King Rat by China Mieville

 An immense and epic book from China Mieville. His first to be published, it weaves mythology from across the word, figures from 1920s surrealist art & musical subgenres in to an assured and complicated tale.

Set in a perfectly imagined London (on the very first page I was struck by the bewitching description of “the great gas-cylinders, wallowing in dirty scrub like whales”), Saul returns home from a camping trip to find his father murdered and himself the chief suspect. From there everything only gets worse, and before the story is finished he will battle terrifying foes, uncover horrendous secrets and embrace his true nature.

A satisfying yet unsettling novel. Imagine Neil Gaiman in a very bad mood writing an episode of the Bill. The very opposite of cosy.

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