->''"Life is too important to be left to chance."''
-->--'''[[PunnyName Deus X. Machina]]'''

The first novel by Creator/WalterMoers about the fictional continent of Zamonia, covering the live and travelings of Bluebear, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a blue bear]], a character in a series of children's stories written by Moers.

The book covers [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the first 13 lives]] of Bluebear.

After starting his life by being rescued from falling into an enormous whirlpool by 4-inch-tall pirates, Bluebear travels the lands of Zamonia in search of fortune, and a place to call home. In his journeys he learns much from a multibrained genius professor, travels the Demererra Dessert, falls into a dimensional hiatus, matches wits with a superintelligent lump of rock performs on a dream organ in a giant head, meets the multitudinous races of Atlantis, helps deliver many a DeusExMachina via sentient pterodactyl, and encounters many other weird, marvellous and wonderful (but mostly weird) threats, challenges friends and enemies.

This is a sweet, nicely illustrated and inventive {{picaresque}} story, which meanders quite a bit in the telling of the story, and focuses on the oddities of the world.
!!Tropes used in the book include:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Fredda is this to Bluebear, being a walking hairball with enormous strength who likes to stick pencils in his ear. Still, he considers her a friend.
* AffablyEvil: Voltozan Smyke.
* AllDesertsHaveCacti: Even one that is made out of sugar dust!
* AnotherDimension: Qwerty's home dimension is mostly made out of carpet. Some other, even weirder ones are mentioned.
* {{Atlantis}}: Capital city of Zamonia. The book also inverted its eventual fate. [[spoiler: It's a spaceship.]]
* ArcWords: '''Knowledge is Night''' in the sixth life.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: A number of Zamonian species: Troglotrolls, Shark Grubs, Spiderwitches and almost all cyclops races. [[spoiler: NEVER trust a troglotroll]]
* BigBad: [[spoiler: The Zamonium, a sapient element and captain of the Moloch.]]
* BizarreAlienBiology: Qwerty. He eats music from instruments ''made out of milk''. He is also a gelatinous blob. Of course, he isn't from Zamonia. He isn't even from this ''dimension'', so it makes sense that he's BizarreAlienBiology UpToEleven.
* BizarreInstrument: In Qwerty's home dimension, there are music instruments made of milk.
* BreakoutCharacter: Rumo the Wolperting and Optimus Yarnspinner, both mentioned in the book, are protagonist in later Zamonia novels.
* BlatantLies: The Congladiators of Atlantis have turned them into a hugely popular sport.
* CardCarryingVillain: The Troglotroll, who repeatedly points out how he, as a Troglotroll, ''has'' to be evil. Sometimes he's apologetic about it, sometimes just matter-of-fact, and sometimes he just seems to be [[TheGadfly messing with Bluebear for the hell of it.]]
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: The Troglotroll, and how.
* CoolStarship: [[spoiler: Atlantis]]
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The invisible Invisibles.
* DeusExmachina: [[PunnyName Deus X. Machina]] and the other Reptilian Rescuer, who literally save people at the last second out of nowhere.
* EmoTeen: The unicorn Fogelweide (called Flowergrazer in the English translation, appears in the night school), who writes lots of poems [[MarySue about unicorns]] [[ItsAllAboutMe who're very lonely]] and named [[AuthorAvatar Fogelweide]].
* EmotionEater: Hobgoblins
* EncyclopediaExposita: ''The Encyclopedia of Marvels, Life Form and other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs'' is used to this purpose regularly.
* FantasticVoyagePlot: Bluebear's journey through the Bollog's head.
* FantasyKitchenSink: Nearly every single legend and mystery known to man is dealt with in the novel in various fashions, plus a lot original ones.
* ForScience: Just to be Nightingale's Modus Operandi, until he discovered absolute darkness.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Never trust a Troglotroll -- ''don't even trust his untrustworthiness.''
* HollywoodMirage: Happens to Bluebear in the Sweet Desert several times before he actually '''catches''' one.
* InstantExpert: Professor Nightingale's way of educating people turns out to revolve largely around "bacteriological transmission of knowledge", which basically means that his knowledge is contagious. Students attending his lectures become [[InstantExpert Instant Experts]] on whatever he was lecturing on at the time, even discovering that they know details that he didn't even mention in the lecture itself.
* JustInTime: Roving Reptilian Rescuers make a point of saving people from danger, but only at the last possible moment. It just encourages people to be careless otherwise.
* LastOfHisKind: Bluebear and his fellow Night School students; it's a prerequisite for joining. [[spoiler: In the end, he finds his people, the Chromobears, as slaves aboard the Moloch. He helps set them free and they found a colony.]]
* LatinLover: Chemluth Havana.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: After spending the entire book as a HeelFaceRevolvingDoor and ending his role on the Heel side of things, the Troglotroll still gets off scot-free.]]
* LawfulStupid: The Muggs follow their 12 rules religiously. [[spoiler: Sadly, their laws are written by an insane man.]]
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to the other Zamonia novels, that are much darker.
* LosingYourHead: What every bollog does after he reaches a certain height. After that, he wanders the continent, searching for his head.
* LotusEaterMachine: [[spoiler: The Gourmetica Insularies]].
* LuckyTranslation: The arc words in the second half "'''Knowledge is Night'''" work a bit better in German ("Wissen ist Nacht" which is very similar to the proverb "Wissen ist Macht" or in English "Knowledge is power"), but since "power" and "might" are almost synonyms, this works reasonably well.
* MixAndMatchCritters: Many of the Zamonian inhabitants consist of this, such as the Wolpertings (bipedal dogs with deer antlers), Bluddums (shaggy bears from the waist up, skinny humans from the waist down) and Shark Grubs (ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin). Also, Atlantis' underground is infested with a combination of cockroaches, rats and vampires.
* TheMusical: Yes, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgcdE3Fh43o&feature=related there is one (in German),]] a stage musical which uses a surreal mix of live actors, puppets and CGI images projected onto a screen in the background. While a lot of characters and plot points from the book are dropped or changed, most of the important parts remain.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Professor Dr. Abdullah Nightingale. He even created some new scientific fields, in which he is also the leading expert.
* OurGiantsAreBigger: The bollogs can be any height, from 200 meters up to several miles high.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Vampires in Atlantis take several forms, including ones that live off halitosis or noise. Some of them are quite cute.
* PatchworkMap: Zamonia has everything, mile-high mountains, giant deserts, jungles and big forests.
* PortalNetwork: A rare example of a ''natural'' network. Dimension Portals are just an other weird phenomenon in this weird world.
* PunnyName: Bluebear meets with a pterodactyl-like creature who rescues people from danger at the last moment; his name is Deus X. Machina.
* QuicksandSucks: Intelligent Quicksand. The entire thing is also played with in a throwaway line in the first life, where the Minipirates mix quicksand in the soap when swabbing the deck, to avoid the deck becoming slippery.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Wolperting whelps are said to be the cuddliest, most adorable creatures in the world. However, adult Wolpertings are a ProudWarriorRace with hair-trigger tempers.
* SerialEscalation: Every single description and event in the novel being more fantastic and exaggerated than the last one.
* ShoutOut: There's a book in-universe called [[Literature/HowGreenWasMyValley How Dank Was My Valley]].
* TakeOverTheWorld: [[EvilPlan Ultimate goal]] of [[spoiler:the Zamonium]].
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Fredda and Avriel are the only two named female characters in over 700 pages, though in some translations 1600H and Insanity are also referred to with female pronouns -- if ideas and concepts can be said to have genders. TheMusical also seas several {{Gender Flip}}ped minor characters which are male in the book but female on stage.
* {{Troperiffic}}: Seriously. One of the main criticisms about the book is that it almost contains too much weird stuff.