Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mini-pirates and spiderwitches

I've finally got through the first of my books for the Fall into Reading Challenge. It has 703 pages but a lot of pictures and fairly large type and I've now heard it described as a children's book for adults. Many of the stories in it were pleasant and entertaining but I found it a drag and am sure I wouldn't have finished it, if not for this challenge.

Wikipedia introduces the plot like this:

"The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear describes the first half of Bluebear's set of 27 lives. The story progresses from Bluebear's first memories of life, floating in a nutshell near the giant Maelstrom, to his career as a professional liar called a Congladiator, to his time spent on the SS Moloch, the world's largest ship, and everywhere in between. The novel intersperses Bluebear's narrative with excerpts from The Encyclopedia of Marvels, Life Forms and Other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs by Professor Abdullah Nightingale, a teacher Bluebear encounters in his sixth life.

The plot is set in the fictional continent of "Zamonia" (location of several other novels by Walter Moers) before the "great descent" in which Zamonia and many other continents sink beneath the waves."

I liked the beginning but quickly got bored by his long detailed lists of every sort of demons and monsters. There were chapters (or lives) that I did enjoy throughout the book and which I found a bit more meaningful but I lot I found just silly or repulsive.

I never normally read any sci-fi though and perhaps it was just the wrong book for me.

My Big Monkey was very interested in the pictures and spent along time looking at them. The funniest thing about the book was when she spotted a tiny skull and crossbones (with the bones below the head) and assumed it was a tiny animal:
"Aaaah, look it at it. It's so mini. Aaaah, I want one. Aaaah, it's mine. Look how many legs it's got." I didn't have the heart to explain what it really was.

I'm so pleased I've finshed it and am getting through the next one much quicker. The monkeys are not on form and today we all hung around around the flat feeling weak and I found time to reading while resting.

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