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Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

a book by by China Mieville

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Make sure you're in the mood for the fantastical when you pick this book up!

  • Nov 2, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
There's London, and there's UnLondon (Un Lun Dun). Deeba and her friend Zanna accidentally find their way across the ethereal barrier. Zanna has been declared the "Shwazzy", the chosen one who will save UnLondon. But the "book", a living entity in UnLondon, soon discovers its wrong when it's Deeba who finds herself back in UnLondon to fight the evil Smog. The Smog is threatening to take over both UnLondon and London, an evil presence that wants to conquer all at any cost, using Stink-Junkies, Smogbies, and Smodlodytes to achieve it's goals. Deeba needs to find the UnGun in order to defeat the Smog, but can she do it in time, and can she do it at all without being the "Shwazzy"?

There are mobile trash heaps, a milk carton named Curdle, a pincushion-headed friend named Obaday Fing, a Conductor in a floating bus named Jones, and Hemi the half-ghost from Wraithtown. Get ready to encounter everyday items which have a life of their own, such as UNbrellas and windows, words and garbage cans, and giraffes that aren't cute but carnivorous. Deeba is up against such enemies as Brokkenbroll the Umbrellissimo, Binjas (ninja garbage cans), and worst of all Benjamin Unstible. Anything goes in UnLondon.

Mieville not only authored 'Un Lun Dun', but illustrated it as well. Scattered throughout the book are black-and-white sketches that are actually quite well done. (I absolutely love his illustrations of the smoglodytes) Mieville uses a lot more dialogue in 'Un Lun Dun' than his other books. I found myself missing the richly languid prose but he doesn't lack in description of the impossible and the absurd.

Many of the "greats" have included a children's story into their exclusive resumes, such as Clive Barker's 'The Thief Of Always', Stephen King's 'Eyes Of The Dragon' and Dean Koontz's 'Oddities'. China Mieville's 'Un Lun Dun' is a valid addition to this honorable list.

On the good side, this is a fast read. On the bad side, this is a fast read. China Mieville has always used prose as rich as double-chocolate cheesecake, words to fill the mouth and savor with their intense, sumptuous flavors. 'Un Lun Dun' strays from Mieville's formula in more than just adult-to-young-adult alterations. While the story was satisfying enough in and of itself, I miss Mieville's decadently rich prose and storyline. I'm hoping this is a sideline venture and not a diversion from his opulently written novels 'Perdido Street Station' and 'Scars'. It's not a bad book, but I could have waited for paperback with this one. Let's hope Mieville returns to Bas-Lag. Enjoy!
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

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More Un Lun Dun reviews
review by . February 08, 2009
"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 …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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ISBN-10: 0345495160 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780345495167 (hbk.)
Author: China Mieville
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, young adult
Publisher: Del Rey (February 13, 2007)
Date Published: (February 13, 2007)
Format: Hardcover: 448 pages, Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
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