Monday, July 23, 2007

Weekend reading

Since this is the week that almost everyone is devoting to juvenile fantasy fiction, I decided, being neither a Potterite nor a parent of a Potterite, to read China Miéville's Un Lun Dun. It's a big fun book, full of typical-for-Miéville weird creatures and objects and a few sly takes the tradition of fantasy lit for young people (Through the Looking Glass, without rhymes; a parallel London, akin to Neil Gaiman's Underwhere; and even Norbert Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth done without the didactics). I appreciated his irreverent turns with the obligatory motives -- the odd set of companions out on a quest, the corruption of bureaucratic power, the value of words and books -- and one major plot point in particular, for which Miéville earns some historical materialist brownie points (not surprising, as the author is a trotskyist).

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