Monday, 25 April 2011

Beasts and China


Every now and then, I feel I should be be further down the road of literary betterment and proceed to purchase or borrow books which will enable this. I dont' remember who, but someone recommended I read China Mieville, so I bought Perdido Street Station and The City and The City from Amazon and have yet to read either. To all intents and purposes, the latter should really be right up my alley as it supposedly a crime/ noir with a bit of science fiction thrown in, but I've read the about two chapters of it and can't seem to get into it. Funnily enough, the only one of Mieville's books I have read is his latest, Kraken, which is probably his worst reviewed novel to date. The up and down side of working at a library is that you come across so many books that look interesting (ones that perhaps you wouldn't normally pick up) and yet only end up reading about a fifth of them.

And so it was I came across Kraken. I'd read the reviews of it, but very little is going to stop me reading a book about a ginormous squid being mysteriously kidnapped by a group of fanatical religious types who believe it to be a God. I'm a sucker for abnormally over-sized sea creature stories- I love crappy B-movies like The Deep (1996) and Deep Rising (1998). Anyhow, I can't honestly say the story was up to much. I don't mind religious ideology in novels and I'm sure deep and incisive points about the nature of belief were made, although I'd struggle to tell you what they were.  Yes, it was very imaginative, but the scope of it seemed too vast and parts of it were just convoluted and unecessarry. I pushed on through the rambling wordiness, thinking it was going to go somewhere, but in the end it seemed like a series of things that happened, rather than a cogent narrative. Having said that, I'm not going to give up, will definitely be giving The City and The City another go.

In the meantime, I think I will watch Deep Rising as part of my convalescence period:


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