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The City of Dreaming Books Paperback – September 2, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
''A salmagundi of whimsy, imagination and book lore -- remarkable fun.'' --Cleveland Plain Dealer
''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.'' --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I repent. Most completely. I was wrong in every way. This is one of the finest fantasy novels I've ever read. Moers actually takes a talking dinosaur and makes him interesting and a complete character, to say nothing of the other species and humans in this world. Moers doesn't rely on creatures others have constructed, but in every step forms his own creations.
The character development in this novel is astounding, and so much deeper than what you find in most modern novels. This is a novel for adults with depth (and definitely not for children). It is not only extraordinarily well written throughout, but I now see those first few pages were exactly the right build-up, and the old-fashioned style (Dear Reader) fit exactly the theme and points Moers wanted to convey.
I was supposed to do a lot of other tasks, and read other books. I couldn't stop reading this one. To say the unexpected happened is to say far too little, for Moers grabbed me by the collar and pulled me along his story so that I was continuously out of breath and at wit's end trying to guess what would happen next. Every word in this is honed.Read more ›
It is a wonderful, fantastic tale about a young writer that goes to the city of dreaming books and his adventures. Whoever loves books will find parallels to many experiences had while reading, masterfully integrated into the narration. Moreover it is very diverting and thrilling but nonetheless full of wit and subtle hints to the whole cosmos of Literature.
In my opinion: a masterpiece that every book lover should have read.
I got it as a Xmas present for my Dad who loathes fantasy and any kind of story not situated on this earth and even he loved it.
The story begins in Lindworm Castle (which was featured in Rumo), where Optimus Yarnspinner sits at the deathbed of his authorial godfather, Dancelot Wordwright. Wordwright gives him a manuscript, which he claims to be the greatest piece of writing ever. (It's about writer's block) Wordwright's dying wish for Yarnspinner is for him to become a writer. After reading the manuscript, however, he is so overtaken with ecstacy that he feels he has to go to the City of Dreaming Books to find the author of the manuscript. To make a long story short, Yarnspinner meets the shark grub Pfistomel Smyke (possibly a relation to Volzotan Smyke from "Bluebear" and "Rumo"), who claims to know the author and be able to track him down. Unfortunately, Smyke is not as benevolent as he seems; he poisons Yarnspinner with a book (yes, a book), and treacherously maroons him in the city's labyrinthine catacombs. Yarnspinner's only hope of getting out is to find the elusive Copohnius Regenshein, the famous bookhunter. Along the way, he must watch out for bookhunters, harpies, the fearsome booklings, and the legendary Shadow King.
In Moers' Zamonian world, anything can happen. For example, there are the animatomes (living books), hazardous books (with poison or booby traps in them), and bookhunters (unscrupulous bounty hunters who go searching for the most rare books, and will do anything to get them).Read more ›
The protagonist in this novel is a young (a mere 70 years old) saurian called Optimus Yarnspinner. Upon his beloved Authorial Godfather's deathbed, he inherits an unpublished manuscript. A manuscript so profound, so engrossing that once one has read it, a writer will never wish to write again. So off goes our young hero, into the wild world to hunt for this anonymous author. To the City of Dreaming Books he makes his way - a bibliophile's utopia, and there he is tricked and trapped into the terrible and twisted catacomb of libraries. Here, in this maze of passages and tunnels, creatures more terrifying than your worst nightmare lurk. Here reading a book is genuinely dangerous, and ruthless bookhunters fight to the death for literary gems. Here, in the realm of the terribly mysterious Shadow King our intrepid writer finds himself.
A real stand out novel, this would have to make it into my top #5 for 2007. It is a must-read for all you fantasy geeks with a love of libraries. And it would make an excellent role-playing adventure too! (Don't tempt me...)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was too confusing for me. It was a very creative story, no doubt but I just couldn't keep up with this fantasy realm. Not for mePublished 5 days ago by Thorn Angel
Disappointed in the story line. It actually rehashed an earlier book in a puppet play. I've read all this author's books to my knowledge and most are good adult fantasy novels. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Margaret A. Bales
I ordered this book as used paperback. The sticker on the front said .50 cents. I paid 5.38. I think it was overpriced a tad. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Martha Yokawonis
The writer, Optimus, is a dinosaur and the city is devoted to the buying and selling of books and populated by the most unusual creatures. Read morePublished 1 month ago by NYCUsedBookSeller
What a cool setting--very imaginative, and populated by unique characters (both in their designs and their personalities). Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shaun
Just bought this for my gf at the time, so i have no idea what to rate it.Published 4 months ago by James Coleman
This is an absolutely fascinating book that I am glad to have found. The second of this series came upon my friend and we both required to read the first befre entering the second. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Katherine LaRose
Walter Moers is my *favorite* author and this book is a solid addition to his others. I thoroughly enjoy his fantastic ideas and themes. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JustRachel