The City of Dreaming Books (Zamonia Series #3)

( 37 )

Overview

The author of 13 1⁄2 Lives of Captain Bluebear transports us to a magical world. Optimus Yarnspinner, finds himself marooned in the subterranean world of Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, where reading can be dangerous, where ruthless Bookhunters fight to the death.

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Overview

The author of 13 1⁄2 Lives of Captain Bluebear transports us to a magical world. Optimus Yarnspinner, finds himself marooned in the subterranean world of Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, where reading can be dangerous, where ruthless Bookhunters fight to the death.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

German author and cartoonist Moers returns to the mythical lost continent of Zamonia in his uproarious third fantasy adventure to be translated into English (after 2006's Rumo), a delightfully imaginative mélange of Shel Silverstein zaniness and oddball anthropomorphism à la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Optimus Yarnspinner, a young saurian novelist, embarks on a quest to track down the anonymous author of the "most magnificent piece of writing in the whole of Zamonian literature." Traveling to Bookholm, the legendary City of Dreaming Books, the naïve Yarnspinner falls victim to Pfistomel Smyke, a maggotlike literary scholar who poisons Yarnspinner and abandons him in the treacherous catacombs miles below the city's surface. Stranded in an underworld steeped in terror-inducing myth and home to more than a few bizarre inhabitants, Yarnspinner undertakes a long and perilous journey back to the world above. Enchanting illustrations by the author compliment a wonderfully whimsical story that will appeal to readers of all ages. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Sure, Larry McMurtry's got his own book town in Texas, and then there's Sedbergh and Hay-on-Wye over England way. But none of them can compare to the setting of Moers's (Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures, 2006, etc.) semifabulous tale of treasures hidden. Those with no patience for the syrupy, who eschew easy puns, who upchuck when Paolo Coelho's name comes up, are warned forthwith. German novelist Moers puts Tolkien through some sort of Willy Wonka sweetening process and comes up with characters such as Optimus Yarnspinner, who, names being fate and all, just has to be a storyteller, a gloriously esteemed trade over in the magical land of Zamonia. Op's pop's pal, Uncle Dancelot, is "more of a connoisseur of literature than an originator thereof," even though he's gone out to lunch for decades on the strength of his sole book, The Joys of Gardening. Dancelot has discovered the most wonderful manuscript in all the land and has gone all Svengali-like (or maybe Entrekin-esque) over the prospects of bringing its glories to the world. But then, zounds, old Dancelot takes a dirt nap and Optimus is left with the manuscript, which puts him in "a state of feverish exuberance after only a few paragraphs." What's an entrepreneur to do? Well, head for Bookholm, where booksellers and publishers abound, the former peddling books that are "neither truly alive nor truly dead but located in an intermediate limbo akin to sleep." In this altogether bookish and symbolism-choked place, Optimus learns valuable lessons, such as how to keep clear of big bad Pfistomel Smyke and the voracious Bookhunters while absorbing useful lessons in literature and life from the likes of the Homuncolossus, who instructs ouryoung charge that the only reason he hasn't produced publishable work himself is that he's "writing with the wrong paw." Q.E.D. "Tonstant Weader fwowed up," wrote Dorothy Parker after reading Winnie the Pooh. She had it easy. For the innocent of heart, unsullied by taste.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590201114
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Series: Zamonia Series , #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 155,416
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

The 13 12 Lives of Captain Bluebear has sold 200,000 copies in Germany and is a phenomenally successful TV programme. Walter Moers was born in 1957 and is an author, cartoonist, painter and scriptwriter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the greatest reads of my life.

    I have read all of Walter Moers works, and this is by far his best. I am an obsessive reader, and this is in my all time top ten. Such a miraculous tale filled with adventure, suspense, hope, all that you could want. This is an ideal book for any book lover. A book about a city of books which sits atop catacombs filled with books. Written by a man who obviously is madly in love with books. A bibliophile cannot ask for a better piece of art. Read this, you won't regret it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    An oddly wonderful book

    Always looking for something a little different to read, I stumbled across this book. What a delightfully different book with as many twists and turns as the catacombs beneath Bookholm! I couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    book love

    My newest favorite book. A little chunk of bliss in a book. Did not want to put it down until I was done and then wanted to cry because it was over. Happiness in print.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Crazy, Loony, and purely Amazing

    Check out my review on 'The Alchemaster's Apprentice' it is the same for this masterpiece

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Bookworm Must Read!

    Optimus Yarnspinner destiny is to become a writer. Some of the best Zamomian literature has come from Lindworm Castle where Optimus lives.<BR/><BR/>When his authorial godfather, Dancelot Wordwright, passes away he lives Optimus a mysterious manuscript. After reading it he decides he must find the author.<BR/><BR/><BR/>So he sets off for the only place a mysterious author might be found, Bookholm.<BR/><BR/>"Bookholm had more than five thousand officially registered antiquarian bookshops and roughly an thousand semi-legal establishments that sold, in addition to books, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and intoxicating herbs and essences whose ingestion was reputed to enhance your pleasure and powers of concentration when reading. There was also an almost incalculable number of itinerant vendors with printed matter of every conceivable kind for sale in shoulder bags or in handcarts, in wheelbarrows and mobile bookcases. Bookholm boasted over six hundred publishing houses, fifty-five printers, a dozen paper mills and a steadily growing number of factories producing lead type and printers ink. There were shops offering thousands of different bookmarks and ex-libris, stonemasons specializing in bookends, cabinetmakers workshops and furniture stores filled with lecterns and bookcases, opticians who manufactured spectacles and magnifying glasses, and coffeeshops on ever street corner."<BR/><BR/>Optimus was in a booklovers paradise. He spends the next couple days just wandering through the city. He even sees his first bookhunter! He happens upon a building with a sign outside saying it was "The Chamber of Hazardous Books". The Vulphead outside tells passerby to make out their wills before entering. There are books that can bite, strangle and fly. Optimus decides against going in. He also gets to see the "Graveyard of Forgotten Writers" (not an actual graveyard), "Poison Alley" and "Editorial Lane".<BR/>He makes a few attempts at finding the author to the manuscript he carries. Either no one knows or is unwilling to talk about who the author is.<BR/>Finally he finds someone whom he thinks will help him. Poor Optimus is tricked and banished deep within the catacombs of the city. Opitmus is in for an adventure of a lifetime if he can only survive trying to find his way out of the catacombs. <BR/><BR/>I truly enjoyed reading this book. I loved reading the descriptions of the city and the titles of some of the books Optimus finds. Walter Moers has written several books set in this same world of Zamomian. If you haven't had a chance to read this I think most readers will enjoy this book. I enjoyed his other book called "the 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    To sum up this novel - it is yet another stroke of genius by German author Walter Moers. His previous books took us into the continent of Zamonia, and this book does it once more. Comical drawings done by Moers himself only add to the exciting and captivating setting of this novel. A good book with no doubt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A strange book with stranger creatures.  There are lizards, cycl

    A strange book with stranger creatures.  There are lizards, cyclopes, living books, and some things I can not even describe.   Optimus Yanspinner goes on an adventure looking for the author of the best written story ever.    Optimus almost dies many times as he gets lost in the catacombs of Bookholm..  




    I did not get into the book until I was half way through.  The book became fun once the Booklings came along.  This a uniquely strange and delirious book.  I find it really hard to described because is like nothing I can remember.   I figure how can you go wrong with a book about books and a world that loves books.




    The biggest reason I had a hard time getting into the book until the middle was because all the strange names and strange descriptions.  I also felt that there were times the description was like watching a movie with too much going on at once and not really knowing what was going on.  I reread some scenes over and over. 




    A world of book lovers and writers who write books that become magically dangerous and some that are just normal readable books. How can you not love a world like that if you are avid reader.  The book is very different.  Am I glad I read it? Yeah I guess I am.  It really for someone with an wide open imagination. 

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  • Posted February 17, 2014

    Highly recommend Walter Moers. Imaginative world of Zamonia that

    Highly recommend Walter Moers. Imaginative world of Zamonia that is insanely creative &amp; filled with books &amp; bookings. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    One of the best books i ever read!

    Wonderful

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Amazing book

    Another gem by walter moers

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  • Posted December 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this book and all the characters!

    Loved this book and all the characters!

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Amazing

    There has never been, nor will there ever be a masterpiece like this again. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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    Posted August 18, 2013

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    Posted April 4, 2009

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    Posted February 14, 2012

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    Posted August 2, 2011

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    Posted June 6, 2011

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    Posted April 13, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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