My awesome girlfriend has been away on a trip for quite some time. She knew it was a long trip, so decided to prepare her boyfriend for a long, boring time without her by letting me borrow a few favorites from her library. This one, as you can tell by the dramatic cover, instantly grabbed my attention as a ‘what on earth is this about?’ kind of story.
Two things to note: Walter Moers, at least in this story (I can’t say more, because this is the only thing of his I’ve read), has a very sporadic story telling style. As soon as he introduces a new character, the reader is instantly submerged in that character’s backstory leading them up to the current point in time. He might leave out a few details, but you at least are always given an overview of the main past events. Now I know I’m a product of the movie generation, where if it’s worth knowing then it’s worth revealing in clever dialogue. So I did find this overly informative method of writing to be a bit tedious at time (get back to the main character already!).
The second thing is that despite the colorful cover, this is not a book for the overly young. I’d say teenagers are likely prepared for this sort of story, but it certainly wouldn’t be a gem to share with the young tykes as you are tucking them into bed.
Basically Rumo is that lil guy holding the weird sword in the title. But don’t let the picture fool you; Rumo is quite formidable in handling it. Rumo is a Wolperting, and like all Wolpertings is a dog-like creature who has a knack for fighting. Along his journey of life, he meets a very diverse and impractical cast of characters along the way. Each character brings something different and interesting, almost making this like an ensemble story all revolving around a single character to some degree.
I don’t want to describe it too much otherwise I’ll give away some of its best secrets by accident. It’s not a small book, it is a little violent at times, but it was a great read. The ending delivers particularly well, wrapping up many of the things that would nag at the average reader as the story progressed. I recommend it whole-heartedly to everyone with a rating of PG-13 for violence alone, and will be sure to express my gratitude to my great girlfriend for lending it to me. Pleasant reading days to all.