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Un Lun Dun

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Un Lun Dun Cover

ISBN13: 9780345495167
ISBN10: 0345495160
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
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Excerpt

1

The Respectful Fox

There was no doubt about it: there was a fox behind the climbing frame. And it was watching.

“It is, isnt it?”

The playground was full of children, their gray uniforms flapping as they ran and kicked balls into makeshift goals. Amid the shouting and the games, a few girls were watching the fox.

“It definitely is. Its just watching us,” a tall blond girl said. She could see the animal clearly behind a fringe of grass and thistle. “Why isnt it moving?” She walked slowly towards it.

At first the friends had thought the animal was a dog, and had started ambling towards it while they chatted. But halfway across the tarmac they had realized it was a fox.

It was a cold cloudless autumn morning and the sun was bright. None of them could quite believe what they were seeing. The fox kept standing still as they approached.

“I saw one once before,” whispered Kath, shifting her bag from shoulder to shoulder. “I was with my dad by the canal. He told me theres loads in London now, but you dont normally see them.”

“It should be running,” said Keisha, anxiously. “Im staying here. Thats got teeth.”

“All the better to eat you with,” said Deeba.

“That was a wolf,” said Kath.

Kath and Keisha held back: Zanna, the blond girl, slowly approached the fox, with Deeba, as usual, by her side. They got closer, expecting it to arch into one of those beautiful curves of animal panic, and duck under the fence. It kept not doing so.

The girls had never seen any animal so still. It wasnt that it wasnt moving: it was furiously not-moving. By the time they got close to the climbing frame they were creeping exaggeratedly, like cartoon hunters.

The fox eyed Zannas outstretched hand politely. Deeba frowned.

“Yeah, it is watching,” Deeba said. “But not us. Its watching you.”

Zannashe hated her name Susanna, and she hated “Sue” even morehad moved to the estate about a year ago, and quickly made friends with Kath and Keisha and Becks and others. Especially Deeba. On her way to Kilburn Comprehensive, on her first day, Deeba had made Zanna laugh, which not many people could do. Since then, where Zanna was, Deeba tended to be too. There was something about Zanna that drew attention. She was decent-to-good at things like sports, schoolwork, dancing, whatever, but that wasnt it: she did well enough to do well, but never enough to stand out. She was tall and striking, but she never played that up either: if anything, she seemed to try to stay in the background. But she never quite could. If she hadnt been easy to get on with, that could have caused her trouble.

Sometimes even her mates were a little bit wary of Zanna, as if they werent quite sure how to deal with her. Even Deeba herself had to admit that Zanna could be a bit dreamy. Sometimes she would sort of zone out, staring skywards or losing the thread of what she was saying.

Just at that moment, however, she was concentrating hard on what Deeba had just said.

Zanna put her hands on her hips, and even her sudden movement didnt make the fox jump.

“Its true,” said Deeba. “It hasnt taken its eyes off you.”

Zanna met the foxs gentle vulpine gaze. All the girls watching, and the animal, seemed to get lost in something.

. . . Until their attention was interrupted by the bell for the end of break. The girls looked at each other, blinking.

The fox finally moved. Still looking at Zanna, it bowed its head. It did it once, then leapt up and was gone.

Deeba watched Zanna, and muttered, “This is just getting weird.”

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

julrosec, May 23, 2008 (view all comments by julrosec)
I really enjoyed Un Lun Dun, great plays on words and a really interesting world! It's an imaginative reminder to think about all the rubbish in the world and where it's going.
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
pebbeb, August 17, 2007 (view all comments by pebbeb)
A rich and delightful book that's full of unexpected twists and turns. Un Lun Dun is where lost things go and two girls, Zanna and Deeba, end up there one strange night in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. While it owes a debt to such wonderful books as Alice in Wonderland and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and Coraline, Un Lun Dun is a uniquely original where objects such as umbrellas and milk cartons have a life of their own. While it was written for young readers, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.
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(17 of 31 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345495167
Author:
Mieville, China
Publisher:
Del Rey
Author:
Written and illustrated by China Mi?ville
Author:
Mieville, China
Author:
Written and illustrated by China Mi?ville
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Imaginary places
Publication Date:
20070213
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.52x6.36x1.33 in. 1.62 lbs.
Age Level:
13-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Locked Case
Young Adult » General

Un Lun Dun Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Del Rey Books - English 9780345495167 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Un Lun Dun doesn't have the breathless otherness and depth of Perdido Street Station, but it isn't intended to....Un Lun Dun is a nice little morsel that makes a great chaser after a dense nonfiction book, and is a good recommendation for someone who has already read Philip Pullman's fabulous His Dark Materials series (and those books about the boy wizard)." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "[A] dark, charming, robust, comical adventure played according to new rules."
"Review" by , "The characters are well realized and the book has a fair amount of sociopolitical subtext, mostly about questioning the status quo and thinking for oneself."
"Review" by , "Mieville's compelling heroine and her fantastical journey through the labyrinth of a strange London forms that rare book that feels instantly like a classic and yet is thoroughly modern."
"Review" by , "A book which shows the world as it truly is: full of marvels and monsters and unexpected opportunities for heroism and magic. Un Lun Dun is delicious, twisty, ferocious fun, a book so crammed with inventions, delights, and unexpected turns that you will want to start reading it over again as soon as you've reached the end."
"Review" by , "Many young readers will no doubt find the adventure compelling....In a way, the novel feels like a screenplay, ready to have its delightful ideas translated to the purely visual."
"Review" by , "Mieville can spin just about anything into fantastic silk, but he doesn't seem to understand that the kids who read YA books are smart and resilient."
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