Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Review: "The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear"

The first in Walter Moers' series about the fictional continent of Zamonia is The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear (Overlook, 2006), which serves as something of a geographical overview of Moers' universe in the form of a travelogue. Narrated by the eponymous Bluebear (a blue bear), the story tracks Bluebear's adventures through the first half of his 26 lives: from his rescue by the hilarious darkness-fearing, peg-legged Minipirates to his time spent in Professor Abdullah Nightingale's Nocturnal Academy to his stay in the middle of a tornado to his time as the champion liar of Atlantis ... and those are just four of the 13 1/2 lives he covers here.

As with the later books in the loosely-connected series, Moers fills the volume with details about the bizarre creatures and situations he's concocted, providing much background about Zamonian history, culture, cuisine, &c. For anyone who enjoys taking a magic carpet ride (with a gelatine prince from the 2364th dimension, in this case) around a very creative author's head, give this book a whirl. Witty, satirical, amusing, and completely nonsensical, Moers' books makes for a terrific diversion.


KarraCrow said...

Have you read City of Dreaming Books? That's my favorite Moers, although it is hard to choose! His little marginal drawings make it very difficult to pick between charming and completely charming.

JBD said...

Yeah, that was the first one I read, and is definitely my favorite. The Alchemaster's Apprentice was great fun too!