One of the biggest disappointments about having a reading list is when you finally get to read that one book that's been at the top of the list for months....and it sucks. However, this was not that book.
I know that technically, The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear does not fit into my LXG reading challenge, but it's been at the top of my reading list ever since I found it in a bookstore back in October/November of last year. I didn't buy it, but I took note of the name and author (Walter Moers) and promised to read it later. I found it at the library this summer and was a bit surprised by just how big it was.....703 pages was about twice as long as I had remembered it being. All the same, it might as well have been only 150 pages long, since I was able to tear through it so quickly. To be honest, apart from the fact that it was HEAVY to carry around, I was not really aware of it's lengthy plot. This book simply flies by!
Walter Moers's book tells the story of a young "bluebear" called....well....Bluebear (creative, right?) As the author states, all bluebears have 27 lives, but we only get to hear about the first 13 1/2 of Bluebear's. From minipirates and hobgoblins to eternal tornadoes and the lost city of Atlantis, Bluebear chronicles an adventurous and well-lived grouping of lives. At first, I wasn't exactly sure what to think of this book. The plot reminded me of the stories I would concoct for myself as a little girl, and I feared that the puerile nature of these ideas would leak out into the book. BUT.....it didn't. Not even for one second did I feel that this was a book for little children, or that I was too mature to read it. Like another iconic bear's porridge, it was "just right"...a fantasy book for adults.
I love how seamlessly Moers combines the magic of J.R.R. Tolkein with the wit and creativity of Jasper Fforde, all the while retaining a voice that is completely his own. I can assure you that the next time I go to the library, I'll be looking for more of his works. There were a few more books on the shelf at the library, so rest assured, this is not the last time you'll hear of Walter Moers on this blog. I would write a bit more about Bluebear's adventures, but honestly, I don't know where to begin! There is just too much to cover. Personally, I think the best thing to do is simply to check out the book for yourselves; it's worth the time! And don't be intimidated by the size....it's a super-quick read :) AND!!!! There are pictures! It really enhances the experience :)