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The City of Dreaming Books
Dreaming Books
General Information
Author: Walter Moers
Illustrator: Walter Moers
Translator: John Brownjohn
Publication Order
Preceded by Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures
followed by: The Alchemaster's Apprentice

The City of Dreaming Books (original title: Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher) is the fourth novel in the Zamonia series written and illustrated by German author Walter Moers, but the third to be translated into English by John Brownjohn. The German version was released in Autumn 2004, and the English version followed in Autumn 2007.

In this new Zamonian adventure, protagonist/narrator Optimus Yarnspinner, a young writer, inherits from his beloved godfather an unpublished short story by an unknown author. His search for the author's identity takes him to Bookholm: a city built on an ancient and immense repository of books, and devoted accordingly to their recovery and sale. Once there, Yarnspinner falls into the clutches of the city's evil genius, Pfistomel Smyke, who maroons him in the labyrinthine catacombs underneath the city. Here, he undergoes a series of encounters with the bizarre denizens of the catacombs, which culminate in an unlikely friendship with the author whom he sought: Homuncolossus, alias the 'Shadow King', or sometimes 'the Darkman of Bookholm'. Having learned the art of inspired writing (called the Orm in Yarnspinner's narration), Yarnspinner accompanies his ally to the surface, where the Shadow King kills Smyke and incinerates much of Bookholm; at which, Yarnspinner returns to his native city of Lindworm Castle, and becomes a best-selling author.