions of London with supernatural elements. Both involve the possible end of the world. Both make a lot of pop culture/literary references and geeky in-jokes. Both have a pair of apparently immortal (until they're not) assassins who dress and talk like Victorian music hall baddies. (TBH, that last one really made me think that Mieville is just yanking Gaiman's chain.)

I enjoyed this a lot! It took me a lot of strange places that I enjoyed going. I think Neverwhere is a better book, though. It's tighter and better paced, without so many distractions. Gaiman is a less flashy but more heartfelt writer than Mieville, both of which are more my style/preference. But finally, while this WAS an excellent London fantasy, Gaiman's book takes greater advantage of London-specific histories and mythologies and layers, whereas Kraken could just as easily have been set in New York and retained about 95% of its plot and coherence.

I will definitely read some other books by Mieville, though! His brain seems to work in ways that I have genuinely never seen on the page before. ( )
  sansmerci | Jan 25, 2024 |
This is the first book of Mieville's that I haven't finished. I usually really like his books, but this one felt really forced.

Billy works at a natural history museum, and one day he's giving a tour to a group of museum guests to show them the giant squid that they have preserved in a giant tank, and discovers that the whole tank is missing, which is impossible given its size and fragility. Things get really weird from there: there's a cult that worships the squid as an ancient god, and a group of special police who are investigating the cult, and then a bunch of weird magic bad guys.

The main reason I quit reading this was that none of the characters felt genuine, especially Billy. Any time something weird happens, Billy's reactions are just not the reactions of a normal person. The conversations he has with the cops are really badly written: they feel really forced, and Billy doesn't ask any of the questions a normal human would ask. I got frustrated and stopped reading.
  Gwendydd | Jan 22, 2024 |
I kind of went tag crazy on this because weirdly (or not) this book featured marine biology, mystery, natural science, and religion in a modern fantasy setting. It reminded me of Harry Potter in that it takes place in the supernatural side of London and I really enjoyed it, but there are no boarding schools here. Nay, as our hapless curator discovers early on, the giant squid specimen at NHM's Darwin Centre suddenly goes missing. With curator Billy, we get pulled into the turbulent waters of cults and crimelords who may have an interest in our squiddy friend.

The climax came rather unexpectedly for me, but when the true apocalypse is determined, I [i]cackled[/i], because it made sense in hindsight and aaah clever. Sorry. I would be more specific but I hate spoilers.

I know I'm predisposed to like it because teuthology fantasy elements pop culture nods, but the writing style was also excellent. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
A lot of interesting ideas, but not one of his most well-written books. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
I remember it being very confusing.
  adze117 | Sep 24, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 177 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Kraken utilises Miéville’s common setting of London, albeit a strange London. This otherness beside the familiar is a strand in his work evident from King Rat and Un Lun Dun through to THE CITY AND YTIC EHT.

This one started out as if it may have been written with a film or TV adaptation in mind - one with a potentially light-hearted take - but soon veers off down strange Miévillean byways which may be unfilmable. For these are the end times and cultists worshipping all manner of weird gods abound.

It begins with a kind of locked room mystery as a giant squid, Architeuthis, has been stolen - formalin, tank and all - from its stance in the Darwin Centre, a natural history museum where Billy Harrow is a curator. He helped to prepare the squid for show and is thought to hold the knowledge that might allow all those interested in its recovery to find it. The police fundamentalist and cult squad, the FSRC, is called in to help investigate the disappearance which becomes more involved when Billy discovers a body pickled (in too small a jar) in the museum’s basement. And these are merely the first strangenesses to be encountered in this book. We also have the consciousness of a man embedded within a tattoo, a tattoo which moves and speaks. Then there is the double act of Goss and Subby - two shapeshifting baddies from out of time (they shift other people’s shapes) - and weird sects, cults and mancers of all sorts.

Never short of incident and brimming with plot the novel is probably a bit too convoluted, with too many characters for its own good, and its one-damn-strange-thing-after-another-ness can verge on overkill. But this is an unashamed fantasy, a form to which I am antipathetic when it is taken to extremes; and Miéville is not one for restraint.

While Kraken sometimes skirts along the edge of comedy it never fully embraces it. There are too many killings and acts of violence for comedy to sit comfortably. I might have liked the novel better if it had. Its main fault is that it never manages to settle on which sort of book it is meant to be, straddling various narrative stools such as police procedural, one man against the odds, woman in search of the truth about her vanished lover, etc.
adicionada por jackdeighton | editarA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton (Jan 29, 2011)
 
Miéville has done what all great science-fiction has done—and great so-called literary fiction, when it gets around to it—provide a nuanced, highly imagined critique of the zeitgeist, dressed up in a crackerjack story.
 
""... "Kraken" is, no mistake, a literary work. The hint is in the subtitle, "An Anatomy," because Miéville is exploring the gap between the prosaic squid and the mythic Kraken, between the mundane ground of everyday life and the sacred. What precisely turns a fish into a god? What is the anatomy of a legend? And how do gods manifest themselves in our world?
...Miéville's best work since "Perdido Street Station."
 

» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Miéville, Chinaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Drechsler, ArndtArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Higurashi, MasamichiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kubiak, MichaelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Meier, FraukeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Miller, EdwardArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Valdez, Elisa LazoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:With this outrageous new novel, China Miville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read thisor any otheryear. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring aboutor preventthe End of All Things.
In the Darwin Centre at Londons Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centres prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis duxbetter known as the Giant Squid. But Billys tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.
As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizenshuman and otherwiseare adept in magic and murder.
There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanityand beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRCthe Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unita branch of Londons finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the citys entrails. There is Grisamentum, Londons greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifyingyet darkly charismaticdemonic duo.
All of themand othersare in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Mivilles Embassytown..

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