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.
"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)
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Excellent! This is how a message novel should be
I don't know. didn't read the print version.
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!
No. And she is brilliant.
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"...
In Praise of Leading Sidekicks