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The City of Dreaming Books

The City of Dreaming Books ( Zamonia )

( German - Die Stadt der traumenden Bucher - 2004 )

novel by Walter Moers

translated by John Brownjohn

Published: Harvill Secker - hardback - 2006 ( US )
ISBN: 0436206099 / 9780436206092

Vintage Press - trade paperback - 2007 ( UK )
ISBN: 0099490579 / 9780099490579

Overlook Press - hardback - 2007
ISBN: 1585678996 / 9781585678990

Overlook Press - trade paperback - 2008
ISBN: 1590201116 / 9781590201114

Blackstone Audiobooks - CD - 2011 ( read by Paul Michael Garcia )
ISBN: 1441757902 / 9781441757906

Blackstone Audiobooks - MP3 CD - 2011
ISBN: 1441757937 / 9781441757937

Blackstone Audiobooks - CD - 2013
ISBN: 1441757929 / 9781441757920


Overlook Press - e-book - 2008
eISBN: 1590203682 / 9781590203682
ASIN: B001FA0MHK

Synopsis
Optimus Yarnspinner is a Lindworm who inherits his authorial godfather’s possessions. These include a perfect story written by an unknown author. Optimus sets off in search of this author and comes to Bookholm, a city devoted to literature, sitting above labyrinthine catacombs containing many valuable books, monsters and perils. He is directed to Pfistomel Smyke, a shark grub who is in possession the most valuable books on the market - and who controls the book trade by musical hypnosis. Smyke reveals to Optimus his plan to eradicate all forms of art in Zamonia. He then drugs Optimus and consigns him to the catacombs.
Waking, Optimus attempts to reach the surface, but falls victim to a another trap and finds himself in Unholm, the monster-infested rubbish dump of the catacombs. Wandering, he falls victim to a Spinxxx, a spider-like monster, but is rescued by a Bookhunter ( one of the murderous mercenaries who explore the catacombs in search of ancient books ), - who tries to eat him before being killed by an unknown force. He next meets the Booklings, friendly gnomes devoted to memorising books. They are tending to the dying Colophonius Regenschein, the only good Bookhunter Next they are attacked by evil Bookhunters led by Regenschein’s mortal enemy, Rongkong Koma. Optimus escapes to Shadowhall Castle, home of the ‘Shadow King’, the mysterious author sought by Yarnspinner. He is a human surgically altered by Smyke, to be taller, stronger, and possessed of impenetrable paper skin, that bursts into flame in contact with sunlight or moonlight. He tutors Optimus in the art of writing. After the Shadow King frees the Booklings’ library and gains entrance to Smyke’s personal library, they are ambushed by the Bookhunters. The Booklings hypnotise them into killing each other. At Smyke’s bookshop, the Shadow King kills Smyke and sets himself and the city afire. Optimus, having fled with the antique and fearsome Bloody Book, leaves the city, having attained the Orm, the universal source of creativity.

Awards
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