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Author Topic: For those that have finished ...  (Read 5396 times)


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For those that have finished ...
« on: June 25, 2011, 02:53:21 PM »

I don't think I'll be reading anymore by old China. I found the language difficult, the explanations a bit rubbish and as a consequence struggled to follow what was going on. Which is a shame because it was a good concept.

Roll on July!
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Offline Noona

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 03:54:11 PM »
I quite liked the book - it felt like the sort of book that was hard to come back and keep reading when you were only reading bits at a time - for the first half of the book I wasn't wild about it and I think that was because I didn't have much time to just sit down and read until there was no more book. I read the second half all in one day and I enjoyed that a lot more. It might be coincidence but for me it seems like a book that is only really enjoyed when read in big lumps.
I liked reading about Collingswood, she was entertaining. :)

Offline Ken

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 04:01:18 PM »
Well done. I finally finished it last night after three weeks of struggle. I think I understand what he's trying to accomplish with this book by using his own weirdness to explain religions and believes but yeah, it made the story hard to follow. There are some really cool things happening in the story and obviously he knows his stuff but he just doesn't seem to care if the audience understands it. I think we're like passengers on an express train who only get to see glimpses of the outside and never in detail. I still have no idea what Collingswood's abilities are. Is she some kind of ghost conjurer?

I might still try his Bas-Lag stuff but not in a hurry to get into them.

Offline Mr Soul

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 05:46:18 PM »
I read it in two big bites. This is my second attempt at this author. The first book I abandoned after about 40 pages.

I'm done with him as well. It's not a bad book. Just not for me.

Offline shaunesay

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2011, 05:41:51 AM »
I'm still not done, but I agree with about everyone else here.  I can tell he's talented, but I feel like I'm just not getting it.  There are things about it I like, Wati for one thing, but I don't think I'd be in a hurry to read any others either.  I agree with Ken's assessment.  I'll keep plugging away at it probably, I'm about half way and I hate to quit after putting that much effort into it.

Offline Funky Scarecrow

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2011, 04:02:49 PM »
I've said it everywhere else I've discussed the book and I'll say it here, too. I loved Kraken. I found it to be clever, intricate and blackly hilarious. I chuckled almost all of the way through. A demented One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing/Illuminatus!/Diogenes Club/Cthulhu Mythos-esque mash-up with some really unsettling monsters, some dazzling prose and a flair for the ridiculous and magnificently overblown. It felt like I was reading what would have happened if Lovecraft had learned to laugh into the void instead of shrinking from it and developed a love for urban living into the bargain.

I certainly understand a lot of the criticism the book gets, even from people who've enjoyed his other work. There's a very particular sense of fun and humour at work in the book and if you don't share China's particular sense of mischief and enthusiasm for the downright weird, the book could well appear nonsensical and unnecessarily exacting in places.

I would ask those who haven't enjoyed it not to be put off China altogether by this particular novel. His Bas-Lag novels and The City & The City are very different in tone and content and Un Lun Dun does very similar things to Kraken without the wild flights of lunatic fancy which Kraken is sometimes prone to.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 04:04:47 PM by Funky Scarecrow »
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Offline ChristinaJL

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 08:56:33 AM »
I read about quarter of the book, then couldn't finish.  It wasn't that the writing was bad, I just couldn't get into it.  I'll probably go back and give it another go at some time, when I'm less distracted.   :D

Offline Rhevian

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 09:29:32 AM »
I'm with the Scarecrow on this one. (listening to China Mieville on BBC r4 right now)

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: For those that have finished ...
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 08:10:31 PM »
A few weeks late, but yes a superb book. I would describe it as Neverwhere Redux. China seems to be a disciple of Gaiman and Pratchett, ultimately a very philosophical book with some big ideas on definitions and self. Shame it went over some people's heads though. Fantasy doesn't always have to be generic good v evil tales with lots of arse whooping. It can be a forum for making us think too. Add in China's playfulness and you have a writer who I will be eagerly consuming the entire back catalogue of.
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