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The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonia, #1)
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The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonien #1)

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  8,637 ratings  ·  729 reviews
Captain Bluebear tells the story of his first 13-1/2 lives spent on the mysterious continent of Zamonia, where intelligence is an infectious disease, water flows uphill, and dangers lie in wait for him around every corner.
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published October 20th 2005 by Overlook Hardcover (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tom
I spent the first 300 or so pages of this book trying to figure out whether it was a children's book for very advanced children or an adult book for readers who hadn't lost their sense of play and wonder. It's whimsically illustrated, audaciously imaginative, and has a distinked [sic] fascination with body odor. But to get some of the jokes, you need to have a passing familiarity with quantum physics, string theory, and academic politics. Eventually I gave up trying to categorize it and just enj ...more
Paul
May 24, 2008 Paul rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like the same thing, over and over and over again
Ehhh. If I would have been the editor on this book I would have cut out about, oh, 400 pages. And I would have asked if maybe, just maybe, we could work some STORY into the novel.

Really, the book is no more than a catalog of happenstance. I did THIS, and then THIS happened, and after that I went to THIS weird place where I did THIS weird thing. Multiply that by some 700 pages and you have a snorefest. Was it wildly inventive? Yes it was. Were there interesting characters? Certainly. What about
...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Still love this book :) Walter Moers creates a vivid and imaginative universe and stays absolutely true to it to the very end. I've read a number of his books by now, and this is definitely the best.

I love his way of using the book media to tell his story, and though I generally don't care much for illustrations one way or another, here they definitely enhance the story. The characters are original and well described, and the 13.5 lives different enough to make for a very interesting story. I si
...more
Adam Floridia
This may sound tautological, but I'm disappointed that I didn't like this book. Obviously, one would be disappointed after reading a 700 page book he didn't enjoy, but there's something more here. It's like this poem.

I had been to Zamonia first in City of Dreaming Books and then again in Rumo. I enjoyed its quirky characters and the playful adventures they endured. And no one has more adventures than Bluebear--13, in fact, with many, many sub-adventures. Every single one places Bluebear in the m
...more
Valerie
May 16, 2007 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone with a sense of humour, enjoyment of puns, and creative imagination
I picked it up because the cover art caught my attention and the title was so novel as to get me to skim through a few pages. It's a tome of a book, but really a fast read. Broken down into each of Bluebear's "lives" it's more of a collection of 13 1/2 stories than one contiguous story (though they do all tie in together, of course). It is reminiscent of a children's story book but with complex ideas so as to be interesting to the adult. But that kind of feel. A blue bear that rides on the back ...more
Chris
Humor is a very personal matter. What some people find funny, others find stupid. I've always tended to enjoy British humor more than American, outside of Mel Brooks. I prefer Blackadder over Mr. Bean. I love Little Britain, but don't really find Webb and Mitchell (or is it Mitchell and Webb?) to be as fulfilling. They seem to try too hard.

I enjoyed this book. I do see, however, how it will not be to everyone's tastes.

There is much in Bluebear that is amusing and wonderful. The story is very epi
...more
Sylvester
This is not a normal book. If you want a normal book, this one is not for you. Moers is the King of Craziness. I imagine it (the ideas for his books) happening like this - Papa Moers has a child with insomnia, and the only way he can get this kid to fall asleep is to make up stories - long stories, stories that dredge every inch of his imagination (the most prodigious imagination ever)...

If you want to know who lives inside the eye of a tornado, or what its like to live in a mirage city, or meet
...more
Jon
Jun 26, 2007 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone looking for something different
Wow. This book was basically The Hitchhiker's Guide meets Where the Sidewalk Ends. It's exceptionally different and is a great book to escape reality in. There are many different stories full of memorable scenes and characters (Minipirates?).

Definitely recommended.
Adam Callaway
The most masterful piece of absurdist fantasy I have ever read.
This seven-hundred plus page tome is thirteen and a half interconnected stories of the adventures of Bluebear. He is born in a walnut shell on the ocean and is rescued by Minipirates, three-foot tall buccaneers who are afraid of the dark. Alas, Bluebear gets too big for the ship and is put out to sea. There, he is taught to speak by a pair of waves, gets fattened up by a gourmet island that wants to eat him, gets swept up in an infi
...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
I enjoyed reading The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear in the beginning. However, after making progress with the book, I started to lose interest.

The characters are extremely unique to say the least. The world concepts are amazing, but the storytelling is far from good. The book needs a serious cleanup, say four hundred pages erased. I felt like more than half of it was pure filling. A bunch of chapters were useless, they had nothing to do with the story and the book could easily live without them.
...more
Cindy
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)
Katri
I had difficulties rating this book; I adored it, but not quite as much as Moers' other book which I read first, The City of Dreaming Books. But I'm still giving it five stars as well because it does deserve them, being a perfectly delightful and entertaining collection of weird and imaginative adventures.

I'm a little surprised at the number of negative reviews that this book has received on Goodreads. I think the problem must be that the readers went in expecting something quite different than
...more
Jim Peterson

I always try to write reviews for books that are not too well known, and I’ve been dragging my feet here. Since this is a such wonderful book by a talented and imaginative author, I’ve been afraid I won’t do it justice. It’s been over two years since I read this, but it’s still very much with me and fresh in mind the way only the best books can do.

Walter Moers is an excellent writer, though he has somewhat of a low-brow reputation in Germany due to his “The Little @$$hole” comic series, which I
...more
Sam
Despite being written for kids (and being slightly repetitive at times) I really really enjoyed this book. It tells the story of Captain Bluebear's first 13 1/2 lives through his own words and some superbly imaginative illustrations. We follow Bluebear as he spends time with Minipirates, Hobgoblins, Babbling Billows, Reptilian Rescuers (by the way I really want my own Wolperting Whelps!), strange Professors, Muggs, Megabolloggs and tobacco dwarfs. We also find ourselves living large on Gourmet I ...more
Paula
‘Life is too precious to be left to chance’ ~ Deus X. Machina

And so begins the amazing the story of Captain Bluebear and his many adventures during his 13/2 lives.

‘The 13/2 lives of Captain Bluebear’ has been compared to various books but I feel that the book can hold its ground in one of most original tales I have read, the twists, the characters, everything in the book was just a delight to read, from the mini pirates at the beginning to the ultimate ending (which I will not give it away).

The
...more
Lee
This book may be short on plot but it makes up for it for the most part with wonderfully descriptive prose and all manner of imaginative creations. It's essentially a combination of Baron Münchhausen and Hitchhiker's Guide, and how one reacts to the unrelenting silliness will essentially decide whether one likes the book or not. Certainly it gets a little formulaic: the titular character meanders across half of Moers' fictional continent of Zamonia, finds himself in seemingly unavoidable danger, ...more
Gill
This is an enormous book my elder son just sent me because "I share his sense of humour". I love the short chapterlets and so far so good. I picked it up immediately thinking I must have won it on Goodreads, because "no one in his right mind would post such a heavyweight". Oh, well perhaps my son shares more than humour with me! ;-)

This has taken me an absolute age to wade through. I enjoyed the beginning and then the adventures / lives started to get a bit repetitive. Somehow undiluted imaginat
...more
Cecily
Indescribable, mad book, but fun.

A blue bear tells of his bizarre adventures (half of his 27 lives) in a fantasy world of extraordinary creatures. Rescued and raised by mini pirates, taught to talk by Babbling Willows, navigator for a pterodactyl superhero etc etc. Interspersed with snippets from an encyclopaedia about the relevant creatures (shades of Hitchiker's), and plenty of pen and ink illustrations.

The overall effect is like a more adult version of Stewart and Ridell's Edge Chronicles,
...more
Michelle
I'm pretty torn on this book. On the one hand, it's adorable. The pictures are great. It's so different. There were parts I really enjoyed beginning, middle, and end. And then there were parts I was just trying to get through beginning, middle, and end. And I don't very much like that this book and its author were compared to Tolkien, Rowling, and some others. It created an expectation within me that wasn't quite met. But again, there were some great parts of the story, fun characters. I loved t ...more
Nick
Check out more reviews and SciFi/Fantasy fun at Lions and Men.

Did you know that bluebears have 27 lives? Do you happen to know what a bluebear is? Why not learn about one of the most famous bluebears in Walter Moers' The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear. In it, Captain Bluebear recounts tales from his hectic life in a continent known as Zamonia. From his sea voyages with the Minipirates to his travels to the 2364th Dimension, the good Captain has seen it all.

Walter Moers was an unknown author to
...more
Gretchen
Jul 28, 2008 Gretchen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
The slipcover of this book compared the writing to Douglas Adams and J.R.R. Tolkein. While I agree that the author could be considered slightly clever and the book an epic saga, both become victims of too much of an almost good thing. This book is 700 pages of repetitive, redundant and reiterative rubbish. I was tempted to stop reading about 300 pages into it but for some unknown reason gave it a chance. Now, I want those last 400 pages of my life back! The endlessness of the story grew increasi ...more
Jasmine
I have lost the ability to tell the difference between 4 and 5 star books. That's not true, I just like this book more than the rest of you.

I understand that there isn't so much going on in this book. It is sort of like listening to your grandfather talk. But the book is fun. It is a bit like "WOULDN'T IT BE COOL". In reality nothing really ever happensin the book, but I couldn't stop reading it.

I am not sure that anybody who isn't me would like this book quiet so much.

Germany
Dokusha
Es ist absolut phantastisch, was Walter Moers alles an Ideen hat. Die gesamte Geschichte ist ein sprühendes Feuerwerk aberwitziger Ereignisse und Gestalten. Zwischendurch werden notwendige Erklärungen durch das "Lexikon der erklärungsbedüftigen Wunder, Daseinsformen und Phänomene Zamoniens und Umgebung, von Prof. Dr. Abdul Nachtigaller" gegeben.
Es ist nicht möglich, hier eine Zusammenfassung des Inhalts zu geben, denn die Erzählweise Moers' ist so einfach nicht rüberzubringen, aber ein wesentlic
...more
Kathryn
After reading "rumo" and "city of dreaming books", which I both loved ! I was so excited to read this one too. Later I realized that I was reading them in exactly the opposite order.

After reading 1/3 of the book, I just gave up.
Even now I don't remember what it was about, and I don't think I'll ever start to read this book again.
Desi
Ich liiiiebe dieses Buch!
Nachdem es mir empfohlen wurde, hab ich es mir sofort gekauft und konnte es kaum aus der Hand legen.
Soo,soo schön.
Seit dem ersten Zamonien-Teil bin ich ein großer Fan und habe alle anderen gelesen und hoffe stetig auf Neue!
Wirklich ein tolles Leseerlebnis für Jung und Alt.
Florence Liu
I haven't been on Goodreads for a while, but in the time that I've been away, I finished this book. I received it as a birthday present a few years ago and I read it a couple of times, but something I've found is that it gets better each time I come back to it.
The story is set in a fictional land called Zamonia, where humans are ostracised and fantasy-esque characters walk about. It's told from the perspective of the protagonist, Bluebear, and spans 13 and 1/2 of his lives (bluebears live 27 li
...more
Matti Karjalainen
Saksalaisen Walter Moersin "Kapteeni Sinikarhun 13 ½ elämää" (Otava, 2001) on huikean mielikuvituksellinen matka aalloilla syntyvän Sinikarhun kolmestatoista ja puolesta elämästä. Ja millaisia elämiä ne ovatkaan! Sinikarhu oppii puhumaan Pulina-aaltojen avustuksella, työskentelee hengenvaaraan joutuneita varjelevan lentoliskon apurina, saavuttaa mainetta Atlantiksessa valehtelijagladiaattorina, joutuu inhan kuilutrollin höynäyttämäksi ja vanhenee lähes sata vuotta jouduttuaan tornadon keskellä s ...more
Duesterwald-Online
Inhalt:
Die 13 1/2 Leben des Käpt'n Blaubär ist der erste Roman Moers aus der Zamonienreihe.
Es wird das Leben des Protagonisten Käpt'n Blaubär geschildert, der jedoch nichts mit dem allseits bekannten Blaubär aus der Sendung mit der Maus gemeinsam hat.
Moers erzählt alle 13 1/2 Leben des Blaubärs und dem Kontinent, auf dem sich dieser befindet, Zamonien.
Er schildert in lexikonartigen Einschüben die Gegenden, Städte und Lebewesen, die sich dort befinden.

Meinung:
Ich hatte große Erwartungen an das
...more
Max
This book reminded me somewhat of any episode of Seinfeld. There wasn't really much of a point, but it was still amusing.

It's somewhat like the author, Walter Moers, recorded the kind of stories that I would make up to entertain the kids, wrote them down, inserted a blue bear as the main character, and then strung them all together. Bluebear's adventures are continuous and varied, and usually, entertaining. It's written as a combination between a book for older children and a book for adults wit
...more
Jessica Andersen
Captain Bluebear was a long book. And it felt long. That isn't to say it wasn't entertaining. Merely, longwinded. I will be reading another of Walter Moers books. I am curious if the rambling of this one was because it was a world building first book, and perhaps his others that take place in the same world will not have to go into as much detail. Or, perhaps the fact that this one was supposed to be the autobiography of Bluebear, who seems to be long-winded as just a part of his character, made ...more
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Age group/reading level? 1 6 Oct 03, 2014 05:52AM  
What shelf does this book belong on? 32 110 Sep 25, 2013 05:56AM  
Open Books Chicago: The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, by Walter Moers 1 18 Jun 30, 2012 09:25AM  
encrypted duel? 4 34 Apr 01, 2012 10:27AM  
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Walter Moers was born in 1957 and is a writer, cartoonist, painter and sculptor. He has refused to be photographed ever since his comic strips The Little Asshole and Adolf were published, the latter leading him to be declared persona non grata by the political right in Germany. Walter Moers lives in Hamburg.
More about Walter Moers...
The City of Dreaming Books (Zamonia, #4) Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures (Zamonia, #3) Der Schrecksenmeister (Zamonien, #5) Ensel und Krete. Ein Märchen aus Zamonien (Zamonien, #2) Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher (Zamonien, #6)

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“Wednesdays were the best thing about Atlantis. The middle of the week was a traditional holiday there. Everyone stopped work and celebrated the fact that half the week was over.” 58 likes
“Life is too precious to be left to chance” 30 likes
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