Sunday, December 13, 2009

The City of Dreaming Books - Walter Moers

buy - author wiki

The Deal: At this point in time, due to an RSI, I can only type for 10 minutes at a time. What you see below is what is hammered out before the timer goes off- and nothing more.

Sometimes, you look at a title, and you just know the book is for you.

This is apparently the fourth Zamonian book, but having read none of the others I can say it stands alone perfectly. It follows Optimus Yarnspinner, a young and aspiring writer (another point in favour) who among other things inherits a short story from his uncle. The short story has no author, and it is such an astonishingly powerful piece of writing that it consumes his waking life and he becomes fixated on discovering the author's identity, thus seeing him making the journey to Bookholm.

Bookholm is nothing but books.

Oh, for such a city.

There are bookshops, of course, and publishers and printers in order to make books for the bookshops, of course, and shops specialising in the paraphernalia of publishing, of course, and coffee shops in which to take your current book to read in, of course, and to attending readings, of course, and um, that's about it. It's all books. Every life within revolves around books, the reading, making, writing, selling, discovering off.

Oh, for such a city.

Optimus's quest to discover the author's identity leads him strange places, and puts him in no small amount of peril, and through it all he maintains this adorable tone of polite society. In his voice, even when there are threats and knives in the darkness, I can hear the chink of a good china cup against a saucer, a cup of tea being the only civilised drink. There's a lovely armchair-naivety about him, not necessarily ignorance, but that which comes from knowing the world solely through the reading of books.

This books is sufficed with a love of books, and stories, and writing. It is gorgeous, and wonderful, and delightful, and whenever I cracked the pages and started into it again I felt warm and fuzzy.

It's also illustrated. IT HAS PICTURES. I say again, and again - not enough books come with illustrations.

Verdict: A lovely lovely lovely wonderful book for the reader, and you are a reader, in all of us, shall definitely be hunting out more of Moers's work.

Miss Apricot took the opportunity to judge what the Booklings are reading, instead of me. What a stickybeak.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, thank. I picked up an original German version once on holiday at the Bodensee, I was covinced to get it as soon as I saw the amazing illustrations inside. I've only read a little of it so far, but I'm glad to see that it's worth persiting with.

    I've got a copy too of the first book in the series: The `3 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear', from what I've seen of that it's worth your while reading too.