Un Lun Dun, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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 UnLondon, 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.

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


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780330536684

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As with <i>Rail Sea</i>, this started a bit clunky, and was considerably more "YA" in nature. The "Shwazzy" was a bit of a bore and I thought this wasn't going to click with me, but then Deeba took charge and the "new weird" (and wonderful) ride through eccentric UnLondon got under way. Miéville's illustrations bring reminders of Lewis Carol, Mervyn Peake and Norman Lindsay (à la <i>Magic Pudding</i>) to this skilful mix of wickedly playful imagination and allusions to serious, real world matters. (Never fear: you can easily read this on face value and ignore the subtext.) Another winner.

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