Released on 25 February 2016.

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This Census-Taker

3.31 based on 3932 ratings & 755 reviews on

2017 Short-listed

Rathbones Folio Prize


In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a traumatic event. He tries - and fails - to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.

When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.

But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?

A novella filled with beauty, terror and strangeness, This Census-Taker by China Miéville is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

In the media

Compelling . . . the classic Miéville themes of power, alienation and politics are never far from the surface, and the tale lingers in the memory.
Chicago Tribune
This sparse, surreal novel brilliantly shows the gradual unfolding of piecemeal memories following a trauma.
Washington Post
Gripping and tantalisingly elusive . . . akin to trying to remember an important yet only half-understood event.