Yesterday evening, I was given German writer Walter Moers's most recent novel "Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher", which hasn't been translated to English yet (but which will probably be translated and published as The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books, considering that the predecessor "Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher" has been published under the name The City of Dreaming Books). This morning, I stood up and started to read it, an activity I only paused twice because I had to eat; I read all the >400 pages in a single day.
The book's pretty hilarious (in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy way), but it isn't as good as some of his previous books. This may also be because it is a direct successor to one of Moers's other books, and because his books usually amuse by their rich descriptions of fictious places, people, books, foods, drinks, music, literature genres, creatures, plants, parallel universes etc. Therefore, it gets a little boring if you already know most of these. I also found that it featured less of Moers's funny nice drawings, in which he had sometimes embedded the text in artistic ways, though that still was present (example: he filled a few pages with posters advertising fictitious puppet theater plays; nice, but it didn't seemed to be as cleanly executed as the grotesque descriptions of every single cultural happening on a "common evening in Atlantis", which spun over lots of pages in The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear). On the other hand, The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books may still be better than most of the successors to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, just as the City of Dreaming Books and the 13 1/2 Lifes of Captain Bluebear do definitely beat the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in hilarity, richness and literary quality.
And because I want to compose this list, all books of his in descending personal opinion on them:
- The City of Dreaming Books
- The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
- Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures
- The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books (untranslated)
- The Alchemaster's Apprentice (didn't like it too much)
- Ensel & Krete (untranslated, was pretty meh as a book, but acceptable as parody)
(- A Wild Ride Through The Night (urgh - Wikipedia just told me about it - I didn't yet read it myself, but probably a good book))
Top 3 are must-have-reads, even if I fear they may have lost some of their quality in translation, because Moers's style is incredibly punny.