Lit: Un Lun Dun

This is not so much a review as it is a miscellaneous inventory of a few of the weird, ingenious, wacky inhabitants in China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun. If you haven’t read it, please do! It’s one of Miéville’s more accessible books, being a young adult novel and all (plus, the puns are outstanding). 


  • Curdle, empty milk carton
  • Hemi, a half-ghost with an affinity for “extreme shopping”
  • Obaday Fing, couturier (with a pincushion head)
  • Skool, a diving suit
  • Carnivorous giraffes!!
  • Joe Jones, the most amazing bus conductor you’ll ever meet (infinitely better than stan shunpike to be honest)
  • Slaterunners, who live on rooftops
  • Binjas, ninja trash bins
  • Princess of discarded typewriters, whose name is made of punctuation marks
  • Brokkenbroll, commander of unbrellas (no it’s not a typo)
  • Margarita Staples, extreme librarian, bookaneer
  • Mr. Speaker, gatekeeper of words

It’s a sort of twist on Lewis Carroll’s classics, if not quirkier. And though Un Lun Dun may not be the perfect novel (could use more character depth, alas, a fault that tends to seep into sci-fi and fantasy), it’s certainly a breath of fresh air—the irony of that phrase should be apparent if you’ve read it. If you haven’t, go to the library and put it on your list! If anything, read it because it’s fun. 

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