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Un Lun Dun
by China Mieville | Science Fiction & Fantasy
Registered by TheLostBook of Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on 2/28/2009
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by TheLostBook): to be read


19 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, February 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This was recommended by hyphen8 as the perfect book for a fictional character (Watson the dog) to read on the bus to London. In the end, The Lovely Bones was chosen as Watson's bus book. But, Un Lun Dun is still going to be BookCrossed as part of The Lost Book. Watch this space!

The Lost Book is a collaborative adventure in storytelling. It’s taking place online and anyone can join in - simply visit www.thelostbook.net. At its heart is an animated web series: the adventures of 21st century investigative journalist Aileen Adler.

There are loads of ways you can get involved and it won’t cost you anything. You can help us to write the story for the web series. You can join our special guest writer Jasper Fforde to reconstruct a stolen book in our weekly microstory competition. You can enter our soundtrack competition by creating your own music for the web series. You can produce your own animation.

It's all part of the UK’s largest reading campaign: The Lost World Read 2009. We’re celebrating Arthur Conan Doyle’s 150th birthday and Charles Darwin’s bicentenary by bringing people across the UK together to read a classic adventure tale of a lost plateau, discovery and dinosaurs - The Lost World.

Update: The Lost Book ran until July 2009 and is now finished - apart from lots of ongoing book rays and rings like this one! 


Journal Entry 2 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, March 01, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Last night, China Mieville took part in a Lost World Read 2009 event. We were there, and we asked him to sign this copy of Un Lun Dun before it goes travelling. He was very gracious and has dedicated it to "all the Book-crossers out there"!

We're going to start a bookring with this special BookCrossing book.

Bookring
AileenAdler, travelling (Int)
Nell-Lu, UK (Int)
karen07814, UK (Int)
shakeyerbooty, UK (UK)
flambard, UK (Int)
wanderingstar8, UK (Int)
KiwiinEngland, Ireland (pref. Europe or Asia/Oz/NZ)
Releanna, Austria (Int)
linguistkris, Austria (Europe)
Feloris, Austria (Europe)
anathema-device, Austria (Int)
Sandwood, Austria (Int)
mrbaggins1, South Africa (Int)
snufkin81, South Africa (Int)
jneni, Singapore (Australasia/Singapore)
Sfogs, New Zealand (Int)
rmjwold, Australia (Int)
awaywithfairies, Australia (Aus)
Tinina67, Australia (Int)
Dreamer-kitty, Canada (Int)

Update, Mar 2012: the book has been with Dreamer-kitty for over a year. A replacement has been offered by vedranaster. The bookring continues: see the journal entries for the new copy. 


Journal Entry 3 by TheLostBook at By Post, a postal release -- Controlled Releases on Monday, March 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (3/23/2009 UTC) at By Post, a postal release -- Controlled Releases

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Un Lun Dun is travelling with Aileen Adler for the first stage of its journey.

It would be awful if we lost all the postcard stories in the post, so can everyone make two journal entries please? - One with your thoughts on the book and one with your postcard story. Please could you also upload photos or scans of each side of your postcard: one can be attached to each JE.

(I know uploading journal entry pics has been tricky recently, so if you can't upload, would you be able to email your postcard images to us? PM TheLostBook to get an email address.)

Thanks, and happy reading! 


Journal Entry 4 by AileenAdler from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

9 out of 10

Un Lun Dun is a cracking story that you won’t want to put down. At the end, you’ll be disappointed that it was only 520 pages. But, it’s not just a well-told adventure. There’s lots to think about. The way in which ordinary people – not chosen ones, not heroes – respond to threats and do their duty is celebrated. People like bus conductor Jones (obsolete in London), mixed race Hemi (half human, half ghost, unwelcome in both worlds) and hero’s friend Deeba (practical and capable, despite wanting to go home – a Dorothy without the recognition or the ruby slippers) are the true heroes.

I was in London when I read this, so a postcard of the London Eye seemed appropriate. 


Journal Entry 5 by AileenAdler from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

My postcard story, about the Great Wheel of London. It's a true story. The quotation is from George Birch, The Descriptive Album of London, c.1896.

I’ve discovered the London Eye wasn’t the first giant Ferris wheel in the city. The Victorians had one in 1895!

"This slowly revolving wheel takes you up to a good height, from which you have a splendid view of bricks and mortar below you; and there is just that touch of danger which always gives piquancy to pleasure, that perhaps it may stop, and refuse to go on, and its patrons may have to be fed on buns and soda water by venturesome sailors."

The Great Wheel did in fact get stuck for 4 ½ hours in May 1896, while the London Eye broke down for an hour in March 2008. In the 21st Century there were "comfort packs with water, blankets and glucose tablets" rather than buns, soda water, and venturesome sailors. I know which I’d prefer!
 


Journal Entry 6 by AileenAdler at Royal Mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (3/25/2009 UTC) at Royal Mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

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This is going back to Edinburgh to Nell-Lu. Safe travels, little book. 


Journal Entry 7 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, March 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Got it! And, I finished a book yesterday so Un Lun Dun is next up to be read. I'll start it tonight. Thanks for passing it on, AileenAdler. 


Journal Entry 8 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, March 28, 2009

9 out of 10

This is brilliant. I love the way Mieville plays with the standard conventions. The tall, blonde chosen one, to whom even animals pay obeisance, made for a somewhat conventional start. A refusal to stick to these norms ensures that things get much more interesting. I can’t write much without spoilers, but some small examples: cats don’t make it through to UnLondon because they’re stupid and too busy trying to look cool; giraffes are scary monsters; and the book of prophecies is, well, not much more useful than a cat.

The notion of politicians scheming to make themselves look good by dumping all their pollution on someone else is entirely unfantastic, but don’t worry – although the characters' motivations are prosaic, and therefore believable, the world of Un Lun Dun is full of imagination, invention and interest. I particularly like the binja.

The illustrations add atmosphere. My personal favourite is the ghost street light on p.210, containing all the street lights it has been over the centuries.

(My postcard shows the building of the galleries on The Mound in Edinburgh) 


Journal Entry 9 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, March 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The Mound - a true story of moil construction.

The Royal Scottish Academy (originally the Royal Institution) and the National Gallery of Scotland are built on The Mound, a steeply inclined road (agony to cycle up) that connects Edinburgh's Old and New Towns. Well, it's a road now. Back then The Mound was just a mound - a pile of rubbish. Moil - or moie, really. But, it was a useful shortcut. People clambered over it. Eventually it was paved. Its name is the only reminder now that it started out as junk. 


Journal Entry 10 by Nell-Lu at Controlled Release, --by post or by hand (ie ring, ray, RABCK, trade) -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, March 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (3/28/2009 UTC) at Controlled Release, --by post or by hand (ie ring, ray, RABCK, trade) -- Controlled Releases

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Un Lun Dun is travelling to karen07814 in Essex. Hope you enjoy the book and have fun with your postcard story - I certainly did! 


Journal Entry 11 by karen07814 from Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This book has not been rated.

arrived today thank you 


Journal Entry 12 by karen07814 from Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 07, 2009

8 out of 10

A fascinating, skillful book that makes you wonder if the author had a set of highly supportive parents or a set who totally disregarded him. The imagination at play here is extraordinary and I have to come down on the side of the supportive.
It required effort for me in that I have not read anything for a very long time and had to try and re-engage the child side of my brain. However there is plenty for adults with a lot of plays on words in various languages to be found throughout the book.
Very entertaining and absorbing 


Journal Entry 13 by karen07814 at on Tuesday, April 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (4/7/2009 UTC) at

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In Colchester we have:
award winning designer loos,
a Norman castle accidentlly built on top of a Roman ruin,
a Roman circu,
Home to Twinkle twike little star and old king Coel
a hotel hidden in in the 14thC and bullet holes in the siege house on the front! 


Journal Entry 14 by shakeyerbooty on Friday, April 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This arrived yesterday. Really looking forward to reading it. Thank you. 


Journal Entry 15 by shakeyerbooty on Monday, April 20, 2009

9 out of 10

I finished this today, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Mieville has such a good imagination. The 'hero' characters in this story are extremely likeable and I was definitely eager for them to be successful in their quest. If I was in trouble I would love to have Jones and co on my side! A thoroughly good read. 


Journal Entry 16 by shakeyerbooty on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I've experienced problems with uploading my postcard (which is of the Chapel of St Mary on the Bridge, Derby), but here's my story:

'St Mary's Chapel is one of only six surviving bridge chapels in England. The building dates back from the 14th century and has seen many uses in it's time. These include, a couple of cottages, a prison, a Presbyterian meeting room and a carpenter's workshop.

The chapel is said to be haunted by the Padley Martyrs, three Roman Catholic priests who were executed during the religious persecutions led by the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire. Their rather gruesome remains were hung from the chapel for all to see. It is said that on the anniversary of the execution, cries of torment can be heard over the River Derwent.' 


Journal Entry 17 by shakeyerbooty at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (4/21/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Sending onto flambard. Hope you enjoy it. 


Journal Entry 18 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

shakeyerbooty has emailed images of the Chapel of St Mary on the Bridge postcard, so here's the front... 


Journal Entry 19 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

...and here's the story. Thanks, shakeyerbooty! 


Journal Entry 20 by Flambard from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Thursday, April 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Happy St George's Day everyone! I'm delighted to have received this book - and great postcards! I look forward to reading it and passing it on with a postcard of Horsham too.
Red Rose 


Journal Entry 21 by Flambard from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Sunday, May 03, 2009

9 out of 10

Greetings from Horsham. Or should that be Horsharen't? What a stunning book! Wonderfully clever and engaging without being pretentious; I loved all the puns and wordplay and the fantastic characters. The part I enjoyed most was Webminster Abbey and the Black Windows. What imagination! Right up there alongside Neverwhere!

Wanderingstar8 has asked to be skipped from the ring, so it will be on its way to KiwiinEngland in, er, Ireland shortly!

My Horsham postcard:
During the war with Napoleon, imports from France were banned and a lucrative smuggling operation flourished, landing illicit goods on the Sussex shore which were then taken north to London by secretive routes. Horsham was ideally placed as a staging post - 20 miles from the coast and only a few miles south of one of the few gaps through the North Downs, hills which blocked the route to London. It was also bordered to the east by thick forest, remnants of the great primeval forest of Anderada, and there were many smugglers' hoards which spent at least a few hours buried there in hollows among the oaks, elms, hazels and beeches. Could it be a coincidence that this is when the terrifying Squire Paulett first appeared? This headless phantom would lurk among the trees at the edge of the forest road, waiting for a rider to come by. Paulett would then leap up behind the horseman, wrap a skeletal arm round his neck and cling to him despite all struggles, cries for mercy and attempts to throw him off until they reached the far side of the forest. Here the spectral Squire would finally loosen his grip and slip away among the shadows to await another victim. Or could it just have been a tale spread by those in the know to frighten people away from the hiding places of that French brandy?

Horsham Postcard Story


 


Journal Entry 22 by Flambard at Postal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (5/6/2009 UTC) at Postal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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To KiwiinEngland 


Journal Entry 23 by kiwiinengland from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, May 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Safely received today along with six postcards in a very nifty plastic carrier case. Thanks to flambard for sending it on (with great british post stamps on the envelope) and TheLostBook for starting the ring.

I will read this ASAP. 


Journal Entry 24 by kiwiinengland from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, May 18, 2009

10 out of 10

*sigh* it's finished, and I wish the book wasn't. An extremely enjoyable book set in a parallel London, where inorganic items in London become alive in Unlondon. The word play is brilliant, the details of Unlondon's ghost world are fascinating (clothes flicker through all of the items a piece of cloth was previously made of), the imagination of the author had me going "well of course, that's a brilliant take on the obvious"

The characters were heroic and scared and happy and confused and got angry and had to eat...not cut out heros at all but brilliantly realistic.

I liked curdle, the little milk carton that followed Deeba around and tried to be helpful. I also enjoyed the concept of the meat eating killer giraffes and how the giraffes in the zoo we know are hippy vegeterians.

*The postcard I am putting with the book shows a statue of Molly Malone, also known as the tart with the cart and the flirt in the skirt.*
 


Journal Entry 25 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, May 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

KiwiinEngland has passed on a postcard image and story. Here's the front of the postcard, and the story goes like this:

"Dublin has many busy market places, some operate daily and others weekly. Horse and carts are still used to transport fruit and vegetables to the Moore St market. The first sunday of the month sees the cobbled Smithfield market turn into a horse fair. There are numerous flea markets, a weekend book market, and in Temple Bar is an organic food market. Around Merrion Square the fence becomes a colourful open air art gallery as local artists hang and sell their work."

Happy travels to KiwiinEngland and the book - both going to Vienna tomorrow to meet Releanna! 


Journal Entry 26 by kiwiinengland at Wien Bezirk 01 - Innere Stadt, Wien Austria on Thursday, May 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (5/29/2009 UTC) at Wien Bezirk 01 - Innere Stadt, Wien Austria

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I will be passing this on to the next reader in person. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.  


Journal Entry 27 by wingReleannawing from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Saturday, May 30, 2009

This book has not been rated.

received the book yesterday by personal mail delivery from KiwiinEngland - we were having ice-cream, too! 


Journal Entry 28 by wingReleannawing from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Thursday, June 11, 2009

9 out of 10

I totally enjoyed reading this book!
The one point minus I have to make because Mr. Mieville asserted that cats are too stupid to cross to Unlondon. My cat Isis, who read most of the book with me, says that is simply not true ;)

My postcard shows Grinzing, part of the 19th district of Vienna, home of the Heurigen (wine locals) 


Journal Entry 29 by wingReleannawing from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Thursday, June 11, 2009

9 out of 10

and here is the backside 


Journal Entry 30 by wingReleannawing at www.thelostbook.net, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, June 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (6/12/2009 UTC) at www.thelostbook.net, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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book goes on to linguistkris now 


Journal Entry 31 by winglinguistkriswing from Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 out of 10

I was very much looking forward to this book, as I loved Perdido Street Station and sort of had an idea of the amazing things Miéville can do with words, and indeed with only very slightly reimagining quite ordinary things. From the moment I got it out of its envelope, I could hardly stop reading and now that I've finished, I feel ever so slightly -and funnily pleasantly- gutted in that particular way that only very few, very special books make me feel.
I wasn't really aware this was an YA book before I started, but whether it was that or the more familiar London backdrop, I felt this somehow "focussed" Miéville's prose, making it purer and more brilliant still when compared to Perdido. There is so much in here, both in terms of plot and setting as in terms of language. In fact, I don't think I've ever encountered a "kids' book" so well-written. Eat your heart out, Harry Potter, Eragon and all that lot!
There are so many things in UN LUN DUN I loved -- I don't really know where to begin, and if I list them all, it's going to be all spoilers. But I can't go without mentioning the binja. Or Yorick Cavea, the impeccably dressed gentleman-explorer. Or Hemi, and the story of how his parents met. The names of the other abcities. The man whose words literally fall from his mouth. The school that is Skool. The house that looks like a fist (my favourite illustration)! People's names! And simply the word Shwazzy.

I absolutely loved this book, and have it planned as the present for a few upcoming birthdays. I don't think I'd really want to be friends with anybody who couldn't enjoy this. ;p 


Journal Entry 32 by winglinguistkriswing from Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, June 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

As I think Feloris will write a postcard from Graz, I'll try and find one from the place I'm originally from. To be added shortly!
(To be passed on in the next couple of days, whenever I next see Feloris.)

Edit: Postcards from Wüppertaal

The abcity of Wüppertaal (founded some 80 years ago in the amalgamation of smaller abcities such as Anderfeld, Abrmen and Ronsdon't) has for the last century been the capital of transportation megafauna and remains to this day under the iron rule of its iron masters, the mightiest of which is the fearsome Wüppertaaler Schwebebane, a "steely dragon" (in the words of poet Else Lasker-Schüler) which reigns above the Wüpper river with its fiery breath.
The last appreciable resistance against this autarchy of machines was in 1950, when a herd of elephants under their diminutive king Tuffi I rebelled; alas, to no avail, for the Schwebebane cast Tuffi off after a short struggle and banished him and his kind to the river below, which is to this day their home.

Due to the popularity of its mechanic rulers (or at least the awe they inspire), Wüppertaal is today a city with a steadily growing population of Remade; Remaking is here by no means an act of punishment, but solely an avowal of respect for and emulation of the ruling caste. Apart from the loyal followers, Wüppertaal also boasts climatic conditions that are ideal for the thriving of the steampowered megafauna: the fertile soils and steady rainfalls in combination with advanced forest stewardship ensure a steady supply of fuel for the vast machines.
They are, in fact, becoming so powerful and even presumptious that attacks on neighbouring abcities such as Düsseldon't, Buch-um or Essnicht have lead to destruction and growing feelings of rivalry in the hotspot of abindustrialisation, the Ruur area. 


Journal Entry 33 by winglinguistkriswing from Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, June 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Just for the record: the day after I finished Un Lun Dun, I had to go out in the rain. And man, did using an umbrella ever feel weird! (Even considering it was perfectly unbroken, but still... creepy little buggers, those umbrellas!)

Is with Feloris now. 


Journal Entry 34 by feloris from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Sunday, June 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I received the book on Thursday, yay!
I'm currently reading "The end of Mr. Y", but since I'm already halfway through it (so exciting!), I guess I'll be able to start this one soon. It might stay here a little longer than exactly four weeks, because, knowing myself, I am a bit slow sending on bookrings, but I'll do my best. It's such a beautiful book (love the illustrations that Linguistkris allowed me to see ;)) that I really shouldn't keep it from it's future readers for too long. :) 


Journal Entry 35 by feloris from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Tuesday, July 28, 2009

10 out of 10

I *so* loved this book! :D
In the first week of reading, I only managed the first 90 pages or so, and while there had been a few really nice ideas, it somehow seemed like slow going. But then - then I read the rest of the book in 2 days, because I just couldn't stop anymore! It seems like Linguistkris liked a lot of the things I also liked (all those beautiful names - of other abcities, of people...wonderful!), but I also enjoyed how this book took the usual expectations and turned them on their head. It was simply beautiful. :)
I also enjoyed this one more than I did Perdido Street Station. I liked the characters a *lot* more (in Perdido Street Station, the only one I really liked was...the Weaver ;))...the ideas were less gruesome and more fanciful...and while Perdido Street Station was certainly a fascinating read, this one was pure joy.

I 'advertised' this book to my boyfriend as well, so he's going to read it next, and then it will make its way to Anathema-Device.
And yes, I will include one or two postcards about Graz...and possibly Grass, its secret twin. 


Journal Entry 36 by feloris from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I need to keep all the blame off my boyfriend - he read the book within a couple of days, and loved it as well. Since then, it's been waiting for some postcard love, but this issue has now been fixed, and it will soon be travelling to anathema-device. :)
 


Journal Entry 37 by feloris from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The city of Graz has been referred to as 'the most Mediterranean city of Austria'. It is famous for its beautiful historical centre, filled with colourful houses and beautiful landmarks. It is a green city, with many parks and places for relaxation.
However, Graz is, due to its location, very often a viction if smog.
Also, sick trees need to be cut down regularly.
This doesn't make the inhabitants of Graz very happy. In fact, it makes Graz feel like a dreary place, oppressed by clouds and car fumes. Kids get sick. Little dogs cough. People file protest with the city council for cutting all those trees down. Some want an underground system installed to take the traffic off the roads.
Things would be much easier if only they knew...
...that underneath Graz there lies the beautiful abcity of Grass, the crass opposite of other abcities. All the trees, all the flowers, all the grass that are cut and disappear from Graz end up in Grass. There are towering halls under each town square, held up by columns of long-ago May and Christmas trees. Oceans of flowers flow under the Mur, Graz's central river. Everything is being guarded by giant moles and squirrels. Everything is beautiful. The 'sky' has been painted blue.
All this was discovered by construction workers long ago. They were digging test tunnels for the tube, but where to dig when giant moles scare you away? It has been kept secret.
We will never get a tube...but wouldn't it be crazy to complain? 


Journal Entry 38 by winglinguistkriswing at Controlled release, to another bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (10/17/2009 UTC) at Controlled release, to another bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

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Will be passed on to anathema-device when I see her. 


Journal Entry 39 by winganathema-devicewing from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Wow! When I went to Graz last weekend, I attended a BookCrossing meetup and finally got this legendary bookring! Thanks!
I started reading on the train home, and now I'm already on page 176.
So far, I'm really enjoying it, and I think my favourite character is Conductor Jones (who reminds me of David Tennant as the Doctor, but that might just be due to my current Doctor Who overdose). ;))
Can't wait to learn how the story continues, and to finally read all those fantastic entries and postcards!! 


Journal Entry 40 by winganathema-devicewing from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Wednesday, November 04, 2009

10 out of 10

I loved this book so much, I don't even know where to begin.
It's one of the cleverest children's books that have come my way, and it's totally unique, even though sometimes you might feel a whisper or an echo of one of the "influential" books mentioned at the end (and I'm especially glad that China Miéville knows about the Borribles!!). My favourite character is still Conductor Jones, although I really liked Skool, and of course brave Deeba, and I wish I had a (soy) milk carton of my own. ;)
I loved rediscovering all the things language does and the things people can do with language (and yes, I rediscover things every day - there's a whole world out there to rediscover, with new eyes each time), and I loved the more political messages - not only what I learned about the Smog, but above all about, well, civil disobedience. And following your own mind rather than other people's orders, opinions and conventions. There might be a lot "written", but hey, sometimes a book is "just" a book.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I'll take a couple of days more to re-read all the postcards and add one myself, then pass it on to the next reader.

I wish China Miéville could read these journal entries and the postcards. I bet he'd like them. 


Journal Entry 41 by winganathema-devicewing from Graz, Steiermark Austria on Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Okay, so I ventured out into one of the crosshatched areas that not even the police are quite sure about whether they belong to Innsbruck or its abcity, and bought a greeting card from a street vendor, using old Schillinge and Groschen that went obsolete in Innsbruck ("moii"?!) in 2002.

As you can see, Innsbruck's city council keeps the Smog just weak enough so everyone feels secure... for now. You can watch it shrink and grow from the surrounding mountaintops, which are, naturally, peopled with lots of mythological creatures (the younger ones of which have started to migrate to the abcity of UNnsbruck). There are two conflicting folk tales about how evil FRAU HITT was turned to stone and ended up as a peak shaped like a woman on horseback. (My favourite version features a spurned beggarwoman's curse.) But none of these stories explains why today this rock formation has vanished and a mysterious woman now walks the streets of UNnsbruck and is beginning to pull a lot of strings there...
HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM TYROL'S BIGGEST ABCITY!
anathema-device
 


Journal Entry 42 by Sandwood from Innsbruck, Tirol Austria on Thursday, December 03, 2009

This book has not been rated.

A quick note to let y'all know the book's just reached its next stop, all safe and sound. It's still in Innsbruck, but travelled a few streets further southwards now.

After several weeks of munching my way through the bottommost layer of my Mount TBR, I've nearly forgotten how it feels to read a book I actually want to read instead of yet another one that I'd been shoving back under that ever-growing stack of semi-interesting literature after only a few pages times and again, so this will be the most welcome change ever. 


Journal Entry 43 by Sandwood from Innsbruck, Tirol Austria on Thursday, December 31, 2009

9 out of 10

Ahhh! (And oooh, too!)

Yes, that's the sound of yet another reader joining the chorus of praise.

The story starts out like many YA fantasy tales do, with all the typical elements in place already: A prologue foreshadowing evil things to come, the young heroine and her sidekick friend discovering mysterious messages and omens, and very soon we learn that there's some sort of magical world just waiting to be entered through a - well, not a wardrobe or a rabbit hole, but a modern-day equivalent at any rate, where it turns out that people have been eagerly awaiting the heroine's arrival because she's supposed to battle the aforementioned evil things. So far, so... conventional.

The description of UnLondon - London's secret twin city - with its wonderfully weird and bizarre inhabitants and buildings is where you get your first real glimpse of Miéville's storytelling talent, but it's not until a few more chapters later that you actually get to see its full scope and realize that this really is more than a somewhat formulaic plot set in a quirky (and sometimes slightly creepy) urban Wonderland. Probably needless to say that events might depart from the expected route once you think you can guess what's about to happen next.

It's not only the early plot development itself where you're in for a surprise or several, though. I especially loved what Miéville did with those countless fantasy tropes such as the Chosen One, the Prophecy, the Quest, the Magic Weapon, and what have you. He's playing with these well-known plot elements, adding quite a few twists and turns of his own, combining the familiar with the unexpected without ever resorting to simple parody of the clichéd.
An example that will hopefully not be too much of a plot spoiler: Even the somewhat Disneyesque cute-but-utterly-pointless little companion - whose sole purpose seems to be to tag along with the main character while looking and acting loveable and sweet - does have its own little twist to it here. Meet Curdle, who's not a sad-eyed puppy dog or a cuddly kitten or actually any kind of fluffy animal at all. But still somehow manages to make you go "awww" a lot.

All in all, Un Lun Dun a highly entertaining and inventive book and very cleverly done. It's probably a little edgier and a good bit more bizarre than many other examples of the genre, but then again that makes it refreshingly different. Oh, and I loved the slate runners and the bookaneers and Skool! (And duh, I can't believe I couldn't figure out why Skool is named that way, instead I kept wondering and wondering forever...)

So, what next? I still need to find a postcard to send along with the book, but that shouldn't take too long, hopefully. I'm suspecting it will be at least another week before everything's ready to be mailed off to the next person on the list, though - my job's pretty much eating up all of my spare time at the moment. 


Journal Entry 44 by Sandwood from Innsbruck, Tirol Austria on Thursday, January 21, 2010

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Sorry for the delay! I managed to scoot to the stationery shop today, finally, so here is my postcard and its accompanying story (with added educational value in the form of hyperlinks):

This is Ambras castle, situated just outside the town of Innsbruck. The name supposedly comes from Latin, "ad umbras" meaning "in the shadows". Sounds rather ominous, doesn't it?
Ambras castle is the home of Europe's oldest Kunst- und Wunderkammer still in its original location. This Cabinet of Curiosities features a largely intact historical collection of unusual and often bizarre items, among them a portrait of Vlad Ţepeş (also known as "the Impaler", and – of course – "Dracula"), a picture of Petrus Gonzales (sometimes called the "Wolf Boy of the Canary Islands"), as well as wondrous relics from exotic locations, natural oddities and astonishing pieces of art and craftsmanship, things made of precious and rare materials such as coral or rhinoceros horn, and so on.
Even though these collections of the unusual were considered rather old-fashioned and unscientific by the end of the 18th century, some of them still stuck around after the Renaissance was over, probably because the weird and the bizarre never really stops to fascinate us.
Places like these - that have been around for a long enough time to go from mildly obsolete to outdated and then back to fashionable again - sometimes create a vortex of some sorts that might just lead you right to the abcity if you take a wrong (or right!) turn or two while touring the castle.
So careful - you might encounter something even more colourful than just the castle peacocks on your travels there.
 


Journal Entry 45 by Sandwood at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, January 22, 2010

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Released 7 yrs ago (1/22/2010 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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I've just returned from the post office; the book and postcards are on their way to mrbaggins1 now! 


Journal Entry 46 by mrbaggins1 from Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Monday, February 01, 2010

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Arrived today with a lovely stack of postcards which gives one a sense of the places its been. This is going on Mt TBR and I'll get 'round to it ASAP. Looks good!

ETA: I had a look at the note that sandwood attached yo the book this morning what beautiful penmanship (penwomenship?) and had a good laugh at the "The Far Side" Cartoon on the back. The ingenuity of bookcrossers never cease to amaze me. This is going straight into my private diary. LOL (Not ready to read this yet) 


Journal Entry 47 by mrbaggins1 from Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Sunday, March 28, 2010

7 out of 10

Finished reading this today. I had a bit of a reading slump as life caught up with me a bit the last month. An enjoyable, ingenious read; a bit confusing in the sense that I think this is more suitable as a YA book than adult fantasy. I must still rea the postcards and add my own before sending it off to Snufkin

Thanks for sharing 


Journal Entry 48 by mrbaggins1 at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Friday, April 30, 2010

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Released 7 yrs ago (4/30/2010 UTC) at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa

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CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Released by surface mail to Snufkin in Cape Town today. My apologies for hanging on to it so long. I've actually finished reading this a month ago but was looking for a postcard to add to the collection!

Thanks for sharing 


Journal Entry 49 by snufkin81 from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Thursday, May 06, 2010

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This arrived today, thanks mrbaggins1! I'm so excited to read it! I have a bunch of other rings ahead of it, but I'll read it as soon as I can. 


Journal Entry 50 by snufkin81 at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Sunday, August 08, 2010

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TheLostBook asked me to make a post with a picture of mrbaggins1's postcard and text as he forgot to do so, so here it is:

From Johannesburg, South Africa - "Jozi" is known as the City of Gold with the deepest mineshafts on earth nearby. It's the economic hub of Africa. Vibrant, multicultural and an everchanging meltingpot of a post democratic South Africa. Come Visit - great city.
Loved reading all the cards.

 


Journal Entry 51 by snufkin81 at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Thursday, August 12, 2010

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What an awesome book! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It reminded me quite a lot of Neverwhere, but is a very original story.

Thanks so much, TheLostBook, for giving me the chance to read this. I have PMed jneni for her address and hope to post this book on Saturday. 


Journal Entry 52 by snufkin81 at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Sunday, August 29, 2010

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One of the most well-known stories of my city, Cape Town, is the one of how Devil's Peak (the peak to the left of Table Mountain) got its name. It was originally called Windberg (Cape Town is a windy place!) but the story goes that one day, back in Dutch colonial times, a farmer called Jan van Hunks went for a walk up the mountain to smoke his pipe. He was a prolific smoker and very proud of his ability to "out-smoke" anyone who dared to challenge him. On this day, as he was sitting out in the sunshine smoking his pipe, a stranger wearing a cloak approached and started to boast about his own smoking abilities. Van Hunks would have none of this and suggested a smoking competition. The two men made themselves comfortable, refilled their pipes and started puffing away. They smoked and smoked, and puffed and puffed and neither man showed signs of slowing down. Hours later a large cloud of smoke had formed around them. Finally the stranger stood up, admitted defeat and staggered off the way he had come. As he moved away, the wind caught his cloak and Van Hunks caught a glimpse of a cloven hoof where his foot should be. Van Hunks realised that he had won a very dangerous game. Ever since that day the mountain has been known as Devil's Peak, and when a cloud covers the top of the mountain the people of Cape Town say that Van Hunks and the devil are at it again...

In this photo you can see Table Mountain with Devil's Peak on the left under a wisp of smoke er... cloud. 


Journal Entry 53 by snufkin81 at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, August 29, 2010

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Released 7 yrs ago (8/28/2010 UTC) at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent by airmail to Sfogs. Sorry for keeping this so long!! 


Journal Entry 54 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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Kia Ora! This book has arrived in the shakey Is of New Zealand, safe and sound!
On the 4th September at 4.35 in the morning, Christchurch my home city was woken by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake which has been followed so far by 100s of aftershocks, some of which have been very big!
Though the travels of this book with be far more exciting to read through!!
^-^  


Journal Entry 55 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, September 09, 2010

10 out of 10

Thanks everyone! I loved this strange story!

**From back of postcard**
Kia Ora (Hello)
From the abcity of Christchurch! On the 4th September the smog attacked via fault-lines in the earth. It caused a huge 7.1 magnitude earthquake!
So at 4.35 in the morning people were woken from their sleep. Many of the older moil houses collapsed or semi-collapsed and one 'car' was crushed by falling moil!!
No one died but many injured, so this smog attack failed. All unbrellas have been turned into rebrellas incase they try to help the smog in another attack. All water is boiled incase of contamination.
Beware other abcities of similar smog attacks! Stay Safe!

NB***Our native citizens like the Kiwi are not to be confused with smog-formed smoglodytes.  


Journal Entry 56 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, September 10, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (9/10/2010 UTC) at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

In the post!! 


Journal Entry 57 by winglinguistkriswing at Graz, Steiermark Austria on Sunday, September 12, 2010

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Dear Sfogs,

surely you mean the abcity of Chrissake and old houses that are moic


Journal Entry 58 by RosieCanberra at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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Wow - received the book yesterday - many thanks Sfogs! Looking forward to reading this, and having a good read of all the postcards that have travelled around the world with it. 


Journal Entry 59 by RosieCanberra at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, October 16, 2010

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I really enjoyed this book - postcard text is below. I will pass on to awaywithfairies at the Sydney Unconvention next weekend.
cheers!
RMJWOLD

This post card is large – like Australia itself.
G’day from the abcity of Canberra. I must say the bureaucrats in Un Lun Dun give Canberran’s a bad name! Canberra is considered a bureaucratic government town that is boring and serious. But it is anything but.

It is a planned city, with parklands, lakes, national museums and art galleries.
The people of Canberra are the best educated, sportiest and highest paid.
I feel privileged to live in such a great place, with our clean air and water. Very little smog here.

 


Journal Entry 60 by wingawaywithfairieswing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Arrived in the mail today. This may take me a little while to read as I am currently studying a course. It was a treat to peruse the postcards and I am impressed by Sandwood's incredibly neat and legible handwriting! 


Journal Entry 61 by wingawaywithfairieswing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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An imaginative story. Not my usual reading fare but I enjoyed it. The illustrations were a delight. My favourite are the piranhas on page 323!

My postcard depicts the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The message:
Settled in 1788, Sydney is Australia's oldest city. Many of the earliest settlers were convicts and the soldiers assigned to guard them. In 2010, the population is now over 4 million and is the country's largest city. It's most famous landmarks are the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. 


Journal Entry 62 by wingawaywithfairieswing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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Released 6 yrs ago (11/17/2010 UTC) at Sydney, New South Wales Australia

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Posted to Tinina67 today. I saw the woman in the post office toss the parcel onto a pile of mail without putting any postage on it, so I hope it gets to its destination OK! 


Journal Entry 63 by Tinina67 at Gold Coast, Queensland Australia on Monday, November 22, 2010

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This book arrived safe and sound - nearly forgot that I signed up for this. :-)
Already on page 140!
Thanks for including me. 


Journal Entry 64 by Tinina67 at Gold Coast, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

8 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book - a bit of everything: Alice, Narnia, Roald Dahl, Fairy Tale...and a great and easy and entertaining read.
Must admit I would have never come on the idea to read this book ...so - thanks for including me.

I am not really living at the Gold Coast - but there are'nt any postcards of my area. If you are really curious about where I live:
Cabbage Tree Point

I will send it on asap. 


Journal Entry 65 by Tinina67 at Gold Coast, Queensland Australia on Thursday, December 02, 2010

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Released 6 yrs ago (12/2/2010 UTC) at Gold Coast, Queensland Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to Kitty! Travel safe and enjoy! 


Journal Entry 66 by Dreamer-kitty at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Saturday, January 01, 2011

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Just picked this up at the Post Office, can't wait to read it, and all the postcards!
Thanks Tinina

05/10/2011 Update - hey guys, sorry I've been a book hog. I had a bunch of books come in at the same time, and then I moved. Been a rough few months. I should get this back out to the next person by early next week! 


Journal Entry 67 by TheLostBook at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 07, 2012

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Hello everyone.

Un Lun Dun has been with Dreamer-kitty for over a year now, and s/he's no longer responding to PMs. It looks as if the book won't be moving any time soon -- but maybe in the future Dreamer-kitty will be in a place where s/he's able to finish reading and send it on.

In the meantime, the lovely vedranaster has offered another copy of Un Lun Dun to continue the ring.

See the journal entries for the new copy.

If you'd like to make a JE on the new copy so that you continue to receive updates when it's journalled, please PM me for the BCID.

Many thanks to vedranaster. 


Journal Entry 68 by TheLostBook at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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The second part of this bookring, with vedranaster's replacement copy of Un Lun Dun, has now finished. The book is back in Edinburgh while we work out where it should travel to next.

See the journal entries for the replacement copy to read reviews and postcard stories from Croatia, the USA, Australia and Finland. 


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