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The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by…

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Walter Moers

Series: Zamonia (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,382724,127 (4.14)82
"A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. I shall recount thirteen 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 an instant cult classic.… (more)
Title:The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
Authors:Walter Moers
Info:Secker & Warburg (2000), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers (1999)

  1. 20
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (bookmomo)
  2. 10
    The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy (infiniteletters)
  3. 00
    Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker (mouw08)
    mouw08: same kinda crazy adventure of a non-human
  4. 01
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Beorn_se_Bacaire)
    Beorn_se_Bacaire: Walter Moer's Zamonian series has a similar sense of wimsy as The Neverending Story.

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» See also 82 mentions

English (60)  German (8)  Finnish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
is a long an entertainingly illustrated book of silliness. It all starts with the Mini-Pirates and goes on from there. The silliness is charming but also so unrelenting that I had to take breaks. What do you expect from a German cartoonist who is responsible for a character called Little Asshole? (March 31, 2007) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Did you ever love watching Disney’s Fantasia? If the answer is “yes,” than The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear could be the book for you. Fun, whimsical, and imaginative, Moers details the life and escapades of wandering Bluebear in Zamonia. Zamonia is a nonsensical world filled with imaginative creatures and regions. From Mini-pirates, to the Nocturnal Academy taught by Nocturnomath Professor Abdullah Nightengale, to Troglotrolls, this story has something for everyone! Described in excellent detail and imagery, you can picture exactly where Bluebear is, what he’s going through, and the friends and enemies he makes along the way.

The writing is beautiful and created such a sense of wonderment for me. You really have to marvel at the imagination of the author. Plus, illustrations are included! If your imagination is tired and you just want to zone out, it’s more than likely you will stumble onto an illustration of what Moers was just writing about. Conversely, if your imagination is on overdrive, excerpts from Professor Nightengale’s Encyclopedia of Zamonia are spread throughout the narrative, indulging in descriptions to delight the mind. It truly is a fairytale for adults.

Moers has chosen to tell the story of Bluebear in a biography framework, with each chapter designed to reveal what happened during each of Bluebear’s lives. Because of this, the novel is, overall, slowly paced, with only minor events occurring here and there, and not much of what could be described as a cliffhanger (minus a few exceptions). Add to that the fact that Moers work encompases about 700 pages, it can be a little hard to swallow. However, the payoff is worth it if you commit the time and effort. It helps if you don’t take the story too seriously, and if it gets to be too much, it can be read in small doses. Moers allows you to fall into a new world and escape reality for a moment. ( )
  JPetersonReads | Dec 23, 2018 |
Oh boy.. so, critique first: by the time Bluebear got to Atlantis, the book slowed waaaay down. I was skimming pages big time, which was a slight bummer because up to that point Moers had really been keeping things moving in an interesting way. The ending though was really solid, so if you're inclined to skim it's still worth it to read the last 20 or so pages because the ending *is* really sweet and lovely.

Also, fwiw, I'm going to go ahead and call this a kid's/young adult book. It's 700 pages long, but for the right kind of weird 5th grader, it would be deemed hilarious.

The good: OH MY GOODNESS THIS BOOK IS NUTS. There is little plot, but if you enjoy worldbuilding for the sake of sheer imagination, this book is it. Moers is magnificent, and there are so many stories and worlds only hinted at in here... reading it you really do get the sense of exceptional creativity at work. Like, yes, maybe drug-induced, but still.. WOW. Some truly funny parts, and like I said the plot does keep moving for the first 3/4, but this is a book you read for the joy of an imagination at work. I am impressed..I am so mad impressed. Read it if you tend towards the goofy, but also gift a copy to the budding novelist 10 and 11 year-olds in your life. They will be awestruck by the number of pages, and delighted by the possibilities of what can be put on a page. ( )
  inescapableabby | Nov 28, 2018 |
eh, lo so… ma a volte sento il bisogno di nutrire l’undicenne che è in me.
e questo si è rivelato un libro davvero ghiotto e appetitoso…
da divorare proprio! *
da considerare oltretutto che moers, oltre a dimostrare di avere già di per sé una fantasia veramente sfrenata, trova anche il modo di farcire qui e là la storia con dei richiami neanche tanto vaghi - dei veri e propri omaggi, direi - a numerosi classici della letteratura per ragazzi (i viaggi di gulliver, la fabbrica di cioccolato, la storia infinita, il mondo di oz, ecc…), il che la rende una lettura piacevole e un po’ nostalgica anche per chi undici anni li ha vissuti tre volte o anche più!
non c’è da stupirsi se è già un classico nel suo genere.

*che si capisce che il capitolo che mi è piaciuto di più è quello dell’isola dei ghiottoni?! ( )
  cry6379 | Sep 17, 2017 |
  bookczuk | May 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Ein epochales Buch. Auf gut 700 Seiten schafft Moers ein Universum.
added by rat_in_a_cage | editBrigitte
Dieser literarische Husarenstreich ist gelungen.
added by rat_in_a_cage | editDie Zeit
Gelungenere Unterhaltung wird es in absehbarer Zeit schwerlich geben.
added by rat_in_a_cage | editFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Moersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brownjohn, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kyrö, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important events
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'Life is too precious
to be left to chance.'
Deus X. Machina
'Life is too precious to be left to chance.' Deus X. Machina
First words
A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. (Foreword)
People usually start life by being born.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Heute muß das Eisen schmilzen

Heute wird der Gang gebohrt

Frisch hinweg mit Schimmelpilzen

Graben ist das Zauberwort!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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