Kraken by China Miéville

book cover of Kraken

One concept that appears in this book is “knacking”, a form of magic in which an object makes sense to everyone as something else. An example given is that of an underused meeting room door next to a toilet in an office; if a worker should notice its existence they would remark to themselves how strange it was that they’d never noticed before, then go on to never notice it again. They might notice a sign on the door saying something like “out of order”, or something else — something the effect of which was to say “not here, go somewhere else”.

Well, I felt that this book had been “knacked” with the same effect. I struggled to concentrate on it; my thoughts were always going elsewhere. There were a huge number of characters and I struggled to remember who they all were. I struggled to follow what was happening. It just ended up very confusing which is sad because it seemed to have some interesting ideas.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.