The Miéville Mash, Part One- KRAKEN by China Miéville (is my Boyfriend)Posted: August 9, 2011
Quick Note Before We Began- For a while, am cutting down to one blog a week. So Tuesdays will be blog days. This will be the case until I a.) get less busy. b.) Figure out how to add 6 hours onto the day c.) Discover how to cut sleep out of my regular routine without going insane/dying. d.) All of these things.
What the Book is About:
You guys I’m in love. I know I SAID I was in love with Michael Buble’s vocal chords and Ryan Gosling’s chest but that was just puppy whatever.
Now I’m for real in love and it’s with China Miéville!
A lot of you reading this blog are going “China who?” “Is it pronounced MY-ville or MY-EVIL?” “That sounds like the name of a Geisha Drag Queen or an Adorable Half-Robot Half-Asian Steampunk Girl Zeppelin Pilot.” “Wait, what was my first question? Oh, right, China who?”
These are all problems we are going to fix right now. In fact we are going to fix them for TWO WEEKS, because this Tuesday and next I am writing up my topbestfavorite Miéville novels.
(Oh, and it’s pronounced MEE-AY-VILLE, because of the Apostrophe Francaise.)
So we’re starting the Miéville Mash with the first Miéville book I ever read, KRAKEN.
KRAKEN begins at the British Natural History Museum. We’re following normal, average, everyday schmo-curator Billy Harrow giving a tour of the museum. Well, I take that back, he’s not completely average and everyday, he has a British accent which always makes a character a little bit sexier than your standard citizen-of-the-world-dude. But I digress, Billy is off to show his tour the Kraken the museum has on display (That’s a mythical giant squid for those of you who don’t have your PHD in Cryptozoology. Or aren’t nerds). However when Billy opens the door to the cavernous room that houses the Kraken in its ginormous tank, he discovers the Kraken has disappeared into thin air.
You think that’s crazy? That’s because you haven’t read the rest of this book and you don’t know the crazy has not even BEGUN. The crazy players are still in their crazy warm-up jerseys doing lines of crazy lay-ups and practicing their crazy three pointers.
No, the whoa-craziness comes once we meet the wizard police, the man that can fold human beings up into envelopes like those people are birthday cards with money from Grandma inside, the cult that worships the Giant Squid as their Gods, the bottle-headed angels that guard museums, the Ancient Egyptian Deity that is able to appear and speak through any carved human likeness from Star Trek action figures to Jesus crucifixes, the cute little pig ghost spirit that talks like a Muppet Baby, the Mafia Godfather of the Evil Magical World manifested as a tattoo on some random dude’s back, a seemingly-indestructable pair of father-son demons who are the scariest literary villains since Sauron and Voldemort.
I feel like I’m forgetting something.
Oh! Right! An impending and inescapable apocalypse.
And I basically covered about HALF of the craziness that occurs in this book.
I think I need to give you guys a warning about this book up front, sort of like the taunting skull and crossbones in the beginning ofthe PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride.
Pssst. Avast there! This book be the funnest! Pretend that’s a word. But there be complex narrative threads and a baker’s dozen of plot twists lurking on every page. So pay attention and don’t read five other books while you’re reading this one. That be the best way to not get completely confused in Ye Brain. Ye come seeking a literary novel that also doubles as an urban fantasy that gives the first couple of seasons of the new Battlestar Galactica and the last couple of seasons of the new Doctor Who a run for its awesome-sauce? Sure Ye come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open and be prepared to actually fucking pay attention to a book instead of the waiting-in-line-at-the-super-market-skimming-the magazine-rack technique of reading Ye 21st Centurers have been known to use of late. Their be squalls ahead. Rest assured, they are balls-to-the-walls awesome squalls.
If you were a big Treasure Island/Tin Tin/ Indiana Jones -adventure-head nerd when you were growing up, if you love basically everything remotely sci-fi/fantasy-y on the BBC, if you heart Harry Potter to pieces but think it could have stood to be a little more fucked up , if you love reading good books but sometimes get a little tired of good books only being about fucked up families and lives of quiet desperation (What, Jonathan Franzen? I’m not looking at you! Okay, I’m looking at you a little bit), then I think it’s safe to say KRAKEN could very well be your literary crack…en.
(Laughs wildly about stupid pun, laughter fades into the night, then you notice I’ve disappeared completely. URBAN FANTASY MYSTERIES!)
What Kind of Boyfriend in KRAKEN: A really fucking exhausting kind, that’s what kind. He’s super cute and smart and that British accent is the awesomest of sauce. But you’re ALWAYS having to outrun wizard police and widespread cults and random ghosts and monsters and and at least three villains who are as scary as Voldemort. KRAKEN! Your accent is so cute! KRAKEN! I haven’t slept for four nights because we have to keep running away from apocalypse demons and sea monsters! KRAKEN! Your accent is reallllly cute! KRAKEN! I guess we can keep running for one more night!
My Date With KRAKEN:
KRAKEN and I go to the Pacific Ocean to look for da da duhhhhh…. Kraken!
We wonder if mythical creatures only exist in and around London and not in Southern California Boringness.
There are no Kraken to the front of me or side of me so I check behind…
We are a little bit disappointed to not find giant squid on our visit to the ocean but the weather is summer-beautiful and the water is almost warm, so we suck it up and still have a fun beach day.