Have you ever been reading a book and before even finishing the last page you've already decided you've discovered a new favorite? In fact, you're a little spiteful that you went this long without knowing this book even existed? Thats how I felt about City of Dreaming Books. At his godfather's deathbed, Optimus Yarnspinner (an aspiring writer/dinosaur) inherits a story so excellent he leaves home on a grand quest to find the mysterious author of this near-perfect text. Arriving in Bookholm, the titular city, he soon runs afoul of the wrong people and finds himself maliciously trapped in the catacombs deep beneath the city, a dangerous netherworld of robbers, monsters and, naturally, books. Literary puns abound but what holds the novel together is the author's sheer sense of inventiveness. The deeper Optimus ventures underground, the wilder and more fantastic the story becomes. The humor resembles that of Terry Pratchett or the Phantom Tollbooth, but Moers is his own writer and, in the end, his story is unique. It is rollicking, sometimes silly, but ultimately sincere ode to books, those who write them, and of course, those who read them
A translation of a follow-up to The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebeard finds young writer Optimus Yarnspinner inheriting from his beloved godfather an unpublished anonymous short story, a bequest that takes him to the city of Bookholm in search of its writer. Reprint.