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Download The Alchemaster’s Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Alchemaster’s Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner Audiobook, by Walter Moers Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,704 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Moers Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Zamonia Series Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781455198153
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Malaisea, the unhealthiest town in the whole of Zamonia, is home to Echo the Crat, a multitalented creature resembling a cat in appearance but capable of speaking any language under the sun, human or animal. When his mistress dies, Echo finds himself out on the street. Dying of starvation, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster, Malaisea’s evil alchemist-in-chief. This fateful document gives Ghoolion the right to kill Echo at the next full moon and render him down for his fat, with which he hopes to brew an alchemical concoction that will make him immortal. In return, he promises to regale the little Crat with the most exquisite gastronomic delicacies until his time is up. But Ghoolion has reckoned without Echo’s talent for survival and his ability to make new friends. These include the Leathermice, the Cogitating Eggs, the Golden Squirrel, the Cooked Ghost, Theodore T. Theodore the one-eyed Tuwituwu, and above all, Izanuela Anazazi, the last Uggly in Malaisea.

Walter Moers’ magnificent translation of Optimus Yarnspinner’s novel introduces us to yet another of Zamonia’s hotbeds of adventure: Malaisea, a place where sick is healthy, up is down, right is wrong, and Ghoolion the Alchemaster reigns supreme—until Echo crosses his path.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Cheerfully insane…Remains lively and inventive right through the final heroic battle between good and evil.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Moers’ creative mind is like J. K. Rowling’s on ecstasy; his book reads like a collision between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the Brothers Grimm…What a delightful book.”

    Detroit News and Free Press

  • “Elegantly written…Secrets are revealed, old bodies unearthed and strange allies made in this entrancing tale of darkness, determined survival, and incredibly luxurious cuisine.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Relentlessly whimsical.”

    Library Journal

  • “Fascinating…Moers has created an absolutely charming world populated by lovable characters, and the well-paced stories he tells about it are informed by fairy-tale morality.”

    Booklist

  • “Cross The Lord of the Rings with Yellow Submarine, throw in dashes of Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Shrek, and The Princess Bride…That’s the sort of alchemy in which this sprawling novel trades.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In faraway Zamonia, the creepy Ghoolion lives in his creepy castle in Malaisea, where he creates culinary masterpieces. Echo, a crat (a kind of talking cat), makes a deal with Ghoolion, who agrees to feed him for a month and teach him all his secrets. In return, Echo will be killed and rendered into fat for Ghoolion’s experiments. Bronson Pinchot gives a fantastical narration of this fantasy for children of all ages. Pinchot captures the essence of Echo, an intriguing little fellow. Pinchot’s quick banter and zany presentation provide laugh-aloud moments and general fun. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile 

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 surfmadpig | 2/10/2014

    " Not as amazing as Captain Bluebear, but still really good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tati Dengo | 2/4/2014

    " Intricately illustrated, as are all works by Walter Moers. 3 stars since the story didn't delve as much into Zamonia as previous books, which is a big part of their charm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadeen | 1/17/2014

    " I haven't finished the book yet so this is my mid- listen review. Let me start by saying I just put the other 3 books in my rental queue. That is high praise. The book is a fantasy filled comic horror ride. However, as entertaining as it is, Bronson Pinchot's reading elevates it to the stratosphere. I had to check twice to be sure his is really the only voice because each character is that unique. His voice for Ghoolion is creepy enough to send chills and Echo's voice is perfect. I wish I had found the series earlier and I am hoping that listening to the last one first won't spoil the other ones for me. Complete review to follow. Update: my mid- listen review stands. The book became a "driveway" book: one where you sit in the driveway to finish the chapter you are on. I give it a rare 5 stars. If you are looking to start listening to audio books, this is a great place to start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Punchingboob | 1/17/2014

    " Just as good as all the others--a slight change of pace in that it is not a huge sweeping ridiculous epic, but has the same nature and overwhelming imagination as the rest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam Floridia | 1/16/2014

    " Moers' Zamonian world is as creative and zany as always, but in this case it is mostly revealed through short side-stories. The action takes place entirely in one small town and mostly in one creepy castle. Both are extremely vivid; the next time I teach creative writing, I will use paragraphs of his descriptions as examples. The action, though, is limited and the story not nearly as engaging as, say, Rumo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 1/16/2014

    " "Nobody understands the Leathermice! Not even the Leathermice!" This here is classic Moers. And I love Walter Moers for his unbelievable imagination and completely unique stories. In this particular tale, which takes place in the Zamonian city of Malaisea, a little Crat (very similar to a cat, but can communicate with every species) named Echo makes a desperate deal with the ruling alchemaster, Ghoolion. Malaisea is a miserable place; disease and despair abound. Ghoolion is perfectly content to keep it that way. His life centers entirely around his alchemy, which frequently inhibits the well-being of other creatures. Ghoolion is terribly excited to meet Echo as the starving little Crat represents the biggest alchemic opportunity Ghoolion has ever had. The deal is for Echo to live with the alchemaster, who will fatten him up until the next full moon. At that point, little Echo will have his throat slit and his fat rendered by the alchemist to create the ultimate ingredient. In spite of himself, Echo finds the alchemaster and his world oddly fascinating. Not fascinating enough, however, to want to actually fulfill his contract though. He needs some help and it will come in the form of more of Moers' whimsical characters, such as the aforementioned Leathermice, an owl-like Tiwituwu who transposes letters in longer words, a cooked ghost and the best/worst/only Uggly in town, Isadora. It's a strange and harrowing month for Echo, but if he wants to live, he's going to have to outsmart the cleverest and most powerful man in town. Again, loved this book. Wished there were more illustrations. Moers has a gift for word-play as well, which fortunately comes across with his long-time translator, John Brownjohn. Now, if we can just get the rest of Moers' books translated, I will be exceedingly happy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2014

    " Very dark. A little gruesome at times. Quite entertaining and whimsical. It's a good quick read if you're feeling a little adventuresome and creepy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 12/28/2013

    " I liked it well enough. Right along the lines of all Walter Moers other novels' or should I say Optimus Yarnspinner's other novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauri | 12/27/2013

    " Finally found anothter book of Walter Moers and you become engrossed in the book with the first chapter! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsay | 12/13/2013

    " I couldn't decide if I loved or hated it at first-- turns out, I love it! A little dark, a little over the top, and too fun! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niche | 11/25/2013

    " The book does not reach the magnitude of The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Blue Bear. The book ends before the actual journey begins so it's a departure from the usual Zamonian tale. I wanted more. I love this little crat and he has so much more potential. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andreas Whoever | 10/5/2013

    " Sooooo goooood !!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 10/1/2013

    " Funny,a blend of Monty Python and such. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stargazer | 9/25/2013

    " A pleasure to dissolve into, my multi-buy for all the teenagers this Christmas. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judith | 8/3/2013

    " This was definitely not my favorite Walter Moers novel. I usually enjoy the zaniness of Zambonia but this book was too slow and too creepy (in an unentertaining way). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 6/23/2013

    " I like most of his books, but sometimes they're super long and dry in some parts. :P "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 8/20/2012

    " The Alchemaster's Apprentice is Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist meets The Sword in the Stone meets Julia Child. Is that combo awesomely imaginative silliness or does it make your brain hurt? You decide. Recommended for fans of Piers Anthony's Xanth series, Terry Pratchett and Christopher Stasheff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 GingerNut | 2/12/2012

    " Very imaginative, very addictive. It was a bit more linear than the previous Zamonia tales, but just as enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 11/18/2011

    " A fun and quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kali | 11/6/2011

    " I checked this book out by mistake, but it turned out that I enjoyed it. Interesting and wacky. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Foxglow | 7/9/2011

    " Awesome, Moers' best yet! Looking at life (and death) through the eyes of the little crat was most enlightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Schoenfeld | 5/22/2011

    " I love Walter Moers books. Such creative creatures and situations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika1411 | 4/4/2011

    " It was fun reading this book!

    I think the main theme of this book is Love.

    Crat (our hero) was cute too.

    I could picture every scene and it was like watching a movie or something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 3/7/2011

    " This book's tone reminds me a bit of Gormenghast, which I liked (but, have yet to finish). It is, however, considerably shorter. I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stargazer | 12/21/2010

    " A pleasure to dissolve into, my multi-buy for all the teenagers this Christmas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 11/29/2010

    " I like most of his books, but sometimes they're super long and dry in some parts. :P "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 10/18/2010

    " This was imaginative and captivating, as I've come to expect from Moers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 9/21/2010

    " Another hilarious romp through Zamonia, or at least a little town in it. Echo is a fantastic narrator in every sense of the word, and I really found myself rooting for him. Moers is the man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 9/16/2010

    " Simply delightful! Again, Moers does not disappoint. Wonderful story, characters to love and hate, a nice little plot twist, and enough strange and funny goodness for any imagination of any age. Five out of five stars for my favorite youth author. Yummy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/22/2010

    " Not as good as Moer's others, but still a fun read. "

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About the Author
Author Walter Moers

Walter Moers was born in 1957 and is a writer, cartoonist, painter, and sculptor. The world of Zamonia that he created is currently being adapted for the screen. He lives in Hamburg, Germany.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award–winning narrator, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.