Un Lun Dun
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What is Un Lun Dun?
It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.
When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.
From the Hardcover edition.
to squeeze. Obaday stared at it in astonishment, and then cried out in pain. The melon-head was mouthlessly snarling. “Not what we had in mind,” said one of the Hex. “We were thinking of a tin-man sort of thing,” said another. “But a fructbot will do,” finished a third. There was a crack from Obaday’s wrist, and he screamed. The fruit-monster swung cherries and strawberries and black currants sausaged into a tail, ending in a pineapple like a spiked club. It sent Obaday sailing through the
With the Propheseers?” Zanna shook her head. “I don’t understand,” she said. We don’t know how it’ll affect her, Brokkenbroll had said. “What’s the last thing you remember?” Deeba said. “What do you mean?” said Zanna. “Yesterday? We…was it yesterday? I dreamt there was something outside my house, only…What is going on…?” She don’t remember a thing, Deeba thought. It’s all gone. She stared in astonishment. “What is this bloody noise?” Deeba’s mother opened the door in her dressing gown.
muscular body jutted an enormous extended neck. It was poking its head into the remnants of a top-floor window. Deeba heard the liquid-and-grinding noise again. The creature was chewing on the body of its prey. A minuscule noise escaped Deeba’s throat, and instantly the dreadful figure turned its head and looked at her with predator’s eyes. Loonlight shone on the curves of its horns. It pulled back its lips from a mouth full of fangs, which dripped slaver and blood. From deep in that
Unbrellissimo smiled slowly. “Good,” he said. He loomed suddenly and threw back his arms and spread out like a bat-wing shadow. For a second it looked as if he himself were a broken umbrella, his arms and legs crooked metal, his overcoat taut as a canopy, and then he swooped down on Deeba and grabbed her so fast he took her breath away. He bundled her into his grip and she could not scream or speak or even breathe, and everything went dark. 49 Trussed Deeba woke to voices.
beautiful, a vivid patchwork of reds, blues, and yellows. As it shuffled on its feet and eyed the travelers, several of its smaller companions swept around it in a quick aerobatic dance. “So where’s the…” Deeba started to ask. As she spoke, several of the birds raised crests on their necks and heads. Vivid colors swung upwards into temporary tiaras, in the center of each of which was a large, bright feather shaped like a key. The one adorning the big parrot was huge. “Never mind,” Deeba