By Tina Jordan
June 23, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Kraken

A-

With his tale of a giant-squid corpse, Miéville, never predictable, lobs a grenade into the urban-fantasy genre, remaking it into wild comedy. To wit: A perfectly preserved Architeuthis dux specimen — percolating in the bowels of London’s Natural History Museum — vanishes, plunging curator Billy Harrow into a bizarre shadow world of vampires, criminals, and cults. Miéville tears through the story with an almost manic energy, bulldozing past the few places where the plot falters. (It’s saying something about his imagination that the gigantic tentacled creature is one of the least odd things in Kraken.) Anyone who reads this is never going to think about natural-history museums — or aquariums — in the same way again. A?

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