cover image The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books

The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books

Walter Moers, trans. from the German by John Brownjohn. Overlook, $26.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0126-7

Optimus Yarnspinner's legendary success as a Zamonian author has caused him to become cut off from the Orm (the force of literary inspiration), a predicament he's quite unaware of until a mysterious letter%E2%80%94written in his own pedantic style and signed in his name%E2%80%94sends him on a quest to Bookholm. The great city of books was burned two centuries before by the Shadow King, and has been rebuilt as a modern book metropolis. Optimus visited Bookholm's dark corners once before in The City of Dreaming Books but is still unprepared to discover the twisted Invisible Theater and the still-ruined Darkman Sector, a "blank space on the map" of the city. Moers's Munchhausen-esque yarn is en-hanced by his equally wild illustrations. Though much of the book overwhelms its readers with world-building, fans will enjoy journeying through Optimus's battle with darkness. (Nov. 2012)