Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures (2003)

This is the story of the life of the Wolpertinger Rumo (Wolpertinger are a strange mix of dog and deer, their shape is humanoid), from his early childhood until he finds the hometown of all Wolpertinger, Wolperting, and his descent into the underworld, after the whole population of his town has been abducted from the Hel people who live deep in the underworld. He follows them to free them and the love of his life.

This is the third Zamonien novel by Walter Moers, an appealing mix of adventure, love story and coming of age story. Unlike his first book, there’s more graphic violence in the mix, people get eaten alive by cyclops in the first chapter, and death and violence follows Rumo’s throughout the story.

Still, Moers hasn’t changed his style much (which is good), he is inventive as always, small details get whole pages dedicated to them, Moers goes on tangents that may or may not be important for things that happen much later in the book, and one never knows what happens next. Compared to his first book, the plot feels more focused and tighter.

Reading a book of Moers is like discovering reading anew, like a child who reads his first book, it grips you and doesn’t let you go until you’ve read the last page, and when you close the book you’re sad because you want to knew what happens next to the characters who became like close friends while reading about them, but you’re also satisfied with the excellent ending you got.