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Un Lun Dun [Paperback]

China Mieville
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2008

The iron wheel began to spin, slowly at first, then faster and faster. The room grew darker. As the light lessened, so did the sound. Deeba and Zanna stared at each other in wonder. The noise of the cars and vans and motorbikes outside grew tinny . . . The wheel turned off all the cars and turned off all the lamps. It was turning off London.

Zanna and Deeba are two girls leading ordinary lives, until they stumble into the world of UnLondon, an urban Wonderland where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people too. Here discarded umbrellas stalk with spidery menace, carnivorous giraffes roam the streets, and a jungle sprawls beyond the door of an ordinary house.

UnLondon is under siege by the sinister Smog and its stink-junkie slaves; it is a city awaiting its hero. Guided by a magic book that can’t quite get its facts straight, and pursued by Hemi the half-ghost boy, the girls set out to stop the poisonous cloud before it burns everything in its path. They are joined in their quest by a motley band of UnLondon locals, including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas, Obaday Fing, a couturier whose head is an enormous pincushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle.

The world of UnLondon is populated by astonishing frights and delights that will thrill the imagination.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (1 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330453475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330453479
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

China Miéville lives and works in London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award (Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The City & The City) and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice (Perdido Street Station and The Scar). The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published in 2009 to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell (The Times) and Philip K. Dick (Guardian).

Product Description

Review

'A modern day Alice in Wonderland, this is where the New Weird is at...' -- Death Ray

'It's funny and it's frightening...The characters are wondrous...' -- Fortean Times

Book Description

The iron wheel began to spin, slowly at first, then faster and faster. The room grew darker. As the light lessened, so did the sound. Deeba and Zanna stared at each other in wonder. The noise of the cars and vans and motorbikes outside grew tinny . . . The wheel turned off all the cars and turned off all the lamps. It was turning off London. Zanna and Deeba are two girls leading ordinary lives, until they stumble into the world of UnLondon, an urban Wonderland where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people too. Here discarded umbrellas stalk with spidery menace, carnivorous giraffes roam the streets, and a jungle sprawls beyond the door of an ordinary house. UnLondon is under siege by the sinister Smog and its stink-junkie slaves; it is a city awaiting its hero. Guided by a magic book that can’t quite get its facts straight, and pursued by Hemi the half-ghost boy, the girls set out to stop the poisonous cloud before it burns everything in its path. They are joined in their quest by a motley band of UnLondon locals, including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas, Obaday Fing, a couturier whose head is an enormous pincushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle . . . and you thought a trip down the rabbit hole was a little out of the ordinary. The world of UnLondon is populated by astonishing frights and delights that will thrill the imagination. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Un Lun Dun is the fifth novel by British fantasy author China Mieville. Mieville has become the guiding light of the 'New Weird' fantasy movement which has become a major force in the genre in the last few years, and in his Bas-Lag novels he's created a compellingly different secondary world mixing elements of fantasy and steampunk to good effect. However, in this latest book Mieville takes a break from Bas-Lag to instead write and illustrate his first novel for younger readers. Given that Mieville's adult work has a grotesque fairy-tale quality to it, this isn't as strange a move as it first seems, and his writing and the subject matter turn out to be a winning combination.

Another world lies beyong this one, separated from it by immense distance but at the same time accessible through cracks in reality. Each city in our world has its own reflection or 'abcity' in this other world. The great metropolis of London is shadowed by UnLondon, a city of the dispossessed and the magical, a city under threat by a sinister force known only as the Smog. Into this world come two young girls, Deeba and Zanna, whose coming has long been foretold. They are prophecised to save UnLondon from the Smog, but there is one snag: they haven't a clue how they're going to do it.

Un Lun Dun opens with Mieville on slightly shaky ground, betraying a slight lack of confidence in tackling this new audience (particularly in his handling of how streetwise London kids talk and interact). Perhaps aware this isn't his natural element, he very quickly hurls his characters into the streets of UnLondon and unleashes his fertile imagination in full force, rapidly ensnaring our protagonists in a very strange but at the same time familiar landscape populated by all manner of weird and wonderful creatures.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fun! 4 April 2007
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Deeba and Zanna discover a wheel in a basement, Zenna turns it and realizes that something weird is happening - London is being switched off! Zanna and Deeba are two best friends and they find themselves in the world of UnLondon, a place where London's discarded things somehow end up. UnLondon is under siege by the sinister Smog (a poisonous cloud) and is waiting for its saviour to arrive as prophesised by their magic book that can speak. Guided by this book the girls have to try and put an end to the poisonous cloud. A crew of UnLondon locals, the likes of which you will have never dreamed, joins them in their quest! UnLondon is more than a little unusual but an absolute wonder to read about.

If you love Neil Gaiman (especially Neverwhere), Terry Pratchett and Lewis Carroll then this book will be a particular delight for you
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun! 5 May 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having just read the disappointing Iron Council I was happily very impressed with Un Lun Dun. It's supposed to be a children's book but me at 43 years old truly enjoyed this fantastic fantasy adventure. It's 520 pages long (in hard back) but it's so exciting that if you pick this book up you'll fly through it in no time. This is the first book I've ever read that at the end of it I wanted to start it all over again! China Miéville is a real great talent. For the adults out there I also recommended his Bas Lag novels "The Scar" and "Perdido Street Station", which is one of my favourite novels of all time. But those novels are definitely not for children. I've given "Un Lun Dun" Five out of five. Go get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars un.lun.don 15 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book i found to be very good i enjoyed the story from the start its wonderfull. Ill update when i finsh i will be getting more by this aurther thank you leila
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Un Lun Dun 18 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
my brother, his granddaughter, myself and my grandson all loved this story.
accessable to teenagers who may go on to read PERDIDO STREET STATION.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, slang can get annoying 16 Dec 2012
By Stuart
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked a lot of the story. The characters were interesting. I was often reminded of The Phantom Tollbooth, which is good.

The slang used by the main character got annoying. "We was" etc.. If you can ignore that then it's fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Children's Book 7 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started reading this book to my two grand daughters as I have read all his adult books and also this one before starting it for the girls...its just so different and keeps them enthralled.
The 11 year old is not a keen reader but became hooked on this one and insisted on taking the book home to read herself, resulting in tears from the 8 year old who reminded me that she actually is the reader in the family!

So I had to get another copy for her to take home, I think she is a
little young really,to read it for herself but its on her bookshelf now and no doubt in time she will be encouraged to get started on it and will be as excited by the book too.

I think it really is interesting for children, different, and opens their eyes to the possibilities of other worlds and ideas, as well as giving people of my age the opportunity to talk of the clean air act and London smog, and why it happened...China Mieville brings together the fantastic and historical facts and possibilities. Buy it for your young ones!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly weird 24 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
I have to admit, before reading Un Lun Dun I was slightly worried it would be a bit too light for my tastes. However being a huger fan of anything i've ever read by China Mieville I thought I would give it a try.
I was genuinely charmed by the world Mieville creates. UnLondon literally leaps off the page and becomes as familiar as the world around you. The characters are vivid and realistic, but I did feel they lacked in depth at times and relationships seemed to spring up all the time with very little development.
The plot is rich and engaging without being over-complex, with a great big dollop of original and interesting ideas. I don't like to write reviews containing plot spoilers, but the resolution of the story was brilliant (if a bit obvious).
Basically, I think this book is smashing and I would highly recommend it. It's a bit of an easier read than most of Mieville's catalogue and I certainly think an enthusiastic teenager could definitely tackle it, although I wouldn't class it as a child's book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
I really tried with this book, but its one of the few books I've ever abandoned. The premise of the book - an alternative hidden London- is fine, but it's just such a turgid... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for us.
The book was perfect. My son has to read it at highschool. It arrived no the date You told us.
Published 8 months ago by Cristina Zozaya
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get into this steampunky spectacular
This book started out fairly promisingly but the plot soon fizzled out to be swamped by surreal imagery and an unrealistic alternative London. Read more
Published 12 months ago by lewiscarrollnut
5.0 out of 5 stars Neverwhere for the new century
I was nervous that this would be Mieville-lite, sanitised and twee for the children. I needn't have worried - it has the same edge as his adult work, but at the same time is at a... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dragon63
2.0 out of 5 stars is it just me?
Reading this for my book club and had to check I was reading the right book as I couldn't believe that an intelligent, well read person would pick it. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by Woodford Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read YA
Back in 2010 I read my first and thus far only Miéville. I'd only become aware of his writing due to starting to read book blogs, but everyone was highly complementary, so I... Read more
Published on 29 Feb 2012 by W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Sorry, was not my cup of tea! did not even finish the book, It started well but i lost momentum very quickly and got dis interested.
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by Olly
3.0 out of 5 stars Oops. A children's book.
My bad.

Bought bc it was £0.99 in amazon's Christmas sale, and bc china mieville has quietly interested me for a few years. Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2011 by Mrs Quoad
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is the best book I have read in years. It is so good. I gave this to some people and they loved it too
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by Avid Reader
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