Released on 25 February 2016.

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This Census-Taker

3.31 based on 3833 ratings & 735 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 is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

In the media

A stark and subtle fable that manages to be both lapidary and nebulous at the same time. "Haunting" does not do justice to its exquisitely eerie properties . . . This is the most poetic of Miéville's books so far . . . It can be appreciated just for its complex psychology and emotional impact - it is by far his most plangent book, suffused with a tight-lipped melancholy.
Scotland on Sunday
Miéville is regarded as one of the most interesting and freakishly gifted writers of his generation. He has an astonishing facility - rare in writers of imaginative fiction - for invention . . . The prose is as precise ad the writing done by a monumental mason, but it has been chiselled into a realistic depiction of fog. It is eerie but solid.
Daily Telegraph
Miéville's brain-twisting, inventive use of language pins the indefinable to the page, reading this slim book feels like gasping a lungful of air, holding it throughout the letting it out slowly, wondering what just happened. A challenging, thought-provoking read.