"A bluebear has 27 lives. I shall recount thirtreen-and-a-half of them in this book but keep quiet about the rest," says the narrator of Walter Moers’s epic adventure. "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, including Minipirates, Hobgoblins, Babbling Billows, the Spiderwitch, the Troglotroll, and the Mountain Maggot. It’s a land of imaginative lunacy and supreme adventure, wicked satire and epic fantasy, all mixed together and turned on its head.
Playful enough for young adult readers, yet as intricate and engaging as any work of literary fiction, The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear has the plot of a novel and the spontaneity and humor of a vintage comic book, making it already an instant cult classic.
©1999 Eichborn GmbH & Co (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A wild, fun-filled ride.” (School Library Journal)
“Even readers with short attention spans will find themselves captivated by the nonstop parade of madcap characters as treacherous predicaments resolve themselves with charming ease. . . .Comparisons to Harry Potter aside, Moers's kaleidoscopic expedition is fanciful and endlessly entertaining.” (Publishers Weekly)
At first I'd like to mention that all of Walter Moers books are kind of either you love them or you don't like them - I don't think there's much inbetween. However - if you like humorous, fantastic and intelligently written stories I strongly recommend to either read or listen to one of his books, because chances are high you'll like them.
Some words to the Zamonia novels in general:
Walter Moers is a German author and I read all his Zamonia novels in German first (I'm German too) and listened to two in German (Alchemasters Apprentice and City of Dreaming Books). I think I can say that Zamonia books together are my favorite books.
Nevertheless, I had my doubts, if it would be possible to translate these books accordingly, because Moers created so many new, fantastic words, creatures, locations, sciences etc. in his novels. But I have to admit, after listening the first four hours of Captain Bluebear, that the English version is nearly as good as the German one, even if I as a .
In my opinion, Captain Bluebear is the "least good" (because worst wouldn't be the right expression) of the Zamonia novels, but if you haven't read or listened to any of them yet, I would still recommend you to start with this book, because it gives you the best overview over the Zamonian world. Rumo, the City of Dreaming Books and to some extend the Alchemasters Apprentice sometimes reference to small sections of Captain Bluebear (you would still understand the story without knowing the Bluebear, but it's even more fun, if you recognize some parts from other books again).
There's one big disadvantage that comes with listening to the audio version instead of reading the actual book: You don't get see Moers drawings, which often give you a good picture of what kind of creature Moers is talking about in the respective section.
But this disadvantage is nearly offset by the great way the book is read by Mr. Pinchot. He reads very entertaining and does a great job with the voices!
Attracted by the description, I listened to this book with my pre-teen sons. Both they and I were continually fascinated with Zamonia and anxious for the next adventure of Bluebear to unfold. Pinchot's voices were spot-on and the sonic "special effects" were perfect for this book. A fun romp through an imaginative world with not a lot of deep meanings hidden in the book unless you really want there to be. Occasionally annoying in his fastidiousness (I'll bet Bronson and his producer were tempted to omit some of the 'counting done from 79 million' parts--but no, it's unabridged!), Moers rewards your patience with fun surprises and twists. We can hardly wait to get started listening to Bronson Pinchot reading about Rumo the Wolpertinger.
The reading performance is fantastic, and adds so much to this story. The story is engrossing for adults and children. I didn't want it to end!
Say something about yourself!
What an adventure! This story really brought me in and had me eager to listen to the next twist!
I really "felt" the emotions and feelings of Captain Bluebear, you can understand the excitement, the loss, the fear.
Hm... I can't pick just one.
Bluebear! He was so believable in a world of make believe.
While the start was a little slow I definitely got into the book. At first I was thinking "Where is this going? What is the point?" and while there may not really be a point it is certainly a joy to relax and listen to such a wondrous adventure.
Most definitely! This book is more imaginative than any I've read or listened to in the past. I would listen to this over and over again, and probably pick up more details each time!
The author's creativity in character and location description is astounding. It's a great story for children and adults alike.
Bronson Pinchot was fantastic. He had different voices for each character and used different cadences and accents for many of them. The production quality, with sound effects was a bit asset as well.
Yes...but this is light fun listening. probably written for kids but lots of fun to me
Of Course Blue Bear
His tone and voice really bring out Blue Bear as the unfazed little bear that he is...even death is matter of fact...to be avoided but not the end of the world.
Um Blue bear.
BlueBear was such a great character, he handled every adventure well, enjoying everything around him. I laughed many times, smiled at others.
Then towards the end he gets upset and throws out a g..d... - where in the world did that come from? SO UNNECESSARY in this book! Didn't fit the character at all. Very disappointed in that part. My overall view of the book went down after that.
This book is kind of like a cross between Yellow Submarine and Baron Munchausen. Very strange but enjoyable. I would have given it 4 stars but the author had a tendency to ramble on about trivial stuff and it detracted from the story. For example at one point he is reading off a list of species and he just goes on and on and on well beyond my caring. The book also comes up short on plot at times. Overall though it was an enjoyable book. Pinchot is fantastic in his narration.
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