Released on 25 February 2016.

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This Census-Taker

3.31 based on 3634 ratings & 711 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

[China Miéville] is just regarded as one of the most interesting and freakishly gifted writers of his generation, an estimation this novella only upholds.
This sparse, surreal novel brilliantly shows the gradual unfolding of piecemeal memories following a trauma.
Washington Post
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