Welcome to The Dreaming Books Blog Tour! A Book Blog Tour celebrating the writings of that legendary lindworm* Optimus Yarnspinner, his German translator Walter Moers and his English translator John Brownjohn. The occasion is nothing less than the publication (FINALLY!) of the English translation of Yarnspinner’s masterpiece: The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books.
For some of you, my fellow bibliophiles, the release of The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books (which marks the beginning of Yarnspinner’s Purple Period and chronicles his return to the city Bookholm) has been eagerly – dare I say impatiently? – anticipated. For other lucky readers it is an opportunity – an impetus really – to begin their exploration of Zamonia and a chance to read for the first time the great lindworm’s earlier, Orm** inspired, novels. Such as The City of Dreaming Books in which he tells of the story of his hair-raising, youthful adventures within the catacombs beneath Bookholm. Or, for those interested in the less biographical works, The Alchemaster’s Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia.
But, before I go on, the Zamonian virgin should know that these are far from typical stories. In the words of Yarnspinner, himself, I feel it’s only fair to warn you.
“It’s not a story for people with thin skins and weak nerves, whom I would advise to replace this book on the pile at once and slink off to the children’s section. Shoo! Begone, you cry-babies and quaffers of camomile tea***, you wimps and softies! This book tells of a place where reading is still a genuine adventure, and by adventure I mean the old-fashioned definition of the word that appears in the Zamonian Dictionary: ‘A daring enterprise undertaken in a spirit of curiosity or temerity, it is potentially life-threatening, harbours unforeseeable dangers and sometimes proves fatal.’
Yes, I speak of a place where reading can drive people insane. Where books may injure and poison them – indeed, even kill them. Only those who are thoroughly prepared to take such risks in order to read this book – only those willing to hazard their lives in so doing – should accompany me to the next paragraph. The remainder I congratulate on their wise but yellow-bellied decision to stay behind. Farewell, you cowards! I wish you a long and boring life, and, on that note, bid you goodbye!
And so, with that out of the way, our schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, Nov 3 – TNBBC’s The Next Best Book Blog will review The City of Dreaming Books, the predecessor to The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books
- Sunday, Nov 4 – Back to me for an excerpt from The Lonely Lindworm’s Guide to the city of Bookholm (on a shoestring)
- Tuesday, Nov 6 – Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog will post her review of the soon to be released (November 8th!) The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books
- Wednesday, Nov 7 – Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review interviews with the translator’s translator – John Brownjohn
- And make sure you stop at Overlook Press’ the Wingéd Elephant blog on November 8th to enter into a Special Secret Giveaway…. so secret that even the bloggers don’t know what it’s going to be for!
So prepare yourselves for a 7 day immersion into all things Zamonian. This, fellow readers, is where our book tour begins!
*Lindworms are Zamonian dinosaurs who make their home on a mountain called Lindworm Castle. During the course of their evolution they discovered that – as a species – they possessed a literary and artistic nature. The result has been that Lindworms are some of the most celebrated writers and poets in Zamonian literature (particularly amongst themselves). “ ‘As the Lindworm’s mental powers steadily developed, so their savage, dinosaurian instincts withered away. Having hitherto communicated in a mixture of grunts and sign language, they learnt Zamonian from the farmers and traders who they came into contact with. Later, they began to record their words and thoughts in writing. Language was one of their principal pleasures. They took to speaking in rhyme, wore long robes and elaborate jewellery. They. . . Well, they became artists, you understand? Artists and poets!’ Rumo stared at Smyke uncomprehendingly. ‘No, you don’t understand – no normal living creature could, but never mind. They liked to regard themselves as something special. Because they could write poetry, they thought their sweat smelt like perfume…’” (Volzotan Smyke, Shark Grub, from Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures, pg. 44).
** The Orm is the “mysterious force reputed to flow through many authors at moments of supreme inspiration”. (Optimus Yarnspinner, author, from The City of Dreaming Books, pg. 20)
***The opinions expressed regarding camomile tea are Yarnspinner’s alone and do not represent those of Overlook Press or any of the bloggers participating in the tour. This blogger, in particular, has no strong opinions (and makes no judgements) regarding camomile tea or those who quaff it.