Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reader Recs: 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers

13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear

Paperback: 704 pages
Publisher: The Overlook Press; Tra edition ()
ISBN-13: 978-1585678440
Kindle: 8875 KB
Publisher: The Overlook Press; Tra edition (August 29, 2006)
Available on Amazon

A Fantastical and Funny Odyssey

Kid the Younger discovered this book. She came up with her own summer reading list based on some internet suggestions and most of them have been misses, but with this I think she struck gold. She's been going around the house lugging this giant brick of a book, and I can see her smiling as she reads it.

I asked her what she thinks of it. She loves it, it's very funny, it's full of illustrations, and she wants her own copy (this is the ultimate book compliment in our house as we have neither space no budget to buy everything we read). It's about a blue bear and the story starts when he was born. It's set in an imaginary world, Zamonia - there's a map of it on the front of the book - and my impression is that the book is a kind of travelogue.

I asked her if it was a kid's book and she said, yes and not necessarily, which I take to mean that it's for kids up to age 97. I think I will read it next when she's done.

Here's the blurb:
The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear is playful enough for young adult readers, yet as intricate and engaging as any work of literary fiction; it has the plot of a novel and the spontaneity and humor of a vintage comic book.

"A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. I shall recount thirteen and a half of them in this book but keep quiet about the rest," says the narrator of Walter Moers’s epic adventure. "What about the Minipirates? What about the Hobgoblins, the Spiderwitch, the Babbling Billows, the Troglotroll, the Mountain Maggot…Mine is a tale of mortal danger and eternal love, of hair’s breadth, last-minute escapes." Welcome to the fantastic world of Zamonia, populated by all manner of extraordinary characters. It’s a land of imaginative lunacy and supreme adventure, wicked satire and epic fantasy, all mixed together, turned on its head, and lavishly illustrated by the author.

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  1. If you don't mind, how old is Kid the Younger? The book sounds delightful. I've been reading some of the classic children's books such as Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, even Beatrix Potter. They have been both fun and surprising. It would be interesting to read a kid's book that wasn't written a century ago. Please thank K the Y for her opinion. JTB

    1. Kid the Younger is 14 (for a few more days). She used to be quite the reader - started on Harry Potter in 4th grade, iirc, but she's been more into manga (and at one point fan-fiction) lately. I'm glad to see her back into books again.