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Un Lun Dun | [China Mieville]

Un Lun Dun

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 UnLondun, an urban Wonderland where all the lost and broken things of London end up.
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Publisher's Summary

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 UnLondun, 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.

UnLondun 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 UnLondun 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 UnLondun is populated by astonishing frights and delights that will thrill the imagination.

©2007 China Mieville (P)2012 Macmillan Digital Audio

What the Critics Say

"Easily the equal of David Mitchell or Zadie Smith.... Miéville’s work is thrillingly imaginative, politically edgy, immensely witty and utterly unforgettable.... a bold and dynamic book." (Scotland on Sunday)

"An instant classic... the bizarre, the grotesque and slightly creepy." (Daily Telegraph)

"Full of delightful and horrifying inventions.... Un Lun Dun is clever and funny but scary, too" (Observer)

"This teeming, inventive tale of friendship, duty, courage and loyalty makes extraordinary use of the ordinary." (Sunday Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (7 )
5 star
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4.2 (6 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shom Hyderabad, India 07-17-13
    Shom Hyderabad, India 07-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Marketer. The Engineer-MBA stereotype. Sports-fiction writer. Poor reader of text. Thus at Audible. God Bless.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    18
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent! This is how a message novel should be"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Un Lun Dun to be better than the print version?

    I don't know. didn't read the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Like the best of message fiction, the messages come in to the reader subconsciously, never becoming even a slight bit preachy; and never interfering with the story.
    Pollution. Using economically-lower countries as dumping ground for waste. The experience of a subcontinental-origin person in London. And the biggest hit for me was the sublime turnaround of the sidekick. The Neville Longbottoms of the world rise up to take their rightful position in this book, and how!


    Have you listened to any of Karen Cass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. And she is brilliant.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Small touches of the oh-yes-that's-right.
    When Deeba tries to convince herself, during her first return to London, that she does not need to return, because everything will be fine. --- and then, at the back of her mind -- and anyway, she would not know even if they aren't.
    So true. "how many times can a man turn his head / pretending he just doesn't see"...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magnus 11-04-12
    Magnus 11-04-12

    I like business and sci-fi books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    "This is a childrens book"
    What disappointed you about Un Lun Dun?

    I expected China Mieville to deliver as usual - but instead I get a childrens book.
    Someone ought to told me.


    If you’ve listened to books by China Mieville before, how does this one compare?

    Well, it's plain out sily in comparison. It got characters and depth - but the story line just doesn't hold.


    What didn’t you like about Karen Cass’s performance?

    pretty much nothing :-(


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Sarah-Emily
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    6/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Teenagers in Neverwhere but uniquely appealing"

    Alterative Londons, I've read a few.

    Neverwhere [Neil Gaiman] and Undone [BBC Radio Series] were world definers for me but but there are others such as Sixty-One Nails [Mike Shevdon] which whilst enjoyable fell slightly flat. China Mieville's Un Lun Dun belongs in the second category.

    I once was a teenage girl, and I live in London. Perhaps this is one of the many books best enjoyed as a teenager but there are many parts that appeal to the adult listener. His Un Lun Dun is comprehensible in a way that the real London isn't. There are many comic moments, and a plethora of characters with a full-range of believability.

    It's well-paced and his world is involving despite a few ideas that he didn't manage to sell. I would recommend this if you enjoy the genre or if you're a teenage girl since everyone loves being the main character ;).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Halland, United Kingdom
    2/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Young reader book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. It was full of Mieville's usual fabulous creations but I found it rather inconequential and even a little patronizing in style, clearly aimed at a younger audience. I did complete the listening, while walking, cycling, gardening . . . . . .


    If you’ve listened to books by China Mieville before, how does this one compare?

    I had to listen to the Perdido Street trilogy twice before I could fully appreciate them. No problem here. Creative and inventive but much simpler in construct and style.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    She read well and perhaps was ideally suited to the target audience. Maybe its an age thing but I found her annoying, contributing to the feelling of immaturity and rather patronizing.


    Did Un Lun Dun inspire you to do anything?

    Listen to something else.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is very inventive and filled with fabulous creations. It was original and pre-dates Gaimens's Neverwhere and the children's London books of Aaronovitch which also cover a secret London underword. The mistake was probably mine and I really cannot judge a book aimed at a different audience. This is not the first time I have made this mistake and it would be useful if the audience was made clear in the book description. This is particularly true of fantasy where they are not easy to spot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

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