Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The London Reading List No.19. Kraken #MuseumWeek

OUR NEW SERIES! Throughout March & April 2015 we'll be compiling our definitive London Reading List. 

We've asked London Walks Guides & London Walkers to recommend a favourite book or story, and we've also raided the archives here at The Daily Constitutional to bring a rich and varied selection of London-themed and London-set reading matter.

Whether you live here in London, work here, play here or if you are in the throws of planning a trip to visit us here, these are the books you need to read. As usual, you can give us a shout with your own recommendations – thrillers, literary classics, biographies, anthologies, anything! – at the usual email address, via Twitter or Facebook, or simply leave a comment below.

(The Editor adds… this one was recommended to us a couple of years back by a London Walker – Thanks Tonya! We're adding it to our list to chime with Museum Week 2015 – the book is set, in part, at the Natural History Museum)

No 19. Kraken

By China Mieville

The Ed. replies: Thanks Tonya! Oliver Twist is a much-loved work here at The D.C – be it in novel, film or musical form. Your other recommendation, however, took us right out of our comfort zone. Deliciously so. 

China Mieville's conspiracy-laden romp leads us deep into the research wing of the Natural History Museum where a prize specimen lies: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid.

When this rare creature suddenly and impossibly disappears from the NHM, curator Billy Harrow is thrown into a maelstrom of warring cults, surreal magic and assassins. Wildly imaginative stuff.

Mieville describes the book as, "A dark comedy about a squid-worshipping cult and the end of the world. It takes the idea of the squid cult very seriously. Part of the appeal of the fantastic is taking ridiculous ideas very seriously and pretending they’re not absurd."


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1 comment:

  1. Hey, friends at London Walks. I saw your Twitter post tag and came on over here. It's an honor to be included in your reading list. I narrowly missed seeing China Mieville give a talk during Comic-Con 2010 (San Diego) and sent him a letter. Very surprisingly and delightfully, he wrote back months later. I hope many people see this blog post and discover not only Kraken but all of his other works, including my favorite, Perdido Street Station, which are fuel for the imagination.