The 13 1/2 Lives Of Captain Bluebear – Walter Moers

One of the most surreal books I’ve ever read, but even if you do suspend your disbelief, it’s a stretch too far.

I’d never heard of Walter Moers 13 1/2 Lives Of Captain Bluebear until last year. It was recommended by a friend and former work colleague who loves fantasy and sci-fi.

Basically, Captain Bluebear is a bear with blue fur who has 27 lives and ends up in the far-flung land of Zamonia, encountering numerous adventures on the way.

There are an awful lot of things I like about this book, but unfortunately, they also irritated me beyond belief.

Sure, it’s quirky, but the quirks wear thin after 300-odd pages with the knowledge that there are still 400 to go.

And the ‘encyclopaedia’ entries that punctuate the book are whimsical and sweet to start with, but they break up the flow and soon become pointless and an irrelevance.

Perhaps it would work better for children. Perhaps I’m just not as childish as I thought I was. This book would be great for kids, but being imaginative doesn’t make it brilliant.

It just isn’t edgy, clever or funny enough to be a masterpiece – sorry, Mr Moers!


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