The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear


I doubt I’m the only one who does it, but I love to wander the aisles of the bookstore and find something random.  I admit that I do occasionally judge a book by its cover, or its size.  This book by Walter Moers, the first in the Zamonia series, was one I found during a bookstore stroll.  It seemed like it was a children’s book by the cover, but it was not misplaced– it’s a book for adults but with illustrations.  A great kind of book, in my personal opinion.

Captain Bluebear is the focus of the book and the narrator.  He doesn’t know how he was born– he appeared one day, floating in a nutshell on the open ocean.  He lived his first life with the Minipirates, tiny ocean dwellers who have never actually managed to pillage anything.

Each life is a new adventure for Bluebear.  He travels all over, under, and through Zamonia, meeting new creatures and exploring the corners of the country.  He flies with a pterodactyl, falls through multiple dimensions, and runs from a Spiderwitch.  The descriptions are amazing, and the illustrations make it even better.

Bluebear is surprisingly wise too.  Some quotes I enjoyed:

“… a good white lie is often considerably more exciting than the truth.  Telling one is like dressing reality up in its Sunday Best.”

“However great the challenge, it’s easier to overcome with a decent meal inside you.”

“Life is too precious to be left to chance.”

I already ordered the rest of the series, and I’m super excited to read it.  The story is pure madness in the best way.  Moers is extremely inventive, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures await in Zamonia.


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