Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

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Have you ever heard of Un Lun Dun? No? Well let me enlighten you then. It is a city quite like London in many ways and yet is entirely different. You could even say it is the opposite of London, but the UnLondoners might beg to differ. In the Abcity of UnLondon, garbage is alive and hunts in packs; carnivorous giraffes roam the streets; Obady Fing can stitch wrinkles in time and space to make rooms seem larger than life; Slaterunners run on roofs; Buses fly; and unbrellas can move and explode on cue.
For 12 year olds Zanna Moon and Deeba Resham a city like that is not only unbelievable, but quite impossible. It is not until strange things begin to happen to the two girls do they open their minds and begin to believe that everything is not as it seems. Their ticket into UnLondon has to do with all of the strange events that occur such as Zanna being greeted in the street by people whom neither she nor Deeba know, calling her "Shwazzy". Why, what does it mean? It is only during French class is the meaning of the word revealed. She suddenly understands her new nickname. In French, Choisi (pronounced Shwa-ssi), in English, Chosen, and in UnLondon, Shwazzy.
China Mièville’s latest masterpiece is what I can fairly describe as a combination of Phantom Tollbooth and, Through the Looking Glass. Un Lun Dun definitely has a lighter, not-nightmarish, tone compared to some of the other nightmarish, but fantastical books he has written, such as Perdido Street Station or The Scar. Un Lun Dun captures Mièville’s darkish, but funny, endlessly creative, but not needlessly, characters, plot, and amazing, unthinkable destinations. Much like the Phantom Tollbooth, Mièville also knows how to play with words. For example, Mr. Speaker, a gatekeeper whose words come alive and crawl right out of his mouth, demands new words, American and British slang especially, as payment for your passage through his Talklands, or safe passage through the Blabyrinth.
Un Lun Dun is ideally for teens that have enjoyed Twilight or Harry Potter thing and are looking for something edgier. Something filled with more delights and frights with about the same level of suspense, ‘darkish’ theme, and humor as Harry Potter or Twilight. This tale of an unlikely heroine, who is merely filling in for hero who is out of commission , and a talking book of prophecies gone wrong beyond any amends, is what you are craving to read even if you don’t know it yet. So if you wish to enter all the delights, thrills and frights of UnLondon, which you do, all you have to do is see what happens, “when you turn the wheel.” (p. 16)





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urhunnibunni169 said...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm
I LOVE UNLUNDUN!!!!!!! i wish i could go there... ND I LOVE CURDLE!!!! <333 good review!! =)
 
BellaEzrebetFang This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 7:27 am
Sounds peculiar, interesting, strange and mind-boggling. Definitely something I'll check out.
 
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