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1st September
written by Steph

There’s nothing I love more than a pun (see above), except maybe books that have puns in them. If you feel similarly, you may want to check out Kraken by China Miéville, which Tony reviewed for the BookPage website recently. According to his review (which you can read in its entirety here), this latest novel by Miéville is filled with wordplay galore, as well as a giant squid. Fantasy isn’t normally my bag, but I admit that Tony’s review has me intrigued, and I’m sure it won’t be long before I dip into the ARC we still have lying around our apartment. I’ve been wanting to read Miéville for a while, and if puns are my first love, giant beasts from the depths of the ocean run a close second. I also wrote a web exclusive for BookPage this month, reviewing Nigel Farndale’s The Blasphemer. You may have read about this book if you follow any British book blogs, but I’m happy to announce The Blasphemer is finally making its way to a U.S. audience. I loved the varied storylines and wrought interpersonal conflicts in this book that spans several lifetimes. Loved the lyricism of the writing, and the ambitiousness of the novel’s scope. No giant squid in this one, but I still hope this book finds an audience. For more of my thoughts on this one, read my full review here.


  1. I didn’t realise that Kraken was about giant squid. I really enjoyed The City and the City and the first half of Perdido St Station (second half wasn’t as good 🙁 ) I’m sure I’ll get round to Kraken at some point.

    I’m really pleased that you enjoyed The Blasphemer – I was a big fan and am sad that so few people have read it. I didn’t realise that it was only just released in the US so I’m hoping it will catch on now 🙂

  2. 09/01/2010

    I want to read Kraken, but even though I’ve read 3 other books by Mieville, he’s dark and difficult, and one has to work oneself up to him!

  3. kay

    I’m glad you linked to Tony’s review! I have been thinking of getting Kraken for a couple of weeks, since it’s a book I think both the Man of the House and I could enjoy and I love when we read the same things. Tony’s thoughts on it convinced me now that I have to get a copy for us!

    The Blasphemer sounds like it could be interesting, too. I’ll have to take a look at it once I see it on the shelves!

  4. 09/02/2010

    I definitely want to read some Mieville too. The cover of Kraken is really creepy!

  5. 09/02/2010

    I read Perdido Street Station by Mieville about two years ago, and haven’t been able to forget it. It is an extremely weird and vivid story, and it doesn’t work on all the levels that it tries to, but there was something about it that really defies explanation and the imagery was just fantastic. If you have the chance to read it, go for it!! It has made me a Mieville devotee. Off to check out your new articles now!!

  6. 09/02/2010

    @ Jackie: Prior to Tony’s review, about all I knew was that Kraken was about a giant squid! 😉 And I’m so glad you also enjoyed The Blasphemer! I’m sure your review was one of the ones that made me jump at the chance to review it when the ARC arrived!
    @ rhapsody: Nothing wrong with dark and difficult, but I agree it probably requires some judicious pacing. Sounds like Kraken might be more lighthearted, so perhaps a good place to start?
    @ kay: Yes, I think Kraken might be a very good “couple” read! If Tony hadn’t already read it, I could see it being a candidate for our “read aloud” series!
    @ Stephanie: But isn’t it deliciously creepy? It makes me want to read it all the more!
    @ zibilee: Sometimes authors’ ambitions outstrip their abilities to actually get everything perfectly down on the page, but if the story is very good and works on most levels, I can usually forgive that (or at least appreciate what they were trying to do). Ok, now you’ve made me even more excited to try Mieville!

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