King Rat by China Mieville

Spoiler Alert

This is the first of Mieville’s books I’ve read, so i went into it not expecting anything in particular.
it has a very dean koontzy feel to it. very dark, very brutal, lots decriptions of gore.
i like the idea of integrating a character from the fable of the Pied Piper of Hamlin into the story, using his character as an evil element, as opposed to the fable’s idea as the hero.
the book revolves around a guy, who after his world is turned upside down when his father get’s tossed out their apartment building. he is ushered into a dark world of rats, sewers and mystery, and as the story unfolds, you follow his struggles against his supernatural nature, and his human yearnings. all the while readying for the impending battle for his life.

china mieville takes a lot of time describing the canvas of his story, nothing details that gives flesh to surroundings, and making you feel like you are allmost there. allthough this can become a tad tedious at times.
the detailed description of gore and violence, made me flinch a bit, since i have a very vivid imagination, and that too, is a bit over the top, and not really all that needed.

though it’s not a bad book, and the story is an interresting twist, the whole creepy/gory factor got old quickly. and just seemed another stephen king wannabe. and the story could have fit into half the pages. the end was not as dramatic as i had anticipated, but the conclusion was satisfactory.

i give it a 7 out of 10.

I saw a movie once with the same title, but it was a war flick, possibly from the sixties.


King Rat was also the title of a James Clavell novel set during WWII. There was a 1965 film adaptation. Clavell’s best-known novels are Shōgun and Tai-Pan.


Yes I loved reading Clavell’s books and in fact used King Rat in my own book as a reference to the mountain the survivors crashed on which was a bastardisation of King Rat (They faced the same travails as the prisoners of war) and Mt Ararat hence KRAT: the reference to Ararat and Noah’s Ark being a metaphore for the 2010 survivors.