Book: The City of Dreaming Books

Finally the book that started me on a crazy  journey in Zamonia, the 4th book set in Zamonia, but the 3rd to be translated, I was looking forward to reading this book for a long time. And it does not disappoint.

A book about books, and what a wonderful homage to the craft of creating books. From the writing process which is delved into at length to the appreciating and reading of books, to the paper and binding and covers of books. This isn’t just about how great and amazing writers can be, this is a book that truly shows how much love there can be for books! It has really inspired me to want to collect books. An expensive hobby but one that I would embark on with no regrets.

But yes, more about the book itself. A wonderful story about Optimus Yarnspinner and his journey to find the author of the perfect story. The way the emotions are described when an individual reads the perfect story is really funny, and reminds us that books can invoke such a host of feelings. They truly transport one to a different world and allows us to leave all our cares and worries behind.

Where shadows dim with shadows mate

in caverns deep and dark,

where old books dream of bygone days

when they were wood and bark,

where diamonds from coal are born

and no birds ever sing.

that region is the dread domain

ruled by the Shadow King.

The first part of the book really fleshes out the main character and the setting of the book. Although we are once again in Zamonia, we are this time in Bookholm the City of Dreaming Books. A place I would love to visit in real life. It’s a wonderfully crafted city with just enough mystery attached to it. Again familiar characters as well as species make an appearance, but what truly takes my breath away it the type of books described in this book. Such a range of book types like Toxicotomes tha can poison or even kill the reader to animotomes that move on their own accord. Walter Moers gives life to genres and weaves in the names of famous authors using anagrams. I admit I could only decipher a few. An example of one is: Aliesha Wimperslake. Can you guess who he is referring to?

The second part of the book where we enter the catacombs of bookholm is where the story really shines. We’re introduced to a whole host of new species and characters that amaze and some that really bring a smile to every book lovers face. In this book Walter Moers purports to be translating the work of Optimus Yarnspinner, so the style has changed a little compared to his previous books. More so when you realize that the city of dreaming books is supposed to be part of a memoir by Optimus Yarnspinner. The sense of adventure is not as evident, it instead reads like a thriller and there are a number of twists and turns that the book brings you through. Still a very good read and I guess it has become quite evident that I’ve really grown to love Walter Moers.

There is a sequel to this book, but it has yet to be translated to English. I have fallen in love with the city, its history as well as its present. It’s fascinating and really brings out the book lover in me. So I’m really looking forward to the – The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books. And may I also add that although this isn’t my favourite book of Walter Moers, he has created the most brilliant characters/species and that is the Booklings. I’m not going to go into any detail about them, you’ll have to read the book to find out more. Suffice to say, they are everything I wished I dreamed of and more.

If you love books, I really think you’ll enjoy this book immensely.

3 Responses to “Book: The City of Dreaming Books”
  1. lifeandlims says:

    I’ve never heard of this one! I do enjoy books about books, so I’m eager to read this and see what I think.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Labyrinth of Dreaming books is the sequel to The City of Dreaming Books. Set 200 years after the events of the first book, my biggest gripe with it was the fact that it […]

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