July 1, 2009

The wonderful world of Zamonia

A few weeks ago I tried to introduce a friend to the great world of reading. First problem was that he only understands German, so most books I've read were eliminated by this communication problem. So I thought about it for a while and remembered my great affection for Walter Moers. I'm not sure if many Non-German readers know him but he is really great. He's one of the most known comic creators in Germany and a unique author.

His comics are mostly satiric and political incorrect. The most popular ones are "Das kleine Arschloch" (The little Asshole) and "Adolf, die Nazi-Sau" (Adolf, the Nazi-Pig, here the music video). These need a little getting used to. The comic I love most is "Der Fönig". It's about a fing who just wants to go to the klea market but is thrown in the middle of a war with Krance. But the story is not the import thing about this book. It begins with the statement: That in his fingdom all F's are replaced by K's and vice versa. He uses words with many F's and K's- sometimes you have to read the word a few times to understand what he means. But this book is only kunny if you understand German relativly good.

But I love Moers for his Zamonia Novels. He created a world of his own with fascinating characters like Troglotrolls, Alpine Imps, Wolpertings and many many more. This long lost continent is also home of the popular capital city Atlantis, the Nocturnal Academy(including the seven-brained Prof. Dr. Abdullah Nightingale) and the Demarara Desert with its nomadic Mugg people.

My first contact with Zamonia was as a child of 5 years. Like most German kids I watched every Sunday "Die Sendung mit der Maus", a kids program which describes how the world runs, e.g. how is tooth paste made? or things like that. And in the end of the show there was always a cartoon with Captain Bluebear, a Chromobear who's created by Moers. He lives with his 3 nephews and Hein Blöd on the stranded cutter Elvira. Everytime Bluebear tells a story about his life as a captain which includes many unrealistic events or creatures. The nephews always acuse him of lying and he denies it. I hated it. My young moralic mind couldn't accept this public lying. You see. I always took the side of the young folks rather than accept the wisdom of old age. So I stopped watching the end of the show.

Many years later I got "The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear" as a birthday present and read it after a few convincing discussions with friends and family.

Here a description of the book:
"A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. I shall recount thirteen and half of them in this book but keep quiet about the rest..." says the narrator of Walter Moer's epic adventure. "...Mine is a tale of mortal danger and eternal love, of hair's breadth, last minute escapes."Welcome to the fantastic and wondrous world of Zamonia, populated by all manners of extraodinary characters and created by author and illustrator Walter Moers. 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 goodreads.com)

This book started my fascination with Zamonia especially because of Bluebear. I have to announce I love him now. The story is magnificent weird and wonderfully illustrated. It's full of unique ideas and intriguing wordgames. I read the German edition and so I can't guarantee that the translation is good, but I think a translator has to be a total nitwit to ruin this book.

Other books about Zamonia:

The City of Dreaming Books: German / English
Rumo: And His Miraculous Adventures: German / English
The Alchemaster's Apprentice: German / English
Ensel und Krete: German / German audiobook (read by Dirk Bach, a German comedian; MUST HAVE)


Taschima Cullen July 2, 2009 at 5:39 PM  

Hello Geeky Bookworm!

I know how you feel. My mom only reads im spanish, and for that she can't read some of my fav books.

Might you want to come by my blog?

I got cookies!

Taschima Cullen

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