Jain's Reviews > The City of Dreaming Books

The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
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's review
Jan 19, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, juvenile-fiction, german-literature, 2010-reads, european

Moers's thesis--books are awesome--is certainly one I agree with, but he lets that message usurp the plot to the point that it takes close to 150 pages before anything really happens. There's plenty of whimsy and literary allusions (some genuinely funny and clever, as with most of Moers's comments regarding critics, and others less so) and a plethora of sentient species from dinosaurs to gnomes to giant grubs. All of which I would adore, if it were only shown-not-told, and if it propelled the plot rather than being a masturbatory exercise.

More tightly-edited, this book would be original and charming. (Especially if it dropped the fat-phobia that makes a surprise appearance in the last quarter of the book; completely nonsensically, given the wide variety of species, including giant grubs, hogs, etc., who populate its pages.) As it is, however, it's a very uneven work, with the action broken up by numerous lengthy and pointless digressions on Zamonian literature.
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