Friday, February 17, 2012
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Un Lun Dun, which if you haven't realised, is a play on the world UnLondon. And yes, UnLondon sounds like a wonderful place. The major thing about UnLondon is how it affects London, which is seen through language, e.g. undernet -> internet. And binjas, which I really want.
Basically, the story is a "save-the-world quest" kind. The closest comparison I can think of is Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe. And the similarities don't just lie in the length of the novels. In terms of the alternate world thing, the easiest way I can describe it is to ask you to read The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik. And yet, despite the many comparisons I can make regarding the book, it's also (paradoxically) very original at the same time. Please don't ask me to explain that paradox, it kind of transcends words.
Another thing that the book has are illustrations. I think Roald Dahl has proven that illustrations can really enhance the whole reading experience and yes, Un Lun Dun was like that. And yes, I'm harping on and on about binjas, but that was my favourite illustration. Well, I would have like one of Hemi (the half-ghost boy) too, but ...
If you're worried about the length of this book (it looks really thick), well, I would say I was too, but I was mainly excited. And the chapters are actually quite short so you can easily read it a chapter at a time and pause without brain overload.
Um.... I don't know what else to say. This is an awesome book, and I really recommend that everyone read it. It's one of those books that I'd give me siblings to read without fearing they'd get bored too much. And I'm definitely getting my hands on a copy of my own.