My rating: 4 of 5 stars. Saul Garamond is about to be conveniently accused of murdering his father when King Rat springs him from jail, using the surreal abilities of a rat. King Rat needs Saul to help him defeat the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the legendary hero who here becomes a horror-story villain with the power to charm humans and creatures with his flute. The King lost the trust of his subjects years ago when the Piper led the rats to a mass suicide, and by killing the Piper he hopes to win back their respect and reclaim his kingdom.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars. Saul Garamond is about to be conveniently accused of murdering his father when King Rat springs him from jail, using the surreal abilities of a rat. King Rat needs Saul to help him defeat the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the legendary hero who here becomes a horror-story villain with the power to charm humans and creatures with his flute.
The King lost the trust of his subjects years ago when the Piper led the rats to a mass suicide, and by killing the Piper he hopes to win back their respect and reclaim his kingdom.
Mieville complements his plot with a focus on Jungle music — its heavy, entrancing drum and bass makes the ideal soundtrack for a London underground and the threat of an uncatchable killer, but also the music in which the Piper can embed his captivating tunes. In this novel you can spot quite easily the roots of The City and the City — the idea of one city hidden within another, existing in the exact same space, but visible only to those with the right perspective.
It also plays with the idea of invisibility achieved not so much through the inability to be seen as the reflexive refusal of others to see you. While Saul can hide himself in the shadows if he likes, he can also walk the streets and be ignored — a consequence of his dirty, bedraggled appearance and his stench.
On a side note, I read a blog post that China Mieville is being impersonated on facebook and that facebook is not helping him set it right? You are commenting using your WordPress.
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King Rat by China Mieville
The novel begins with Saul returning from a camping trip to the top floor flat he shares with his father, deciding not to wake him he goes straight to bed. In the early hours of the following morning he is rudely awakened by the police breaking down his door and is dragged straight to a police station without any real explanation. Eventually interviewed, he is told that his father has been murdered - pushed out the top floor window and without given time to grieve or grasp the reality of the situation he must have been fast asleep when the murderer struck the detectives accuse Saul of being the killer. While lying dazed and distraught in a cramped police cell he is visited by a weird, sharp featured and enigmatic gentleman who leads him in an impossible escape.
This novel is a resplendent supernatural tale moving to the brain rattling pulse of Jungle and Drum 'n Bass. These musical styles are the natural soundtrack for the book which was published when they were reaching an apex of popularity and polish in the late '90s. The arc of the story follows the deep bass tones of the genre, reverberating into the underworld of the sewers, and clamoring with explosive hi-hat snaps and brittle piano rolls onto the tarmac and slate roofed tops of London, where the book is set. This is a city book about city music crafted in apartments and blasted from cars, boom boxes, and sound systems smuggled into disused warehouses.
Something is stirring in London's dark. Something has murdered Saul's father, and left Saul to pay for the crime. But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into his prison cell and leads him to freedom. A shadow called King Rat. Grotesque murders rock the city like a curse.
The complete review 's Review :. King Rat is a curious London-fantasy and Pied Piper story. Saul Garamond returns home and is awakened the next day by the police at his door. His father has been thrown to his death through the apartment window, and Saul is the prime suspect. Saul is distraught and baffled. Mieville nicely evokes the relationship Saul had with his father: a close one in his childhood days, his mother having died during childbirth, the father paying great attention to explaining the world to the boy and doing so from a generally Marxist position , but eventually a shift towards mutual incomprehension keeping them further apart.