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35 Reviews
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive YA debut from one of the modern masters of adult fantasy
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...
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by A. Whitehead

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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 9 months ago by Cristina Zozaya


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not me old China..., 17 July 2009
By 
G. Timmins "Brandon Tryle" (London, GB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Hardcover)
The dark surrealism of Gene Wolfe, the cheeky flippancy of Jack Vance and the clever wordplay of Piers Anthony combine here with a myriad other influences into an overly lengthy but creditably original work.

Miéville proves not to be a natural writer of young adult fiction. I felt distinctly at times that Miéville's first drafts had been written in the wonderful style of 'Perdido Street Station' and only subsequently simplified to make the story more accessible to younger readers. This impression of reconstruction together with an uneven pace and some dodgy dialogue made it a sometimes difficult read.

That said, I'm glad I read it. Much of the imagery (assisted by the author's own pencil illustrations) and humour are memorable and I reckon people between 11 and 16 would find the mix of horror, adventure and other-worldliness highly enjoyable. It's just that, as an adult, I think I'll be much happier when I pick up my third Miéville novel - 'The Scar'.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 11 Nov 2009
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
I know that this is a horribly over used phrase, but Un Lun Dun really is a `rollercoaster ride' of a book - It's bizarre and weird, funny and clever. And surely only a very talented author like Mieville could make you care about a milk carton?!

A book I'll definitely re-read and recommend to anyone, especially those who, as has been said here, enjoy Gaiman, Carroll etc., although like their work this is truly original.

You'll certainly never look at umbrellas in the same way again
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but it drags a bit, 10 Mar 2008
By 
L. Hogan (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Hardcover)
There are some great ideas in the book - the binjas being my favourite, but it feels like a bit of a mish mash of ideas and characters from other books. Some of the secondary characters feel totally un necessary and just seem to be there to pad the story out a bit. I wasnt wildly impressed with the writing and found the 'init' London dialogue used by the main character Deeba and her friends to be a bit strained and quite false.
The final chapters drag and the climax just goes on way to long. I give it three stars for originality and because the binjas were so cool! If you can borrow this book and have plenty of time then give it a go. If you have to be a bit more selective about your reading then give it a miss!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and great fun, 31 Mar 2009
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
Like another reviewer I, too, was dissapointed with "The Iron Council" and was not sure what to expect from a "kids" book from China Mieville.

However, all my misgivings evaporated soon after starting the book.

This is an inventive, witty, page turner of a book. With some great characters and set pieces. I can't recommend it enough.

I am surprised that Hollywood has not snapped this up to make a film. The writing is very visual and the masterful storytelling is much superior to those books about a certain schoolboy wizard.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 13 Dec 2011
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
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
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky, 8 Feb 2009
By 
Amanda Richards "Hotpurplekoolaid" (ECD, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
"So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high"
(from The Inchcape Rock - Robert Southey)

This is a brilliant fantasy novel which will appeal to fans of Piers Anthony, Neil Gaiman and Lewis Carroll. It is set in a parallel world of London (Un-London - get it?) where discarded items take on new life, garbage binjas carry nun-chucks, and unbrellas (broken brollies) still serve their purpose.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. It is written in Un Lun Dun that there will be a terrible smog upon the land, and that the Shwazzy (from the French "Choisi" or Chosen) will come from London to save the day.
2. Unfortunately, the written word seems a bit "off", except for the smog, which was created in London by weatherwitches and brought to its foggy knees by a weapon called the Klinneract.
3. Smog, by its very nature, is a bad thing and when it develops a mind of its own and threatens to take over Un Lun Dun, it's time for desperate measures.
4. The Shwazzy turns out to be a bit of a fizz
5. The failure of the Shwazzy brings about the activation of the UnChosen, who with her new found allies sets about to put a stopper on the smog.
6. Colorful, fantastical characters abound, and the lines between friend and foe get very blurry
7. The only hope for the good guys lies in the completion of a set of tasks leading to the location of the mighty UnGun - but time is running out.

Imaginative, funny and extremely entertaining, this one is recommended for anyone from about the age of nine and up. In my opinion it would make one heck of a good (but extremely high-budget) movie

Just can't resist an awful pun?
Try China Miéville's "Un Lun Dun"

Amanda Richards
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 4 April 2007
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
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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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book..., 12 May 2007
By 
Filipia (Seltjarnarnes, Iceland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Hardcover)
...but a little to ordinary as far as the plot goes. It starts of nicely with the strange world of Un Lun Dun, but fails to hold the originality as the story develops. it becomes just another "you have to complete a series of tasks to save the day before the time runs out" type of story with a bad guy, sidekicks and a love interest. The story did redeem itself a bit after the first task, but it wasn't quite enough.

Having said that, it's still a great book, even though it didn't really go anywhere new for me. The only thing it lacked was that new twist I was hoping for.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oops. A children's book., 31 Dec 2011
By 
Mrs Quoad (Huddersfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Kindle Edition)
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. This was to be my introduction to his writing.

Perhaps not. I thought it was insufferably simple & cliched, until I twigged I'm about 17yrs older than its target audience.

In that light, it's probably unfair to comment much further.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Un Lun Dun, 1 April 2008
By 
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Paperback)
What a difficult book to review! China Mieville is undisputed in my mind when it comes to weird fiction, and works such as "Perdido Street Station" and "The Scar" are sheer brilliance set like concrete in my imagination. The difficulty with reviewing "Un Lun Dun" is that it is not, strictly speaking, an adult book. Mieville contradicts himself by writing another tome of a novel but intending it to be for younger adults; the protagonist is a young girl undergoing the familiar transition between our world and a mysterious other realm, one that is common in young fiction. It would seem straightforward to judge the novel as one written for a young adult, but it really seems like Mieville is deluding himself here. I would imagine that most fans would have preferred an adult story in the guise of youth fiction, as a form of pastiche perhaps, rather than an unusual attempt at reaching towards a new market.

Still, it is not a bad novel. It ripples with imagination and there are twists of the genre at every turn - the venture into a new world is no longer a trip down a rabbit hole, and the "Chosen One" choses to stay home so the city of Un Lun Dun may just have to settle for Second Best - and the mysterious creatures, the unusual characters and the malformed locations are all interesting and can withstand scrutiny. Anybody who has seen Neil Gaiman's "Mirror-Mask" will have a sense of the kind of distorted reflection of a familiar world.

"Perdido Street Station" it is not, but nor is it a throwaway piece of cheap fiction. There is merit here and Mieville retains a style, although less indomitability, that he has been constructing since "King Rat". It may be a bit of an author's experiment, but it's a great read by a great author. Sadly standing out from the darker and more adult novels by Mieville, I would still heartily recommend it to adults and younger readers alike.
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Un Lun Dun
Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
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