I'm seeking a relatively recent (last 10 years) fantasy series translated from the German. The title is something like City of the Living Books. The tone is humorous, and is appropriate for children, but probably aimed at adults.

It deals with a sentient dinosaur-like academic traveling to a mythical city peopled by occasionally dangerous living books. I believe the same author wrote another series about a pirate captain.

  • Just to clarify, did you read it in English, or in German? If the latter, do you remember the German title?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 19:27
  • @Allerleirauh I'm rejecting the edit on the basis that a keyword search for zamonia will link to the answer. The question stands with the tags it has, adding zamonia would effectively be answering the question with the tag-edit. Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


The book series you are most likely looking for is The City of Dreaming Books series by Walter Moers.

From Wikipedia:

Protagonist Optimus Yarnspinner (Hildegunst von Mythenmetz in the German text) is a Lindworm (dinosaur) who inherits his authorial godfather's possessions, including a perfect story written by an unknown author, in search of whom he travels to Bookholm, a city devoted to literature above labyrinthine catacombs containing many valuable books, among various monsters and perils. There, a publisher directs him to antagonist Pfistomel Smyke, who possesses the most valuable books on the market and controls the book trade by musical hypnosis. At his house, Smyke reveals his plan to eradicate all forms of art in Zamonia; drugs Yarnspinner; and transfers him to the catacombs.

It features a Lindwurm = dragon as protagonist going to an underground city of living books.

The pirate captain form his other story in the same world is most likely "Die dreizehn 1/2 Leben des Kapitän Blaubär" (The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear) which is based on a part of the "famous" German kids show/educational Sunday noon show "Die Sendung mit der Maus".

  • Thank you! This is definitely it. My memory of the title was just enough off to make it impossible to google successfully. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 20:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.