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Un Lun Dun Paperback – January 29, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Mieville has ventured into YA fiction with Un Lun Dun and it is a tremendous accomplishment within the genre. This is the story of a journey to another London that exists near the one we are familiar with. But things are different and there are some big problems for the two young ladies who find themselves in Un Lun Dun. Mieville's hallmark - imaginative monsters - is here and they exist in wonderful, fanciful piles. His punning creations are groan-worthy and painted a number of rueful smiles on my face. Mieville wants readers to have the joy of surprise, so I'm keeping quite about the details. But I guarantee you will never think of giraffes the same way ever again. There are also marvelous characters and companions, all vivid and memorable.
Un Lun Dun subverts your typical fantasy formula. The chosen one doesn't seem to be getting it done, prophecies are falling apart, and quests are veering outside of expectations. Mieville has been both lauded and slammed for being a "message" author. The message for youngsters is pretty straightforward - don't wait to be saved by the hero, question authority, try hard, and with the help of good friends and you can change things for the better.
Mieville has to this date been a very adult writer but he reigns in both the violence and the vocabulary to truly make this a YA title. There is violence and danger, but it is not excessive. He does keep the sense of excitement through the book and the pacing is very brisk. Un Lun Dun is not a departure for Mieville; he is just doing for young adult fantasy what he has already done for regular fantasy. He has given us a smart, non-formulaic, but always entertaining book.
As with most of his novels, the setting of ULD is as much a character as is Deeba or any of her party. The inhabitants of the abcity Unlundun are rich in character and are conjured from the simplest of ideas into unforgettable characters--a conscious milk carton most of all. Mieville paints a city whose denizens force the readers to reconsider our lives: fated observer or willful participant? This is not a comfortable book to read, and readers will find themselves pausing frequently to compare their own cities with Mieville's abcities.
The social and political commentary is subtle yet insistent. Young readers with a growing awareness of social and political ideologies would benefit from reading this novel with careful consideration of the historical context. Mieville's own leftist political ideologies are not overt, but they do beg themselves to be considered in light of the turmoil in Unlundun, a turmoil not unlike what is developing (or is peaking) in our own world.
Subversion is a central theme, and Mieville does a masterful job of not only refusing to bow to the templates of the genre but of creating an entirely new one: heroes aren't heroic; prophecies aren't prophetic; and words aren't our own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Generally, I give a book 100 pages to grab me but I couldn't last that long with this book. I bought it because it was touted as a good selection for Alice In Wonderland fans. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Sharyn McQuaid
Un Lun Dun is imaginative and written well but it's aimed at middle school kids. I loved The City and The City and I wanted more of the same, but this isn't it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I have't read this since 2007 but I still think about this book a lot. I wan't to reread it again it was so wonderfully creative. Characters are imaginative and endearing.Published 2 months ago by A. K
Never read China Mieville and if it wasn't from friends I trust and reading reviews by other readers that love his work, but also didn't like this book, I would say this author... Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Allen
I enjoyed the book very much. The writer created amazing creatures and images. What an imagination! I loved when the hero didn't want to follow the 7 step quest. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marcus Koch
I almost stopped reading the book, several times. It really is only getting the three stars for the ending. The beginning was rubish. Read morePublished 13 months ago by L. J. Rinaldi
Fabulous children's tale that manages to be suitable for adults as well. Recommended.Published 13 months ago by CascaGreen
My first book by China Mieville was Perdido Street Station. After a grand adventure like that I couldn't resist reading more of his work. UN Lun Dun is another great one by him. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lephiro